I hate to play into gender stereotypes, but I've always dreamt of being a ballet dancer.
Sadly, my stellar ballerina career ended after two lacklustre productions, starring as a devil and Oliver Twist respectively, in which it became apparent that I wasn't the undiscovered talent I thought I would be. I was 7.
However, that didn't stop me from enjoying the sartorial side of the art form. The tutus, the romantic layers... their ability to transform a character on and off stage.
Fast forward to 2023, and the rest of the world has fallen in love with ballet-inspired outfits, so much so that the trend now has its own name: balletcore.
Retailers have gone big on it, going as far as to collaborate with actual dance schools to create authentic yet wearable collections.
In September, Reformation celebrated the 75th anniversary of the New York City Ballet, with the launch of the Ref x NYCB capsule: a sexy, sustainable capsule collection featuring dresses, ballet flats, and separates for the ‘ballerina off-duty’ look.
Last week, AllSaints launched its own balletcore collection, in partnership with The Royal Ballet, and a campaign featuring four Royal Ballet dancers: Bomin Kim, Viola Pantuso, Brayden Gallucci and Joonhyuk Jun to model the collection
Each dancer was invited to select their favourite six paieces from the winter collection, creating a capsule of 24 pieces, including off-duty items such as biker jackets, as well as dressier 'stage' looks such as rhinestone-encrusted jeans and silk dresses.
There are also a limited-edition T-shirt and hoodie, with 10% of the proceeds donated to The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, which supports The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.
How to wear the balletcore trend
The key is to not look like you're 7-year-old me playing dress-up. Practically speaking, this means balancing certain ballet elements everyday items.
Think a tutu or full skirt paired with an oversized knit and chunky boots. Off-duty layers such as bustier tops and soft cardigans paired with wide leg jeans or leggings and some ballet pumps.
As for hues, opt for classic monochrome and a soft colour palette of dusty pink, cream and pastels.
Shop my edit of balletcore pieces below.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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