From tulle skirts and sheer tights to ballet flats, wrap sweaters, and hair bows, balletcore has taken the fashion trend cycle by a storm over the past year. Unsurprisingly, the dancer aesthetic, rooted in a childhood nostalgia for pink tutus and wanting to take ballet classes, is also currently dominating the beauty space. Think: braided hair ribbons and pink blush-heavy makeup. But most recently, at New York Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2023, many designers decided to put an exciting, dark twist to the trending aesthetic by combining balletcore and gothic beauty. Get ready for Black Swan Fall in 2023.
Both goth fashion and beauty have experienced a major resurgence recently, from Lizzo’s black lipstick and Lil Nas X’s metallic cat-eye eyeliner at last year’s VMAs to everyone’s obsession with Netflix’s Addams Family reboot, Wednesday. Much like balletcore—and other aesthetics before it—the goth trend is getting blended with other popular aesthetics (i.e. gothic cottagecore and goth glam). So, it’s only natural that eventually balletcore and the goth aesthetic would combine on the runway this year.
Read on for the runway beauty looks that have set the scene for a fashion month full of dark and twisted ballerina vibes.
Black Bows at Sandy Liang
The Sandy Liang show was the true love child of balletcore beauty and goth beauty. From the black rosettes and bows doting model’s hair to dark mesh eye coverings and blackened-red lipstick, Liang took a darker approach to her usual floaty, feminine aesthetic.
Black Swan Eye Makeup at Rodarte
The black graphic eye makeup at Rodarte by James Kaliardos for Nars was reminiscent of the (literally) winged eye makeup from 2010’s Black Swan. However, with each model getting their own personalized liner look, the overall effect was more modern goth than costume-y.
Tight Ballet Buns at Area
This year’s Area Spring/Summer show explored all things produce, including decaying fruit. Alongside the themes of dark destruction, models walked the runway with ballet buns so tight that they could (almost) be mistaken for a buzzcut.
Sleek High Ponies at PRISCAVera
PRISCAVera changed up the ballerina bun with a slicked-back alternative featuring an extra-high ponytail with some edge (or spike).