Please Don’t Bring Back Ballet Flats

Do you know Matilda Djerf? Be it Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest, Matilda Djerf is everywhere. With her effortlessly cool Scandi style, the Swedish influencer is currently conquering the hearts of many on social media. Recently she has been seen donning her classic casual cool look with bright red vintage ballet flats, Yes, you read correctly… Ballet Flats. 

What was already hot in the mid-2000s – think Amy Winehouse, Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton – is all the rage again in 2022. Ballerinas are now back on everyone’s lips. Fashion fans around the world wear the classic flat shoe with various outfits and we are not as thrilled as the media, various fashion influencers and Matilda Djerf Disciples. 

Fashion magazines praise the new shoe trend and enjoy seemingly countless styling options. Articles adorn headlines like “Why we think it’s great that the ballerina trend is back” or “Practical, comfortable and glamorous: that’s why ballerinas are back.” Seemingly everybody is searching for the shoe, originally lifted from the hardworking toes of ballerinas, whose rounded silhouette had us in a chokehold throughout the entire 2000s.

Back in the day in New York, ballet flats were more than just a reflection of the indie sleaze trend—they were also regularly spotted on the runway, thanks to the city’s signature sportier style. In the December 2004 Vogue issue, Sarah Mower chronicled the shift towards thin soles in her article “The Case for Flats,” accompanied by a photo of a model clutching a metallic purple ballet shoe. She noted that Alber Elbaz at Lanvin sent out models wearing evening dresses with ballet slippers, adding: “The effect was clean, young, and modern–and made a crucial point about the attractiveness of not trying too hard to be sexy and dressed-up.” Back then the shoe was a staple of the it-girls of their times. 

The ladies championing the British strain of indie sleaze could be found wearing the dainty footwear in settings clouded with cigarette smoke and sticky with spilt alcohol. Moss became practically synonymous with the shoe, while girl-about-town Alexa Chung, then dating Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, regularly sported it too. London-transplant Sienna Miller would walk out in a denim mini skirt and a barely-there tank top—but always grounded by a pair of her trusty flats. 

The it-girl of our time, Bella Hadid, has been spotted donning the shoe now as well… 

Sure, the rise of balletcore in fashion has certainly played its good part in the sudden rise in popularity of ballet flats. Damn you, Simone Rocha! But also Miu Miu. Miuccia Prada has been on a quest to bring back the most controversial trends of the 00’s. First the micro minis and now the ballet flats. It’s only a matter of time before we are all rocking low cut skirts and a cropped tank top accessorized with a chunky belt and a pair of ballet flats again. 

And yes the shoes may seem stylish, on trend and yes maybe even a little avant garde if you are Bella Hadid. But considering the fact that this does not apply to the majority of people, the trend is certainly anything but accessible. 

There have never been so many types of shoes in the Western fashion world. Why on earth do they have to be the kind that turn women’s feet into ducks’ feet? Ballerinas are simply not everybody’s shoes, even if Salvatore Capezio designed the elastic leather breath at the end of the 19th century as a ladies’ slip-on shoe model and was successful with it. Well, they may be forgiven for dancers of the State Ballet, and even for very, very young girls. You can believe them when they take ballet lessons and want a smooth sole on the dance floor.

But in the street scene? Few fashion atrocities have ever been as cruel as ballet flats.