A recession looms, Joe Biden warns of nuclear "Armageddon," and the climate crisis is getting worse. The word of the year is uncertainty, but we can all take pleasure in the surety of fashion's latest footwear trend: ballet flats.

Ballet-inspired garb — "Balletcore," as TikTok calls it — has been on the rise since Miu Miu debuted pairs of bow-topped slippers at its Fall/Winter 2022 show. At Fashion Month Spring/Summer 2023, labels including Sandy Liang, whose leather pointe shoes were recently worn by Gen Z trendsetter Bella Hadid, MM6 Maison Margiela, Sunnei, and Tod's followed suit.

Even the king of dystopian, hard-edged fashion can't deny the effortless appeal of the ballet flat. Definitive proof of the trend came at Balenciaga's SS23 show, where models trudged through a man-made mud pit wearing satin slip-ons.

Dubbed the Leopold flats, the dainty shoes were the opposite of what one might expect from creative director Demna, known for his chunky sneakers and humongous boots.

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Demna's touch is still apparent in his take on the dancerly shoe. In pink, beige, and blue satin, the flats are scuffed and stained at the toe, reminiscent of Balenciaga's intentionally destroyed Paris sneakers (and Amy Winehouse's famously beaten-up ballet flats). A pair made of woven leather are similarly distressed.

It's warm-up time. Whether you prefer the polish of Miu Miu's pointe shoes or Demna's stained ballet flats, we're all pirouetting into fall.

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