Every year, Pantone decrees a particular hue the colour of the year. Every year, we’ll see said colour pop up in the shops, then fade in favour of the next trending tone. Masala wine, orchid pink, greenery; all have undoubtedly made their presence known the past few years – but I bet Pantone is wishing they’d put their money on pink sooner than 2016’s rose quartz. That’s where the smart cash is and has been for some time.
Remember those fondant fancy pink Rochas, Carven and Jil Sander coats, the latter from Raf Simons’ last collection for the brand, or the tulip pink By Malene Birger Bugsy coat every blogger worth their salt was wearing in 2013? We do. Far from being a flash in the pan trend, as many assumed, these coats were the start of a movement. We’re in the midst of fashion’s pink period and we’re not ready to take off the rose-tinted glasses yet.
In fact, all things pink have been seeping into our consciousness for longer than we think: Acne has been using pink carrier bags since the early noughties; Mansur Gavriel has been lining its bag in ballerina pink since day one; soft pastel rose hair has been seen on the fash pack (though, obviously, Kate Moss made it cool first in the ‘90s); Wes Anderson doused his Grand Budapest Hotel in dolly mixture pink while artist David Shrigley and designer India Mahdavi’s now iconic pink room at Sketch has been so popular since its unveiling in 2014, the room didn’t get its traditional two year makeover. Such is the irrefutable power of pink.
" We’re in the midst of fashion’s pink period and we’re not ready to take off the rose-tinted glasses yet."
It’s everywhere. Common Projects trainers now come in a dusky powder pink, for men and women. Sofas in blush velvet are practically an interior basic. Rose gold is now a solid third option alongside silver and yellow gold. Things have gone past the point of the-novelty-pink-option-is-for-girls. But why? For one, it’s just nice. Pink looks good on everyone and everything while possessing a sense of irony that generation zeitgeist just gets. Looking a bit Paris Hilton today? Totes deliberate. This pastel pink Juicy Couture velour tracksuit? Channelling Vetements, natch, not 2000s J-Lo (well, maybe a bit). Strictly speaking, millennial pink is a washed-out shade of Barbie. A little bit peachy, a little bit flamingo, a bit bubblegum. It’s the colour of Glossier’s packaging; that colour you keep seeing as the backdrop to everything on Instagram (Mansur Gavriel is a big player on this front). Rules Schmules. Don’t let the pantone police stop you appreciating other shades of pinky goodness – it hasn’t stopped designers dressing their AW17 runways in myriad tones of rose.
Valentino’s collection, achingly beautiful and austere as usual, was softened with a peppering of looks in raspberry and marshmallow. Think long coats worn with high-neck dresses and shiny cerise boots. Head-to-toe colour was a popular device this season; Emilia Wickstead dressed models in the softest blush, ankle-length dresses with sculptural sleeves and discreet cut-outs. Softer still was the pastel pink at Rochas; a barely-there shade of peach blossom anointed ‘40s style dresses. Elegant, verging on prim, they oozed retro femininity that looked all the more appealing for the addition of ankle strap stilettoes – take note.
If retro pink isn’t your bag – too ‘proper’ – things took a subversive turn elsewhere. At Nina Ricci, faintly bonkers pink dresses, coats and skirts appeared in crushed velvet, lamé and Mongolian fur. Wear all at once, cinch with a tonal belt and match your boots and bag –you’re good to go. At Balenciaga, a giant, tiered moiré meringue of a dress teetered down the catwalk – complete with a giant matching bag and neon pink sock boots. A look for fashion risk takers, no doubt, but it’s a great example of how pink isn’t just for mimsy ‘girly’ types; it can pack a sartorial punch. In fact, the biggest pink punch was thrown at 3.1 Phillip Lim; the catwalk itself was a carpeted in a saturated shade of watermelon and the opening look was a true Millennial pink coat. From there, suiting, tailoring, boots and bags bloomed in varying shades of rose. A slouchy trouser suit in particular felt like power dressing for the modern woman, or rather, the sartorial weapon of choice for high powered (or just ambitious) millennials. Uncompromisingly pink for the uncompromising woman of today – and so much more commanding than black.
Here’s to pink power.