Pink is a colour that is very much misunderstood. The stereotypical colour of baby clothes, Barbie dolls and eccentric women of a certain age (think queen of the romance novel Barbara Cartland), it is a colour that gets a bad rap and lots of negative opinion. Pink is, to be frank, considered the girliest of girly colours. But is it?
Maybe a little background will help to convince you of its merits…or if you already love it, then this will give you even more reason to. Common thoughts about pink revolve around young girls, first love, candy floss and frills—that is to say a mass of feminine clichés—but this has not always been the case.
The French, in fact, championed the idea of pink for girls and blue for boys back in the 19th century. The tradition, which quickly became popular in England, was touse a blue ribbon on a boy and pink on a girl merely to tell them apart. However, in the U.S. at the turn of the century, girls and boys were being dressed equally in blue, pink, white, and mauve. However, over time blue became popular with young girls and pink was considered a colour for boys because it was thought to be a stronger and more decided colour whereas blue was delicate and dainty and was also the colour associated with the Virgin Mary. The colours switched back to pink for girls and boy for blues around the 40s.
I can’t think of any woman who can really resist a little something pink. Now this is not news to all you pink lovers out there, but I can hear those of you who are more wary protesting. But are you not a little too ready to dismiss this most versatile and beautiful colour in all its complexity of shades? Is there not a pink side to all of us, even if it manifests itself in just a pair of candy pink killer heels or a slick of magenta lipstick? And remember, pink is a tint of that most passionate of colours, red. It is much more of a "Hey there” than a “Come on over” colour.
Does this mean as strong, independent women we can rock pink? I say that worn with some edge and attitude there is no reason why not. So how do we give pink a punch? To answer that let’s take a look at what the designers have done with pink for S/S12.
The latest Louis Vuitton ad campaign features a pretty pink backdrop and full-on pastels. The super feminine look is tempered by the models' funked up spikey hair. On the runway, Valentino showed fragile pink dresses shot with black and neon embroidery creating an embraced gentle sexiness with a cool vibe.
Pink was featured in a multitude of prints – from the bold, rocking blooms of Mary Katrantzou, to Prada's ballsy florals. For these designers pink is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Rochas paid tongue-in-cheek homage to the urban housewife. Rocking satin pink housecoats with mod prints, the models strutted the runway giving a Mad Men twist to the martini sipping, bored stay at home Desperate Housewives stereotype.
Chanel's stunning underwater theme featured striking notes of pastel pink alongside gorgeous shades of coral, pale shell and fuchsia. The shapes were simple and easy to wear – a constant hallmark of Lagerfeld’s work. As always with Lagerfeld’s work there was an abundance of gorgeous details: oversized pearl buttons, unexpected textures and seemingly weightless fabric. The ever present pearls were worn in the hair, glued down bare backs, as piercing and as belts – pink, delicate, sexy and sophisticated.
More proof that pink can be thoroughly modern. My advice? Wear it with slick hair, killer heels and strong make-up. Accessorise with clashing shades of blue or orange, or embrace the entire look by mixing different shades of pink: fuchsia, rose or all out florescent. Most importantly, wear it with pride.
Girlie girls step aside. Pink is back with an attitude.
~Kate de Lacy @fashionedgy
Kate de Lacy is a writer currently residing in Bath, London. She has many passions and wears many fashionable hats including those of fashion blogger, journalist, illustrator, art historian and traveler. Kate is currently looking for an opportunity to move to the United States.
Image Source: Kate de Lacy, All Illustrations are copyright and sole property of Kate de Lacy and may not be used without her permission.