Zeitgeist | In the Pink


The dispatch: from blush tones and bubblegum to the absolutely shocking, the runways are flush with pink palettes. Whether it’s the sweet sorbet shades at Sies Marjan or the sportier inflections of Valentino, pink is not only the prettiest shade on the colour spectrum, it’s also the hottest.

The lowdown: Once the thing of ‘special snowflake’ types, the current penchant for pink goes way beyond ‘millennial pink’. Seen on just about every runway that actually matters, in virtually every variation of the shade you can imagine, pink has, once again, painted itself as the most desirable colour of the season. One of the main drivers behind the continued dominance of the colour both on, and off the runways, Alessandro Michele, has always had a particularly rose-coloured view of the world and during his time as creative director for Gucci has given us everything from pink glitter glasses and babushka headscarves, to entirely pink runway decor. This season he doubled-down on his eclectic aesthetic and reinforced his commitment to the colour with a flamboyant collection that had energy in abundance and a distinctly glam-rock edge. Skewed toward a retro seventies vibe, standout pink pieces from the jazzy 108 look lineup included an asymmetric bicolour silk dress in megawatt shades of magenta and persimmon orange embroidered with sparkly trompe l'oeil bows and paired with glittering crystal embellished tights. Things were just as colourful at Sies Marjan, where Sander Lak — the Dutch designer who has made a riotous use of colour his calling card — had been thinking about milkshakes. suggesting a more mellow tone than previous seasons, garments were “put through a wash cycle, fabrics were squeezed, wrung, tumbled and hung up to dry“ and his intensely rich colourations were softened by basically adding a drop of milk to them. Crumpled silks and shaggy furs came in an assortment of delicious shades ranging from peaches and cream to strawberry milkshake, key among them a coral pink bias-cut silk charmeuse dress that drapes and twists around the body in fluid rumples like silken waves. The case for pink was made especially persuasive at Valentino as Pierpaolo Piccioli succeeded where many others fail, in “making extraordinary what is ordinary”. Citing Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto (the epic poem written in 1532 which is noted as the first recorded mention of the moon) as inspiration, the designer sought to elevate the everyday into the high-fashion stratosphere by putting a very Valentino spin on them. A fantastic fusion of ultra-luxe athleisure and outright glamour, the lineup provided infinite opportunity to wear pink, abbreviated minidresses and stunning evening gowns in peachy pastels and blushing pinks came saturated in sequins and glittering embellishments, while style staples that tend to make up the majority of our wardrobes such as a roseate trench coat or a pair of Rockstud sneakers proved to be just as potent.

The look: Wearing pink on a ho-hum hump day has long been standard dress code, but as a certain Mr. Tony Robbins says, it’s time to raise your standards. Though we may have all been blissfully living la vie en rose for some time now, this season designers have moved on from rose quartz and millennial pink and taken it to the next level by including more brighter and bolder tones in their collections with everything from telemagenta to sassy sherbet pinks being thrown into the mix. Suddenly pink isn’t just about being pretty anymore. Indeed, the message from the runways was go hard or go home, the old rules no longer apply, whether it's the pink power dressing courtesy of Virgil Abloh at Off White or the punk militancy of Prada’s riot girls, this powerful pigment packs a serious sartorial punch.

The style tip: Bearing in mind that these days, at least where designers are concerned, pink is practically a neutral, getting dressed in the pink stuff requires a certain amount of subtlety. Naturally, accessories are the easiest way to incorporate the colour into your closet, whether you decide that you’re going all-in like Shirley Maclaine or you’re more of a dabbler and just want to dip your toes in, a jolt of pink in the form of a pair of snazzy slingback pumps or an elegant evening clutch can provide just the right amount of oomph to take your outfit from average to outstanding. Clearly, pink is the new black.

The hero piece: Notoriously charged with all sorts of political and sociological connotations, this supposedly girlish shade has never really been the blushing type. So it was no surprise to see that Miuccia Prada chose to tap into the more controversial aspects that it communicates for Prada ss18. A tendentious exploration of women’s rights and modern militancy, the collection was a welcome salute to female empowerment bringing more girl power than a Spice World movie and a standout wardrobe to match. Worn with some of the most commanding looks were these studded leather derby shoes in the most seductive shade of honeysuckle pink which make more of a statement than any pithy placard ever could do.