Pink has always been something of a divisive color. Some mock or steer clear of the hue as they consider it excessively girly and frivolous, and for others, pink offers a sense of sophistication and a requisite dose of femininity. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that there are layers to the romantic hue.
Pink has enjoyed an interesting evolution over the years, and our perceptions of it have been influenced by many things, not least of which is the idea that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys”. In fact, research shows children tend to favor blue regardless of gender, and that girls’ inclination toward pink is largely developed based on environmental factors. Because gender-stereotyped color dressing is so common right from infancy, children develop preferences for these familiar colors as they grow older. And while it may be Barbie’s signature hue, pink has begun to shed its saccharin image. In 2017, a creamy, rose shade known as “Millennial Pink” became the color of the moment, and today the conversations we’re having about gender roles are seeing men embrace pink as a wardrobe essential.
Each of pink’s array of variations embodies different energies. This season, designers sent their own shades of the color down the SS21 runway showing just how versatile the hue truly is and the myriad feelings it can evoke. At Balmain, structured power suits in fuschia conveyed power and confidence, while the bubblegum-colored day dresses seen at Chloe conjured up a sense of youthful cheer and romance. Alexander McQueen and Prada meanwhile embraced the palest of pinks, offering a subdued take on an inherently vivacious color.
Welcome the shade into your wardrobe gently this Spring with the electric pink peppered, vacation-ready frocks of designer Doreen Mashika. Her Tamu shirtdress is a summer classic and its contrasting wide belt wraps around the waist to create a beautifully defined silhouette. Emblazoned on the cotton dress is a traditional Zanzibari Kanga-inspired print, delivering doses of fuschia that are striking but don’t overwhelm. The brand’s Asali style offers similar splashes of pink albeit in a slightly milder shade, while the dress’s flowing silhouette and semi-asymmetrical hem extend the relaxed playfulness imparted by its rosy pattern.
If it’s pared-back, easygoing elegance you’re after, turn to Taibo Bacar’s Rose Mandevo Shirtdress or Street Pajama set. Rendered in a pale pink silk-sateen, the garment is artisanally made by local communities and exudes an eclectic yet ultra-feminine spirit. Head-to-toe pink not your style? The Mozambican brand’s Rose Mandevo shirt is cut from a printed, cotton candy-hued chiffon that looks sensational yet subtle when paired with a pair of classic blue jeans and a simple stiletto sandal.
Forgo subtlety entirely with Viviers’ Stretch Top in energizing hot pink. Artisanally crafted and featuring hand-stitched sashiko detailing, the fitted, long-sleeve piece will make any ensemble pop. Wear with tailored staples or pack an even stronger punch with the South African brand’s Peonie Shirtdress. Its coloring is a jolt of sartorial joy, a youthful, potent, and aggressively feminine pink that makes a bold statement. And let’s not forget the salmon-toned pinks. A more “fly under the radar” shade than the irrepressibly sunny hues, Emmy Kasbit’s dusty rose Daisy Akwete Skirt and matching jacket are cut from Akwete cloth and when paired together make for a perfectly pretty take on traditional suiting. Diarrablu’s Salmon Pink Umy Jumpsuit and Marieme Dress meanwhile are sleek and simple options that deliver solid hues in doses that are light and peachy.
Break up the monotony of an ensemble led by neutral separates with a few statement accessories in the shade. These minimalist hints allow you to dip your toe into the trend slowly, and thankfully, there are ample accessories available in the color. Both Moroccan brand MYKILIM’s Hina Fanfold Crossbody bag and Pichulik’s Egun Rose Necklace are subtle ways of rocking the color. The former is crafted from a bright, sherbet pink shade of hand-dyed leather and traditional Moroccan Kilim embroidery, while the latter is made from a combination of rose quartz, rope, and copper, both pieces going beautifully with a simple summer slip dress.
Uplifting, optimistic, and evocative of nostalgic feelings of summertime and childhood, pink has proven an enduring and reliable staple. And today’s pink is powerful. It’s passionate, intense, and exciting, at other times cheerful, playful and endearing—but it’s still pretty, too.
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