La Vie en Rose: how fashion fell for the new mood of pink

Eliza Scarborough   |   18 - 05 - 2017

From powder pink to Pepto Bismol, if there’s one colour you need on your radar next season it’s pink.

Formerly the preserve of little girls’ toys and kitsch women like Barbie, pink has recently been reclaimed by designers, who have recovered it from the clutches of sickly sweet gender stereotypes, and positioned it at the centre of their aesthetic. When the Parisian triptych of Céline, Givenchy and Chanel decree it the shade of the summer, you’d better believe it.


Embraced in head to toe looks, the undeniable colour trend was a permanent fixture across all the shows on the Spring Summer catwalks, most notably at Valentino, where under the frescoes and chandeliers of the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 28 of the 64 looks were blushing in shades of bubble-gum to fuchsia. Focussing on Paris, Balenciaga kicked off in a hangar-sized venue on the Périphérique with a statement ruched watermelon-pink dress slashed to one hip, and paired with lavender, while at Céline, the shade was flamingo, draped with a cape neckline, and at Givenchy, in the gardens of the Natural History Museum it was watercolour patterns in ballet-slipper rose.


Although, of course there were also the more eccentric Italians in Milan, such as the expected outlandish looks at Gucci in electric shades of the colourway, and presented in a pinker than pink set, or Prada who also had a more-is-more approach, mixing pink pieces resplendent with feathers and embroidery, with a bold blend of contrasting separates.


This could all be a backlash against the minimalism of normcore from seasons past, and a reaction to the maximalist Gucci effect which is still in full force, with feminine pieces artfully thrown together in a party of prints, colours, and textures. Or otherwise, and seemingly more likely, it is related to the concept that hyper-femininity is increasing in popularity.



Feminism is back, and there was a particularly female moment at Paris fashion week for Spring Summer. Even before Kim Kardashian’s ordeal, the Paris fashion week headlines were about women alone, from Rihanna channelling Marie Antoinette at Fenty x Puma, to the debut of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first woman to design Christian Dior. Grazia Chiuri’s influence has been pervasive, not just in her slogan feminism at Dior, but in that her rise to prominence has put the Valentino look with which she made her name, at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The moral is, that women are conquering, and with that comes the most relatable colour of the spectrum, rosy pink.


The one caveat with this seasons colour of choice, is that it’s divisive. It’s too wrapped up in gender connotations to be judged objectively. Altogether more political, pink is likely to be dismissed because of what it might say about you, however what we can learn from the trailblazers of the fashion industry is that to be ahead, it is to be assured in your fashion choices. So now, between the designers conjuring pieces too irresistible to ignore, and the style-setting women proving that it is the colour of the season, it is time to embrace the joyful hue, be strong, empowered and inspiring, because pink is officially cool.