Why Pink Is Hollywood’s Favorite Post-Pandemic Power Hue
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At this year’s Oscars, Zoë Kravitz charmed in a champagne pink gown from Saint Laurent, while at the Met Gala Glenn Close stunned in a neon magenta blouse and trousers topped by an embroidered cape from Valentino. Harry Styles and Lizzo, meanwhile, wore hot pink pants paired with shaggy oversized coats at Coachella. Everywhere one looks this spring, as we emerge from our pandemic doldrums, the world seems to be telling us one thing: Think pink.
It’s hard to know where this recent style obsession with pink originally began, but one could point to Melrose Avenue in 2005. After all, it’s there and then that the now-iconic neon pink wall first appeared, the brainchild of designer Paul Smith, who was looking to distinguish his tony men’s boutique from the gritty, graffitied urban sprawl that surrounded it.
“I remember exclaiming, ‘We need to make the Eiffel Tower!’ ” the designer explained recently in an email. “And by that I meant something that was different and stood out against the skyline.” The color was inspired, in part, by the happy hue that was a favorite of Mexican architect Luis Barragán and the idea that, contrasted against L.A.’s blue sky, it would be an instant traffic-stopper. He was right, of course. And though it debuted a full five years before Instagram appeared, the Paul Smith pink wall was a harbinger of things to come, beckoning a tidal wave of wannabe influencers and selfie-takers looking for the perfect picture.
In the intervening years, pink has increased its chokehold on the zeitgeist, with a particular shade of pale pink becoming ubiquitous. It became the preferred hue of brands ranging from Acne Studios and Glossier, or spaces like West Hollywood’s Alfred Coffee or the restaurant Sketch in London. It’s migrated to runways, to apartment walls, to gadgets (see: iPhone’s rose gold, launched in 2015) and to website pages and marketing materials as far as the eye can see. The writer Véronique Hyland, in 2016, even affixed it to a generation, dubbing it “millennial pink,” a name that has stuck, for better or worse. It’s an “ironic pink,” she wrote for The Cut at the time. “Pink without the sugary prettiness. It’s a non-color that doesn’t commit, whose semi-ugliness is proof of its sophistication.” That same year, Pantone named a powdery salmon tone, Rose Quartz, as its color of the year.
“Millennial pink definitely defined an era,” says Anjela Freyja, a creative director and design historian who often pontificates about colors and their broad meanings to her 83,000 TikTok followers. “And I believe that era is over now.” Tiffany Howell, of the interior design firm Night Palm, says that home decor often follows fashion, and so, around five years ago, “everyone wanted pink everything.” It’s still a top request, and many clients come to her looking for their “pink moment.”
Clare Coulson, a color strategist at the trend forecasting firm WGSN, says the shade represented a feeling of openness and positivity that, it can be hard to remember, permeated the pre-Trump years when we were still in the blush (pun intended) of social media. “Millennial pink pushed boundaries to become a gender-neutral color that felt empowering, youthful and wearable,” she says. “Millennials loved it for its Instagrammability and the openness this hue had to gender diversity.” Freyja agrees: “I suspect, for the first time in over a century, pink was able to take on genderless qualities, and there was something very novel and fresh about that.” Previously a man wearing pink could raise eyebrows in certain circles (though rapper Cam’ron certainly created a sensation and a trend when he rocked his Killa Pink look back in 2002).
Howell notes its stirring effect and versatility. “It evokes a big emotional response in people and has quite a range,” she says. “It can be deeply romantic and also act as a neutral to soften spaces.”
The shade proliferated far and wide, which, in recent years, has led to burnout in certain design circles. “Although I still love certain shades of pink, I personally have just used it a lot as a designer and was bored of it,” Howell admits. But now, as we (fingers crossed!) leave the pandemic behind us, tastemakers are considering what’s next for the color.
The verdict is that pink is far from dead, but it’s not the same powdery shade of a few years back. The color, it appears, has bifurcated, moving toward two extremes (like the United States as a whole). To one side there is garish neon pink and on the other a pastel putty tint, even more muted than the millennial version.
“We’re definitely seeing a resurgence of hot pink,” says Freyja. For proof, just look to Valentino’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection, which was rendered half in all black and half in a shocking, slap-in-the-face fluorescent pink, which the brand has dubbed Valentino Pink PP. It’s celebratory and begging for a post-pandemic party. “After spending two years trapped in our houses, there seems to be a craving for color. We all need some color and joy,” Freyja says. “Bright colors are feel-good and provide energetic respite from our ‘work from home’ leggings and jogging pants.”
Coulson says that shades of pink on the fall runways were up 138 percent year-over-year, pointing toward the Valentino show as proof. The streetwear website Highsnobiety recently suggested this brighter new hue is a fiery riposte to millennial pink’s soothing serenity, dubbing it “Hot Pink Fury.”
Conversely, Howell says she’s been favoring more mellow, soothing shades in her design work of late. “I am using more earthy and dreamy pink hues reminiscent of old Italian villas or faded buildings in Paris,” she says. “There is something sexy and exotic to these shades. I think after being stuck at home for so long, people are longing to incorporate some of these nostalgic places into their homes. There is no denying that everyone looks gorgeous in a beautifully lit, soft pink room, and who doesn’t want that?” Examples of softer tones in the fashion world include the beaded rosé Armani Privé gown that Elle Fanning just debuted in Cannes. Coulson notes that, in her forecasting work for summer 2024, she foresees not only bolder shades of pink but muted ones as well (their charming names are Fondant Pink and Pink Diamond).
What else does Coulson see in her crystal ball? “Our obsession with pink will continue to build,” she says. “We don’t see it going anywhere just yet.”
This story first appeared in the June 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/style/pink-color-hollywood-fashion-harry-styles-sebastian-stan-1235156498/