Words Sally Matthews • Artwork Nour Algharabally

Feminist, fabulous and a total mood. Why pink is the most empowering shade in your wardrobe right now.

Just a couple of weeks ago I opened my Instagram to an infinite scroll of fuchsia. Designer Jacquemus had just held his 10th-anniversary show in France, and to say it was a mood would be an understatement. Within minutes, everyone from influencers to colleagues had reposted the sun-kissed models parading down the hot pink catwalk. Yes, the collection was a triumph but it was the shock of fuchsia slicing through a picture-perfect Provence field that captured our imaginations and confirmed pink’s status as queen of the colour wheel.

The truth is the unrelenting staying power of pink is so much more than just pretty clickbait. Since Pantone announced “Rose Quartz” – aka Millenial Pink – the colour of the year in 2016 its momentum has grown, just as women’s voices and platforms have. From the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement to fighting for more gender equality, this need to be heard has been visually played out in rosy hues. What was once considered a saccharine-sweet colour reserved for the Baby Spice’s of the world, has now become a powerful signifier for femininity and strength.

We have taken ownership of the inherently “girly” with bows, ruffles, and Alice bands all making a comeback on our catwalks and it seems rather than choosing from a more masculine wardrobe we are dressing from a female playbook. When TV drama Killing Eve chose a frothy Molly Goddard dress for its complex assassin character, Villanelle, it immediately catapulted the character into the public’s psyche and showcased brilliantly the metamorphic transition from sweet to serious force. Not to mention some of our favourite red carpet looks – step forward Tracee Ellis Ross, whose unapologetic visions of magenta have filled best-dressed column inches, whilst Saoirse Ronan’s blush Oscars gown complete with an oversize bow was the perfect pairing of strength and sophistication. Layer onto that the Met Gala’s “Camp” theme this year, complete with a bougie bubblegum carpet and a taffeta entrenched Lady Gaga, and it’s clear pink shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it has also bled into Men’s Fashion Week, as society asks for a softer (and less toxic) take on masculinity from today’s men.

It’s no surprise that the hue has also become synonymous with a new wave of inclusive brands which are celebrating diversity and inclusivity. If Glossier’s stickers, slides, and Instagram feed have taught us anything it’s that pink is a shade (and community) we all want to be associated with. Whilst all-female club The Wing embraced the shade in their interior to host heavyweight talks from likes of Yara Shahidi and Hilary Clinton nestled in soft rosy furnishings. Most recently when women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe stood up to Trump,  her hair colour of choice? Pink. A subtle reinforcement of female power.

And as we navigate turbulent political times perhaps our need or want to see the world through rose-tinted glasses may also explain pink’s single-handed takedown of the colour wheel. Granted, from soft muted tones to high octane versions that pack a punch, pink has always been fabulous, but now it just seems to mean more, a way of navigating who we are. Forget peacocking – we are in the era of the flamingo and we are ready to shake our tail feathers accordingly.


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