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  • Ava C. Green

Is Pink the New Black?

By Ava C. Green, Features Editor

For years, the fashion industry has been taken over by the sleek, black, Kardashian-esque look in clothing. How could it not, though? Black is a staple in any wardrobe and really does go with everything. But is it really that impressive?

Me, I know a color that makes itself known rather than being a default. I know a color that is proven to increase feelings of hope and positivity. I know a color that always delivers and can save any fashion disaster. “What is this color?” you may be asking. Well, I dare you to think pink!

Pink was worn all over Europe in the 1700s; it was popular for wealthy men and women and paid homage to the troops as an offshoot of the red military uniforms worn at the time. In turn, it was a masculine color representing strength and power. In ancient India and China, pink was also a color for the upper class and influential people because of the expense of dyeing the fabrics such a luxurious color for that time.

A century and a half later, pink would be worn in the West by women at home while men were clothed in dark, dreary factory garb. The feminization of pink began with the color's association with dainty, caring housewives. Pink quickly became sexualized because of the lighter shades of pink being worn in lingerie. Regardless of the associations, people were unable to see that femininity and power can coexist — and actually go hand in hand. Pink became “a girl color,” losing its prominence in defining status and power.

It’s time to give the color pink her flowers as we reclaim this color as the default closet staple that it should be. When you wear pink, you should be carrying yourself with the same class and confidence of the elite of yesteryear. You can bring all that swagger — minus the disgusting wealth, questionable (at best) forms of governance and inflated ego — to your everyday life with the incorporation of this lovely color.

People tend to reject pink as a professional color option because of its assumed playfulness — a quality not commonly associated with professionalism. It’s hard to deny that certain air of cuteness that is hard-wired in almost every way the color is worn. But pink catches the eye and tells the onlooker that your conscious choice to wear pink (a bold and regal color) must be a testament to your own boldness and regality. While I love how graceful and sweet pink can be, this more domineering and executive styling gives the color a depth, not only in hue but also in what it can express.

Speaking of hues, pink has a wide range of shades, all of which have completely different undertones and implications. “Barbie pink” and hot pink are being sported everywhere — hopefully in anticipation of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie.” This in-your-face color demands attention, unlike the soft “millennial pink” that was popular years ago. It excites me to see this bright and bold pink often paired with black in an early-2000s grunge style. I find this type of combination evocative of the messy, punk, hyper-feminized style of icons like Betsey Johnson.

Valentino recently trademarked their own shade of vibrant pink which they (strangely) named “Pink PP by Valentino.” In promoting it, the fashion house dressed celebrities in “pink-outs,” or monochromatic outfits, in this Valentino pink. Supposedly, the bright overload of pink is supposed to make the individual textural and patterned elements of the garment more visible. These outfits strike an uncanny resemblance to the aforementioned aristocratic apparel and makes me hopeful for a future where pink means business.

The resurgence of this color on the runway is exciting for pink lovers everywhere, and it should be equally exciting to those still intimidated by the color. Perhaps this is my way of making myself feel better about the copious amounts of pink fabric that fill my closet, but I truly believe that there is such a joy in playing with colors and expression. Its allure is contagious and transfers to the wearers themselves, and I promise you that once you find your shade of pink, this will all make sense.

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