Think pink!

by Monday, April 18, 2016

“Think pink! think pink! when you shop for summer clothes.

Think pink! think pink! if you want that quel-que chose.

Red is dead, blue is through,

Green’s obscene, brown’s taboo.

And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce

—or chartreuse.

Think pink! forget that Dior says black and rust.

Think pink! who cares if the new look has no bust.

Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman

what a woman oughtta think,

But tell her if she’s gotta think: think pink!”  Funny Face (1957)

Shocking as it may seem, for someone who’s wardrobe consists predominantly of black clothes, to devote an article to the colour pink and yes, it could be argued that I may have lost my mind, in such a way as is often found in those who have previously dedicated so much attention to the colour, in my defence, I would argue that pink has its place in the history of fashion and perhaps it is time for a return to the colour (she says with a Wednesday Addams-esque smile and by the way, in the original black & white TV version of The Addams Family, the house interior colour was mainly pink as it made for better contrast).

OK, so it’s the colour of little girls, Lolita, of Lady Penelope and Molly Ringwood aka Pretty in Pink. However, it’s also the prevailing colour of my favourite period of time, the French Court of the 18th Century, where pink was cultivated by the likes of Madame de Pompadour, mistress to King Louis XV of France. You’ll be able to see that if you watch my much loved film Dangerous Liaisons, where Glenn Close who plays the infamous Marquise de Merteuil, wears the most exquisite pink dresses, as can be seen in the photos below.

By the 19th Century, pink had not only been favoured by women but it was also very popular colour  worn by young boys as an alternative to red worn by men in the army. As we head into the 20th Century, pink made a comeback, becoming brighter, bolder thanks to Elsa Schiaparelli who in 1931 created a fashionable new shade of the colour, called “shocking pink”, by mixing magenta with white.

It’s unfortunate that a lot appearances by the colour are lost to us because so many films from the 30s and 40s were shot in black & white. However by the 50s, when Technicolor became a guaranteed theatre-seat filler, pink shows its acceptance and maturity, putting in appearances from Marilyn Monroe’s major breakthrough films of the period, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, both released in 1953. Her gorgeous pink dresses being the creation of Travilla (who you can read more about here). Audrey Hepburn was another one of its fans. Considered by many to be a style icon of the same era, she loved wearing pink both in films and in her private life. The quote at the start of this article being from her 1957 film Funny Face.

So, despite my reservations, I have to admit that pink rightly deserves to have some space devoted to it. She says while sipping pink champagne from her Marie Antoinette-inspired champagne coupe glass. Chin chin darlings and don’t worry, next time I’ll be back in black.

Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons

Audrey Hepburn in pink

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy, photographed by Norman Parkinson. On the right the perfect ballerina flats by Pretty Ballerinas.

 

 

vintage dress

In the picture on the left: vintage 50’s rose silk jacquard shirtwaist dress. In the picture on the right: vintage 50s-60s cotton Kerry Brooke dress. You can buy them (if they are not sold out yet!) from the queen of vintage fashion CULT OF CHIFFON.

Hedy Lamarr in pink

In the picture on the left the beautiful Hedy Lamarr, a great style inspiration. On the right 50s pink cashmere cardigan with cherry blossom embroidery from THE CULT OF CHIFFON shop.

For my Think pink look I opted for:

Pink Vintage Prada top

Grey and pink Vivienne Westwood trousers

Pink WITTCHEN shoes

Vintage 20’s brooch

Versace glasses

vintage style

For the How to wear pink look I’ve opted for vintage Prada top, Vivienne Westwood trousers, Wittchen shoes and vintage 20s brooch.

Vintage fashion

vintage fashion

vintage style

vintage garter belt

My beautiful vintage garter belt I bought years ago at one of the London vintage fairs.

Pink lips

If you are still not convinced about wearing pink clothes, you can start with pink lips 🙂 Beautiful photography by Gregory Michael King.

3 Responses
  • Archiverie Vintage
    April 20, 2016

    That pink in your vintage Prada top is my favourite shade of pink to wear! Have you heard of the knitwear designer Ryan Roche? She makes fluffy cashmere sweaters in these sexy barely-there beige-pinks.
    I recently purchased a 20s silk velvet opera coat in pale pink — how’s that for decadent?
    And I am also a huge fan of Cult of Chiffon!

  • Madame Chiffon
    April 19, 2016

    Finally…a proper paen to pink! I find that dressing in lots of black by day, and pretty pastels by night, best fulfills all my needs: practical, aesthetic, and romantic. My vintage pink silks, satins, and chiffons help me to dream. I’ve always believed there are no inherently “cool” colors, only cool people who wear certain colors well. Ideally, stylish people imbue the fashions/colors they choose with layers of meaning (pun intended) that help refresh our way of seeing. Not unlike all the stylish gents now confidently incorporating pink (and other “feminine” colors) in their wardrobes…very refreshing indeed. It is a privilege and genuine pleasure to be included in this article. Thank you, Dominique! xx

    • Dominique de Merteuil
      April 19, 2016

      Thank you for the wonderful comment Madame Chiffon! I’m utterly obsessed with your vintage shop!

      Dominique

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