“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
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)
Don’t be afraid to wear pink!
Shocking as it may seem, for someone whose 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 a 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 of 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 is 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.
New to me, late 1930s sequins blouse in a beautiful shade of pink appeared in one of my favourite films with Bette Davis, Old Acquaintance (1943). you can read more about it here!
Lots of beauteous pink in Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
For my pink look I chose;
Pink Prada top
Grey and pink Vivienne Westwood trousers
Pink WITTCHEN shoes
Vintage 20’s brooch
Don’t be afraid to wear pink!