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Shocking Pink: Pink Through The Decades

Shocking Pink: Pink Through The Decades

The colour Pink has always been a statement colour throughout the decades, associated with having a powerful, bold energy. Many different variations of Pink have trended, from soft Baby Pink to Shocking Pink. The colour has carried a lot of different meanings behind it over time, but it has always remained a symbol of femininity and strength. One thing that has stayed consistent whilst the trending hue of Pink has evolved and changed over time, is that Pink has never gone out of fashion. 

Pink was first noted as being a “fashionable” colour in the West in the mid 1700’s, worn by European aristocrats to symbolise their wealth and class. This variation of Pink was a pale, light tone, and was worn equally by both men and women. 

The colour continued to evolve and grow in popularity within the fashion industry over time, quickly shifting from its previous associations of being a unisex colour, to strongly representing femininity, being worn by many strong and influential women. 

ic: Schiaparelli's Schocking Pink

One of the most significant moments and evolutions for Pink in fashion, was the creation of “Shocking Pink” by Elsa Schiaparelli. It is noted that her designs with the colour contributed to and paved the way for many future designers in regard to the colour Pink. Elsa Schiaparelli was known for being a revolutionary of her time with her extravagant and bold designs. Naturally, she created a signature hue of pink for her designs, naming it “Shocking Pink”. Schiaparelli’s work with Pink continued to inspire designs from here, providing strong influences for many future designers. “Shocking Pink” paved the way for the future of Pink in fashion. 

The Colour Pink has always been known for making dramatically influential and iconic appearances in Fashion. From features in film, TV, on Broadway and on the Runway. One of the first most noticeable debuts of Pink was in the 1950’s. 


In the 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, Marilyn Monroe debuted an iconic pink look consisting of a bright pink silk, strapless gown with matching silk gloves and a large asymmetrical bow on the back, designed by William Travilla. 


In the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, Audrey Hepburn wore an elegant and vibrant pink cocktail dress designed by Givenchy. The elegant sleeveless dress featured a tied bow belt and delicate rhinestones. The iconic look was completed with a bright pink matching satin coat. 


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The pink jackets worn by the “Pink Ladies” in the 1978 film “Grease”, showcased that Pink could be worn not just as pretty ballgowns, but could also be a symbol of an edgier style. The Pink Ladies’ Candyfloss pink bomber style jackets were paired with multi-coloured chequered and black pencil maxi skirts, to show off the different styles of the characters. 


Pretty in Pink

“Pretty in Pink”, the 1986 film saw Molly Ringwald as “Andie” debuted a pretty pink prom dress. The powder pink dress featured a halter neckline with a lace feature, cut out shoulder design and puff sleeves. The silk gown has an all over polka dot print adding to the piece.  


In 1999, at the Academy Awards, actress Gwyneth Paltrow wore a fairy tale pale pink taffeta gown designed by Ralph Lauren to accept her Oscar for best actress. The satin gown was compared to the style of Grace Kelly, featuring thin straps with a modest V neckline and a fitted bodice, contrasting the full skirt. 


Legally BlondeThe character “Elle Woods” from the 2001 film “Legally Blonde”, is known for having a elegant -chic style, especially with her chic pink outfits. The film showcased a varied of very feminine, fun, and fashionable pink outfits which reflects the famous quote from the movie, in the words of Elle Woods, “Whoever said orange is the new pink, was seriously disturbed”. 


One of the more recent notable pink pieces comes from Lady Gaga’s appearance at the 2019 Met Gala, wearing a bright fuchsia pink, oversized dress, designed by Brandon Maxwell. The main focus of the dress was its hot pink statement colour, along with the long cape train that took up the majority of the red carpet. The satin dress also featured puff sleeves, a bow tied around the waist and a large bow headpiece to match, making it a showstopping piece in pink.  


Plumager Fashion Textile Print Trend Blog

Katie Kelly

Katie Kelly is a recent Textile Design, and Business and Marketing Graduate from Scotland. She loves travelling, exploring new places and doing anything creative. While studying, Katie specialised in printed textiles, and loves creating all types of prints and patterns, especially experimenting with colour and texture!
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