The cultish millennial pink hue shows no sign of wavering this year

The colour pink has always had a rather complex relationship with fashion. Its connotations as a girly, feminine shade didn’t come into prominence until the early 20th century and before that was symbiotic with masculinity due to being a diminutive of powerful, passionate red. In Japan in particular the colour pink has always held a masculine association, the annual spring blooming of pink-blossomed cherry trees is said to represent the young Japanese Samurai warriors who fell in battle. Historically women have been more inclined to be depicted in art by the colour blue due to the serene colour traditionally being worn by the pure Virgin Mary. However in the 1950s women in the West started to claim the colour pink with the likes of film stars such as Marilyn Monroe sporting the shade in 1953’s How to Marry A Millionaire and Jayne Mansfield kitting out her Sunset Boulevard Mansion, the Pink Palace, in the bubble gum shade, complete with a heart-shaped pool and strawberry-tiled bathroom.

Since the 1950s fashion designers have flirted with the romantic shade, from Acne Studio’s debut slogan pink tote bags in 2007, Jonathan Saunders showcasing pretty powdery pink coats at Paris Fashion Week in 2013 and Pantone selecting Rose Quartz as the joint colour of 2016 (alongside Serenity blue). “The colour represents a balance of strength and softness. People want to show they are strong, but also loving,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute.

The haute shade of choice, millennial pink (or ‘Tumblr’ pink to the Internet generation), first made its prominence in back in 2016 at the global catwalk shows and its street-cred appeal has shown no sign of faltering.

Softer than bubble-gum and bolder than pastel, the colour was mentioned over 32,000 times online in 2017, according to Brandwatch data. For 2018 the softly, softly approach to the tone has been reinvented in a wide array of colourways from sugary pastel milkshake to eye-catching flamingo. Across the SS18 fashion weeks showcases designers put their stamp on highly covetable pink and reinterpreted it in all manner of different ways. Sachin & Babi paid homage to the classic 50s Hollywood essence with a saccharine satin number, part princessy, part homecoming queen – brought into the 21st century with quirky embellished red lip detailing.

Christopher Kane played to the perennial favourite streetwear trend (another fashion craze holding steadfast), models dressed in oversized androgynous zippy sweaters in a pale blush colour, while at Aalto trench coats and matching trousers were given a metallic multi-dimensional sheen clearly portraying a ‘more is definitely more’ attitude. Victoria Beckham’s shirt/trousers combo played with two-tone pink, reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s striking ombre Grand Budapest Hotel, and a far cry from her usual sober all-black ensembles. “I really enjoy wearing colour. For such a long time I wore black all the time, and when you start wearing colour it lifts you,” she said of the new vision for her SS18 collection. Fyodor Golan also echoed this sentiment presenting a hot pink ruffled bandeau dress.

So what shade should you be wearing? With names like salmon, blush, coral and even pale dogwood no one would blame you for wanting to bypass the trend altogether. For girls with warm undertones a deep raspberry is your best friend. Neutral undertones can rock pale rose tones, while cool skinned beauties should opt for magenta and hot pink to avoid looking washed out. For those wanting to dip their toe into pink choose a ladylike cross-body bag or a kitsch pair of sunglasses. If you’re less of the shy and retiring type nothing beats a full-on pant suit.

Whether it’s pink wafer shades, Barbie candy floss or bold fuchsia – pink is undoubtedly the hue of the season and possibly even the millennial generation.