Pink became one of the hottest trends of 2016 and continues to be in style in 2017. Fashion houses, high street stores and street style all contributed to the trend. Popular brands produced their classic designs in numerous shades of pink, whilst pink gowns, streetwear and accessories became a thing. Not only did the colour become a trend within clothing, but it became a popular colour within styling sets, backdrops and imagery. Pink was channelled across fashion from the highest of brands like Chanel and Valentino, to fast fashion outlets, such as Missguided.
The new shade of pink is termed ‘millennial pink’ and represents the fourth wave of feminism, as well as gender fluidity. Us millennials are referred to as the internet generation, socially educated and the ‘DIY’ generation, which is why we have broken down conservative traditions and social constructions which oppress certain groups. Millennial pink therefore signifies the freedom of this generation, allowing freedom of sexuality and gender expression.
Pink traditionally corresponds with girls being feminine and innocent. At present, fashion has used pink and reverted its connation by changing the meaning of what it is to wear pink. Fyodor Golan’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collection features the cartoon, The Powerpuff Girls, and quotes the line “Don’t call me princess”. Buttercup uses the line when fighting a villain who reinforced gender stereotypes. The fashion duo incorporated this scene into their garment, and used the colour pink to show that women can appear ‘girly’, but should not be subjected to gender stereotypes.
The trend especially challenges the gender stigma through men’s fashion. More specifically, millennial pink continues to be a trend in men’s streetwear. British rapper Che Lingo poses in pink clothing and against a pink backdrop. The rise of males in industries such as rap and hip hop, which has a long history of being sexist and prejudice towards gender fluidity, demonstrates men displaying confidence in their own masculinity and sexual identity, suggesting that they can embrace and respect all genders.
Menswear fashion brands are continuing to use pink to challenge gender norms. The brand Art School challenges gender stereotypes, as their ready-to-wear fashion is unisex clothing which blurs the lines between menswear and womenswear to represent modern society. The brand uses fashion to explore queerness, challenging the differences between male and female that fashion has constructed. Wearing pink just got a whole new meaning – the colour represents openness and an acceptance of gender differences.