There’s no colour other than hot pink that’s more glamorous right now as seen on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet. Leading stars and global influencers are dialing up the glamour quotient at the Cannes Red Carpet looking pretty in pink. Who says we need to be a ‘Mean Girl’ to wear pink only on Wednesdays. The pink parade has been captivating as seen from the world's grandest red-carpet events such as the 2022 Cannes Film Festival or the Grammy Awards with stars from around the world unapologetically donning the "look at me" colour.
Pink’s road to reinvention
Long before, it was just a colour associated to depict feminine stereotypes. Age-old society’s problems were thrown into the hands of such a warm shade. Was it a simple colour’s fault? Where was the colour to go from here?
One of the most defining movies of the early 2000s would be Legally Blonde. The movie is pretty much synonymous with pink. It single-handedly proved that pink isn't just meant for giggly-girly individuals as stereotyped and anyone who loves all things pink should not be discounted at first glance. The movie offered longevity, especially to the colour pink which truly is having a moment now - from the runways to the streets.
Now, pink is back in a big way. Once a controversial shade on the colour wheel is now the colour of the season. Drake's Hotline Bling video swept the world in 2015, and the electric pink background in the video became the new millennial pink. It’s a renegade pink shade. You may still use it to decode femininity, but it’s no longer expressed to dampen it down.
Similarly in 2019, the international fashion runways screamed pink. Designers including Alexander McQueen, Molly Goddard, Valentino, Brandon Maxwell, Moschino, Christopher Kane, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Jacquemus turned to pink for inspiration as well. In the past, pink had an image problem; today, it is being subtly reappropriated.
“Shades of pink are the most empowering hues for me. It’s about reclaiming the positive sense of boldness and femininity that lies within it. It’s uprooting the age-old stereotypes associated with it and it’s all about boldly reclaiming the shade,” tells renowned global fashion influencer and entrepreneur, Masoom Minawala who recently walked the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival wearing pink two times.
Cut to 2022, designers now have embraced pink on a whole different level. A recent example is designer Pierpaolo Piccioli showcasing 40 different silhouettes for the Valentino Autumn/Winter’22 collection all in one shade, hot pink. This hot pink shade is now hard to ignore. This collection was so powerful that Pierpaolo’s pink has been added to Pantone’s official colour range as ‘Pink PP’. Pink is having its coming-of-age moment and fashion aficionados have turned it into a political statement of beauty.
Celebrities, Cannes & beyond
The colour is everywhere you look. Take the example of the recent ongoing Cannes Film Festival. With two Indians embracing this iconic pink shade from head to toe in all its glory at the event, it deserves a spot in Indian fashion history.
As one of the first Indian celebrities to make it to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a veteran when it comes to captivating audiences with her sartorial choices. As she graced the 75th Cannes this year, her very first look was the statement-making hot pink pantsuit from Valentino. It was a slightly billowy power suit styled with pointed-toe heels that left a lasting impression. Aishwarya channelled her boss lady charm - something the colour pink would want to take a stand for in the 21st century.
Back at the Cannes Film Festival for the third time, Masoom Minawala’s first look from the event included a hot pink head-to-toe Valentino ensemble. “Pink has always been my favourite colour. With my love for monochrome, I never let go of a chance to embrace an ensemble like this, especially when it’s in the Valentino pink. It truly has my heart,” she tells about her look. A mini dress paired with pink tights, chunky platform high heels and a quilted pink bag made a statement on its own.
Actor Katherine Langford also wore a Valentino sweet pink ensemble - a ball-gown-like dress that came with a long train to the Cannes Film Festival. In spite of the high-octane style, pink remained the warm tone that evoked joy and love.
However, it’s particularly Valentino’s striking pink that is trending now, making a bolder statement. From Zendaya debuting the colour of the season at Valentino’s show itself to Gigi Hadid out and about in New York in them—and not to forget, the leading men of the industry have been repping it too. In a time when celebrity fashion still sets the tone and trends, it’s amazing how they have let pink become an epitome, a signifier of strength rather than frailty.
As the conversation about gender fluidity has grown, pink has become an emerging symbol of blurring of lines beyond reductive gender-binary terms. Boys are matching and wearing pink, pink sneakers have exploded onto the male fashion scene - it’s a colour that’s sweeping e-sports, along with other traditionally male-dominated areas, indicating a shift in aesthetic for male consumers.
Take it from actor Sebastian Stan who walked the recently concluded Met Gala in a totally monochromatic pink look from Valentino - featuring a long overcoat, matching long sleeve shirt, bomber jacket and trousers, all in the same shade of hot pink. Even musician and artist, Travis Barker wore a beautiful, silky Valentino pink overcoat at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. Today, the colour pink is unconventional and distinctive now, making it favoured by male consumers who want to express their unique personalities.
So where is the colour pink headed from this cultural zeitgeist moment? Well, hoard the colour and its many hues because it is here to stay this time. It’s synonymous with the hue of wellness, an injection of positivity and escapism. Because this new pink is the shade du jour.