There is noth­ing mel­low about “Gen Z yel­low”, set to brighten up liv­ing spa­ces – and moods

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - by Neale Whi­taker

Neale Whi­taker lifts the mood with Gen Z yel­low.

With good light­ing and a fair wind, I can pass for Gen X, but Gen Z? I most def­i­nitely am not. And yet I’m em­brac­ing “Gen Z yel­low”, the colour trend that’s rip­ping through the de­sign world, with all the gusto of a mil­len­nial. Move over pink, you might just have met your Wa­ter­loo.

One of my favourite In­sta­gram­mers @as­poon­fulof­ben­jamin re­cently posted a riot of bright yel­low vases and ves­sels that I can only de­scribe as glo­ri­ous. If ever there was a mood-defin­ing im­age, this was it. And take a look at the cur­rent col­lec­tions of zeit­geisty brands like Copen­hagen-based Mu­uto (avail­able at to see some of the zesty de­signs I’m crav­ing. Like the Rest se­ries sofa or the Un­fold rub­ber pen­dant light – both in yel­low, of course. The lat­ter even comes in two colour choices most ac­cu­rately ex­pressed through mus­tards – hot English or Di­jon.

Yet de­spite be­ing the colour of spring, smiley emo­jis, op­ti­mism, en­light­en­ment and heav­enly Cire Trudon can­dles, yel­low has a tricky rep­u­ta­tion. It’s cer­tainly not the easiest colour to wear. Years ago I owned an eye-wa­ter­ingly ex­pen­sive yel­low silk shirt by ’80s uber-fashionista Katharine Ham­nett. Mag­nif­i­cent as it un­doubt­edly was, I don’t re­call it ever leav­ing my wardrobe. Ahead of my time? What­ever spin I put on it, the les­son learnt was that ca­nary yel­low/english com­plex­ion/bri­tish cli­mate should never ap­pear in the same sen­tence.

If mil­len­nial pink was a nod to­wards gen­der flu­id­ity, then yel­low’s ap­peal might be even sim­pler. A ray of sun­shine in dark and trou­bled times. But if fash­ion de­sign­ers have em­braced ev­ery yel­low in the spec­trum, in­te­rior de­sign­ers are slightly more cau­tious. A lit­tle goes a long way. Mel­bourne in­te­rior de­signer Fiona Parry-jones of Von Haus De­sign Stu­dio finds yel­low “en­er­getic and en­cour­ag­ing a sense of fun or leap of faith”, adding that while she might pre­fer to wear mus­tard tones, it’s the brighter yel­lows that find their way into her work.

An­other Mel­bur­nian de­signer, Chelsea Hing, veers in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. “I tend to use golds, mus­tards or dirt­ier yel­lows for their time­less­ness and warmth,” she says. But on a per­sonal level she ad­mits that Ri­etveld’s clas­sic Zig-zag chair in bright yel­low “makes my heart skip a beat”.

As for me, I’m won­der­ing how and where I can in­tro­duce a new favourite shade like En­ter­prise from the up­com­ing Taub­mans 2018 look­books (taub­mans. Fea­ture wall, per­haps? Rest as­sured I won’t be wear­ing it. Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-at-large of Vogue Liv­ing.

“Yel­low’s ap­peal may be sim­ple – a ray of sun­shine in dark and trou­bled times”

HELLO YEL­LOW (clock­wise from top left) A fea­ture wall in new Taub­mans shade En­ter­prise brings a neu­tral bed­room to life; Sceg Ar­chi­tects utilised yel­low ac­cents when up­dat­ing this apart­ment in Turin; the zesty Mu­uto Rest sofa by de­sign­ers An­der­ssen &...

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