Neale Whi­taker:


Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASSIE LIVING - Neale Whi­taker

On the chang­ing tones of the colour chart

Burly tradie to me: What do you reckon about that salmon colour? Me to burly tradie: It’s not salmon. It’s blush – or mil­len­nial pink. Me to me (in a thought bub­ble): Did you re­ally just say that? Yes, you did.

When Pan­tone (pan­ de­clared “Green­ery” as 2017’s Colour of the Year (and gave le­git­i­mate so­ci­o­log­i­cal rea­sons for do­ing so), it was lit­tle more than a smoke­screen to de­flect us from one of the most dom­i­nant and en­dur­ing de­sign trends of re­cent years – pink.

And that tradie on the TV ren­o­va­tion show wasn’t wrong in his de­scrip­tion, just a few decades out of date. Be­cause the pinks that are cur­rently so pop­u­lar are near neigh­bours to 1980s shades that had been con­signed to the decor his­tory books and to the outer fringes of good taste: salmon, ter­ra­cotta, even apri­cot.

To­day’s pink isn’t just a thing,it’s an at­ti­tude. It’s po­lit­i­cal. Dubbed “Mil­len­nial Pink”, it’s been said the colour’s pop­u­lar­ity rep­re­sents a blur­ring of gen­der, a re­jec­tion by the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion of the old norms of fem­i­nine and mas­cu­line. It’s true when it comes to fash­ion that men are em­brac­ing pink just as much as women. New York-based brand Com­mon Projects’s pink sneak­ers (com­mon­pro­ are in high

de­mand by both sexes.To get a bet­ter idea of “man pink”, look at Du­lux’s Hugo (du­ and com­pare it to, say, a pinker shade like Taub­mans’s Alice (taub­ But what­ever de­scrip­tor you at­tach to it (and I’ve used Band-Aid, Pepto-Bis­mol and Calamine in my search for the per­fect word), these are not the sugar-coated pinks of old. They are dirt­ier and some­how gut­sier. The blue notes have been taken out.Get your pink right and you’re achingly cool; get it wrong and you’ll have Elle Woods’s Legally Blonde bed­room. It’s a knife edge.

Vogue Liv­ing stylist Joseph Gard­ner chooses Nude by Porter’s Paints for its “depth and earth­i­ness”. He also likes Tran­quil by Haymes Paint (hayme­s­paint. as “a good mid-toned pink” and Taub­mans’s He­donist which, de­spite its name, he finds “soft and sub­tle”.

For some­thing a lit­tle punchier, my sug­ges­tions are Taub­mans’s Ooh La La and Pink Flambe or Wat­tyl’s Tickle Me Pink and An­gel De­light (wat­tyl., which re­ally does re­mind me of the sickly sweet, pow­dered dessert of my child­hood.Who thinks up these amaz­ing names? In my next life, I want to come back as them. Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

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