Mil­len­ni­als give the pink shirt new life

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS -

THE psy­cho­log­i­cal phe­nom­e­non of the mo­ment is group­think pink.

The colour is more pop­u­lar than rosé at a French gar­den party. It seems pos­si­ble that 2017 will eclipse 1955 as “the peak year for pink”, as Life mag­a­zine ef­fused that spring, be­neath a Gor­don Parks photo.

Over here, the eye spies the cosy an­drog­yny of mil­len­nial pink; over there, the fem­i­nine pink of mod­els on run­ways and the fem­i­nist pink of women on marches.

And now its shades are ready to storm the torso of the busi­ness-class dude.

“Pink is a best-seller this sea­son for Thomas Ma­son,” said Tim Necke­broeck, brand man­ager for the ven­er­a­ble Bri­tish shirt­maker. “The el­e­gance, un­doubt­edly, is also hav­ing a good dose of courage.”

Though it may re­quire a smidgen of dar­ing for some men to wear pink, we can safely lay to rest the no­tion that the colour is im­pos­si­bly epicene, in­escapably preppy, or in any case un­wor­thy to be worn by a mod­ern adult male.

Sure, it is in­ad­vis­able to wear a pink shirt to cer­tain job in­ter­views, board meet­ings, and bail hear­ings, but the gar­ment is gen­er­ally cor­rect and s ur pri s i ngly ver­sa­tile.

A pale pink shirt is at its best cheer­ing up a grey suit, en­liven­ing a navy blazer, or en­dow­ing a neu­tral shade with a jolt of joie de vivre. But you might think twice be­fore wear­ing it with a very light tan suit, stone-coloured chi­nos, or any­thing else that might get you mis­taken for some kind of an­tique ice cream man.

And while you gen­er­ally do not want to be wear­ing a black suit in any event (un­less at a fu­neral, with you in the cas­ket), if you wear a pink shirt with a black­ish suit, you will take on a re­sem­blance to a gang­ster look­ing flush af­ter a big score.

As it hap­pens, this pinkshirt spring brings a Broad­way re­vival of John Guare’s Six De­grees of Sep­a­ra­tion, a 1990 play that con­tains a great pinkshirt mo­ment. (It is ar­guably the finest in the Amer­i­can dra­matic arts, ri­valled only by the Risky Busi­ness dance scene.)

The plot con­cerns an im­poster, named Paul, who talks his way into the lives of a New York art dealer by pre­tend­ing to be the son of ac­tor Sid­ney Poitier and a Har­vard school­mate of their chil­dren.

Early in the play, the cou­ple gives Paul their son’s pink shirt af­ter his own shirt is ru­ined in a (faked) mug­ging; af­ter the im­pos­tor has been dis­cov­ered and the chil­dren in­formed, the son throws a mem­o­rable fit: “You gave him my pink shirt? You gave a com­plete stranger my pink shirt? That pink shirt was a Christ­mas present from you. I trea­sured that shirt.”

The tantrum is a great mo­ment of comic re­lief, and the par­tic­u­lar shirt is a fine Ivy League-sta­tus de­tail.

Wil­liam Ivey Long, who de­signed the cos­tumes for the orig­i­nal stage pro­duc­tion, chose one by Paul Stu­art that was “slightly ad­ven­tur­ous” – a eu­phemism for “loud”.

“If worn by a Cau­casian preppy, as op­posed to an African-Amer­i­can preppy, it would not look right,” he said.

There is, in this ob­ser­va­tion, a les­son for any­one – es­pe­cially white guys plan­ning to get in on the pink shirt thing. – Bloomberg

The el­e­gance, un­doubt­edly, is also hav­ing a good dose of courage

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.