Pink

 

This pink suit was designed by Raf Simons for Jil Sander for the Spring 2011 collection. The suit uses a shade of bright pink, almost “Shocking Pink” as Schiaparelli coined in 1936. In current times, there are multiple examples of women donning “power suits” in bright colors, representing the power of femininity, but much less so in menswear. In Chapter 6, Kaiser mentions that, “navigating masculinities can be described as a process of negotiating the boundaries between what is “safe” and what is “dangerous” (Kaiser, 142). Not caring enough, and a man is seemingly messy and uncultured, but too much, he is seen as gay or too effeminate. And color has an effect on how gender is defined. What is considered “masculine” has always been limited in the euro-modernity sense, yet this suit by Simons breaks those barriers. While both the exhibition and Kaiser comment on the division of color, notably blue for boys and pink for girls, this suit “remarks” gender through the clothing. In a culture with such a divisive color gendering, it is hard to deconstruct the already instilled associations of certain colors with each gender. Yet in this suit, the pink stands powerfully, bright and consuming, while the tailored silhouette and details scream masculine. Simons plays between the ambiguity of masculinity and femininity through color and successfully challenges what the stereotypes of gender and color stand for. The curators probably included this garment to show the progression of pink as it becomes more freeing and less defined by femininity. It is important to show how society perceives pink today and in the past to see the progress in how a society defines a color. Raf Simons and other contemporary designers are challenging what menswear and womenswear are through the use of contradicting colors and unique silhouettes. 

 

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