So there is a new colour out there that designers are using on everything from fashion to home furnishings. Millennial pink, or Tumblr pink, as it is also known, represents a kind of ironic prettiness, or post-prettiness. It’s sort of a grapefruit shade of apricotty salmon. So let's embrace this timeless, but very now, colour.
Charles and Ray Eames recognized the charms of elephants and in 1945 designed a toy elephant made of plywood. However, it never made it into mass production. The Eames Elephant is now available in a plastic version for those it was originally intended for: children. Whether as a toy (also for outdoor use) or as an item for childrens' bedrooms, this friendly-looking animal with its distinctive, huge floppy ears should make the heart of many a child (and parent) beat just that little bit faster.
So where did this new pink come from? Some say it was Wes Anderson’s 2014 movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, which embodies a kind of retro-kitsch and is centred on a hotel painted several kinds of pink. Others say it was the "rose gold" iPhone in 2015. Pantone, the international authority on colour and colour systems named Rose Quartz as its colour of the year for 2016.
Vitra embraced Millennial pink in a big way. The Vitra Alcove Collection of sofas, chairs and ottomans are awash in this craze, plus it goes beautifully with black, grey, white and just about all other colours.
This grouping of Vitra furnishings was spotted at the Vitra Design Museum recently. Its all very Alice in Wonderland-y!
The Fritz Hansen Drop Chair was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, and has now been relaunched. Looking very fresh and vibrant in Millennial pink, but also available in a wide range of highly curated other colours and fabrics!
Pink is the most gender-loaded of all colours, interlaced with femininity in everything from toy-store branding to the pink pussy hats of the recent women's marches. This modern pink is complicated. There are even anti-pink campaigns targeting the role of pink-saturated marketing to young girls. But a new generation of culturally aware young people are taking a different approach to the same problem, subverting or reclaiming pink as their own, hence the name Millennial pink.
Sometimes just a hint of pink is enough for a piece to really stand out. The Vitra Kast Modular Storage, designed by Maarten Van Severen, who paid special attention to the colour for the sliding doors, which not only emphasized Kast’s elegant and yet seemingly classical proportions, but also gives it a fresh and optimistic sense.
If you find Millennial pink just not quite to your taste you can always go in another direction.
Just imagine that Finn Juhl designed his Pelican Chair in 1940. With graceful curves the Pelican is true to Juhl’s idea that “a chair is not just a product of decorative art in a space, it is a form and a space in itself.” The influence of contemporary sculpture is clear and Finn Juhl was a pioneering force in his own country and credited with introducing Danish modern to mid-century America. He certainly seemed to have loved pink, in all its shades.
So if you are confused about what exactly this new Millennial pink or Tumblr pink looks like here is a swatch but I think you can stretch this colour idea in lots of directions, so let's see where it takes you.
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