Is lilac the new millennial pink?

The colour has emerged a favourite in Spring Summer 2018 shows

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Is lilac the new millennial pink?
Lilac fever — Looks from Jeremy Scott, The Row and Rosie Assoulin


At the recently concluded New York Fashion Week, lilac was seen making its presence felt like never before. The Row’s closing look was a lavender maxi dress, Reem Acra sent out a mauve belted gown with cape detailing and Rosie Assoulin showcased a collared maxi dress with key hole detailing. Lilac lent itself to myriad reinterpretations depending on the designer’s handwriting. Jeremy Scott flirted with it in a hip hop, shine on style and Michael Kors teamed a chunky knit jumper with a matching degrade skirt bringing to mind an exotic vacay. Victoria Beckham’s pastel-meets-shine line-up saw a lilac softly tailored pantsuit and Naeem Khan’s take on lavender stood out thanks to its see-through, tiered fringed version. 

While millennial pink has been the key runway story for the last so many seasons also trickling down to interiors, decor and the arts, mauve is slowly gaining prominence. But the question remains, will it have takers in India or does it suit the Indian skin tone? 

Azmina Rahimtoola, store owner, Atosa says, “Mauve will take over this season. It doesn’t really suit the Indian skin tone, but it works out if mixed well together. Indians can mix it with antique silver perhaps.”

Bubblegum couture 

This season is all about the bubblegum pop of colour with shades and hues of strong/bold colours and lilac being one of them. The feel is very bold yet has this very demur feel to it. Designer Karan Berry of Karleo Couture says, “2018 is going to see a very different palate called the ‘Slow future’ where pastels are given a very fresh take the foretasted colour is the Minty Green (Arcadia). It’s a cooler, fresher take on green with a tinge of blue undertone for spring.”  

Leon Vaz, the other half of the label, suggests that these colours need to be used as bold accents, as in accessories, like in shades of make-up, hair, shoes and individual pieces of clothing.

Day to night transition 

These tones tend to have a good balance between watery pastels and deeper jewel tones and can work very well from day to night. Designer Ohaila Khan observes  that since most of Indian couture cateres to wedding guests, this colour means value for money as it can be worn for a wider range of events as it’s not too dark for the day and yet not too pastel for an evening event. “It has a certain princess-like, ethereal vibe to it and would be a welcome change for Indian lehengas and suits that have been stuck in a rut in terms of acceptable colours of mints, peaches and pinks for what feels like centuries. Since it’s a cool tone, it would work very well with metallic embroideries that are so true to Indian traditions, I would ideally pick embroideries in silver, champagne or other pastel shades to go with the colour,” says Ohaila.

Exudes summery freshness 

Lilac is a beautiful colour, suits almost all skin tones and is perfect for the Indian summer. One is likely to see a host of pastel colours reigning next summer like lilac, pink, pale green and powdery blue. Designer Rina Singh of label Eka suggests, “You can wear them as crop tops and bolero jackets for a casual look with denims or go full on out with a whole dress or separates in pastel shades. If you aren’t sure about how to pair pastels than go for accessories like bags, heels, jewellery and even phone covers in pastel shades.”

Not sure about India

Designer Ohalia Khan doesn’t see this trend catching on in India anytime soon as most women with wheatish skin tones tend to feel that the colour washes them out and doesn’t suit their complexion. “However, once they see the trend has caught on in a big way. they will want to follow it, However, I am on the fence about Indians at large being the pioneers of this trend. I feel it will meet a similar fate like the millennial pink which a majority of Indian women are still catching on to, but to women residing in the fashion capitals of the world that colour has been done to death,” adds Khan.  

May just replace pink

Designer Shruti Sancheti finds lilac sophisticated and refined. “You never know, it may just replace the pink. Sometimes trends such as these slowly take over,” says she. 

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