- Colour-themed trends are often informed by Pantone - the colour registry company - and translated into an interior, sartorial or cosmetic language.
- In October 2020, Pantone introduced a new hue - Period Red - as a nod to menstruation and breaking the taboos around it.
- Here, we share inspo on how to style up Period Red this summer and drip out in a shade of Aunt Flo.
Award-winning US author David Levithan, once wrote; "Pink is female - but why? Are girls any more pink than boys? Are boys any more blue than girls? It's something that has been sold to us, mostly so other things can be sold to us."
And so colour theory began.
Just kidding. That's not really where colour theory's inception lies, but the quote does indeed speak profoundly to our relationship with colour from a gender perspective. Little girls' favourite colours are often pink, purple, red, orange and the likes, and to some extent, that has something to do with the way we've been arbitrarily socialised.
And while we're in the 'Gender Theory for Beginners' class, let's touch on how society also has an arbitrary squeamishness about menstruation. A squeamishness that spans centuries and to this day, still feeds into taboos around period blood.
While a few feminine hygiene brands, women's magazines, and social media groups have done their bit to challenge period stigma, Pantone - the international colour registry company - is now paying homage to our monthly cycles by introducing 'Period Red' as a new hue.
According to The New York Times, by introducing a shade focused on menstruation, "Pantone said, it wants to overturn a taboo and draw attention to a regular life phase with a color that is 'energising' and 'dynamic'."
Speaking to NYT, Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, said; "Period red emboldens people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are." She added that the goal was “to urge everyone, regardless of gender, to feel comfortable to talk spontaneously and openly about this pure and natural bodily function," the article states.
However, this colour doesn't have solely noble intentions behind it, as Pantone has teamed up with the Swedish feminine products brand Intimina, for their Seen+Heard campaign. There's also money to be made.
This campaign aims to normalise periods and shed outdated mindsets about this standard part of our lives.
Ultimately, it has us talking about menstruation in a period positive tone once again, and that's a box checked for this campaign.
And because in fashion, a trend can present itself in the form of a single clothing item or must-have accessory, a popular textile fabric, reference to a particular era, a silhouette and fit, or just simply... a colour, it's as good a time as any to wear Period Red.
Over the years, Pantone has been successful in being an arbiter of the colours we use for colour/trend forecasting. This year, they gave us Classic Blue - their first multi-sensory colour choice in history almost as if they had predicted that 2020 would be a year like no other.
The institute revealed that Classic Blue instills, calm, confidence, and connection. Exactly what the world needs right now.
The last summer installment of Pantone Sundays - a pop up colour/fashion themed party hosted in Johannesburg and Cape Town earlier this year (pre-Covid) was coincidentally a red one.
And as kismet would have it, we're seeing red again... in a good way.
So as we approach our Christmas season - along with a sense of Classic Blue calmness and connection - many might be seeking warmth too.
Red has long been associated with Christmas. Santa Claus, the fruits of holly, Rudolph the reindeer's nose, cherries in fruit cake, trifle jelly, tinsel, and any gift wrap all champion red as the "official" festive season colour in their own way.
Our Christmas season, however, falls under summer - a highly anticipated jovial period in South Africa characterised by braais and big lunches outdoors. And a big Christmas tradition for black women is finding a dress for the occasion.
Unlike actual periods, we guess Period Red came just in time then.
So why not incorporate into your festive season style moodboard?
All pictures from Getty Images
From sandals that demand a good pedicure to ballet flats.
Invest in a red statement red dress for family Christmas lunch, your virtual office year-end function, or for one Covid-compliant 2020 soiree.
Cosy items and a red mani to match
It does get chilly on some December evenings and everybody knows about Joburg's (pesky) summer rain.
The red ensemble
For festive season power dressing.
And of course, don't hold back on wearing red lipstick under your mask.
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