A Big Bold Show Wants You to Rethink Pink
Pink packs a punch. The once playful tint of fragile ballerinas, Bubble Yum and Malibu Barbie has flexed some muscle of late, taking on overtones of sociopolitical protest, transgression and unalloyed eroticism.
That message emerges with unexpected force at the Fashion Institute of Technology in a museum exhibition that explores variations of a color that has ping-ponged across the centuries, varying in tone from demure to baldly subversive, from classy to trashy and back.
这个信息以让人意想不到的力量在纽约时装技术学院(Fashion Institute of Technology)的一个博物馆展览中显现出来，展览探索了几个世纪里，这种颜色从腼腆到大胆颠覆，从高贵到无聊，再反回来的多次变化。
Pink is a color in transition — pretty, and pretty unsettling — in a show that opens Sept. 7. Its lingering kitsch factor has clouded its impact for sure.
“That’s one reason people think it’s not serious,” said Valerie Steele, the director of the Museum at F.I.T. Ms. Steele, on the other hand, would emphatically urge you to rethink pink.
“Really, it’s society that makes color, that decides what colors are going to mean,” she said, a point reinforced throughout the exhibition and in Ms. Steele’s accompanying book, “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color.”
“的确，是社会制造了颜色，社会决定了各种颜色意味着什么，”她说，这个观点贯穿在整个展览之中，也贯穿在斯蒂尔为之所著的新书《粉红：一个朋克、俏丽、强有力颜色的历史》(Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color)之中，并从中得到强化。
A multidimensional hue with widely varying connotations, it is no longer, Ms. Steele insisted, “just girlie dumb pink but androgynous, cool hip protesting pink, an expression of all kinds of more complicated ideas.”
The show makes her point, pink shedding its chaste, frothy associations in stealthy stages in favor of a more defiantly confrontational and sometimes downright kinky mood. Janelle Monáe mined that mood to the hilt with a copy of the ripely suggestive costume she wore in her recent video “Pynk.” That eye-searing look by Duran Lantink, a Dutch designer, is on view, its petal-like trousers opening to reveal a rosy-hued vagina.
展览印证了她的观点，通过几个不声张的阶段，粉红色摆脱了其纯洁、轻快的联想，附上了一种更为反叛的顶撞、有时简直怪癖的情感。歌手加奈儿·梦奈(Janelle Monáe)在她最近的音乐录影“PYNK”中，用身上穿的一件强烈暗示性服装的复制品，把这种情感发挥到了极致。荷兰设计师杜兰·兰廷克(Duran Lantink)设计的灼眼打扮出现在展览中，花瓣状的裤子敞开来，揭示出粉红色调的阴道。
Pink’s transgressive impact, though, has been long in the making. In Western culture the color, in near-magenta and faint, powdery variations, was embraced by the nobility, its popularity enhanced in the late 14th century when new dyes sourced from India and Sumatra made for richer pinks.
In the mid-1700s, Madame de Pompadour rendered a more confectionary pink the height of fashion: In the portraits of François Boucher, she models a succession of sassily beribboned shell-pink gowns and negligees.
Pink during that period was intended for both sexes, a point underscored in the exhibition by a mannequin showily attired a coat and breeches, its pale salmon silk damask contrasting smartly with a creamy embroidered waistcoat.
But by the mid-19th century, men had largely ceded pink to their sisters and wives, any of whom might have worn the coy mid-1800s dress showcased at F.I.T., a pink silk taffeta gown, its multiple tiers bordered in an effusion of ruffles. Pink, as Ms. Steele writes, was perceived in those days as a pretty color expressive of delicacy and playful high spirits.
But pink also suggested a second skin. A lingerie tint with louche undertones, it was celebrated by Théophile Gautier in his 1850 poem “To a Pink Dress,” the poet rhapsodizing, “How I love you in that dress that undresses you so well.”
但粉红也暗示了贴身衣。蕴含着名声不好却有吸引力内涵的女内衣，是泰奥菲尔·戈蒂耶(Théophile Gautier)在1850年的诗作《致一件粉装》(To a Pink Dress)中颂扬的东西，诗人热情地写道，“我太爱穿着那件装的你，它让你看上去如同不着一丝。”
Times change and with them, pink’s profile. By the late 19th century, pink was as common as ragweed. The introduction of aniline dyes that produced ultrabright, occasionally garish variations diminished the color’s prestige and rendered it vulgar, a tint flaunted in the novels of Emile Zola by shop girls and prostitutes.
Not for another half-century would pink be restored to a semblance of its former self, a hue both fancy and frivolous enough to be whipped into a ball gown by the couturier Charles James. Propped high on a pedestal at the exhibition, James’s 1955 evening dress is a showstopper, a stole of black velvet opening like a flower to show off its faintly naughty rosy lining.
By the 1960s, pink had taken on a dual personality. It was sophisticated enough for Jackie Kennedy, who received the French minister André Malraux at the White House wearing a bonbon pink evening dress. And it was sexy enough for Marilyn Monroe, who gave pink a racy spin encased in a closefitting diamond studded pink evening dress in the 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
到1960年代，粉红色有了双重性格。对肯尼迪夫人(Jackie Kennedy)来说，粉色足以老成，让她可以穿着糖果粉色的晚礼服在白宫会见法国当时的文化部长安德烈·马尔罗(André Malraux)。对玛丽莲·梦露(Marilyn Monroe)来说，粉色足够性感，让她在1953年的电影《绅士爱美人》里穿上了紧身镶钻的粉色晚礼服，给这个颜色蒙上了不雅的色彩。
Pink went punk in the 1980s, a particularly garish shade known as Ultrapink enlivening the album covers of the Ramones, the Sex Pistols and X-Ray Spex.
粉红在1980年代变得朋克，一种格外花哨的名为“超粉”(Ultrapink)的色调，让“雷蒙斯”(Ramones)、“性手枪”(Sex Pistols)和X-Ray Spex乐队的专辑封面更有生气。
A decade later, the color asserted itself on a global scale as the fashion insignia of self-proclaimed outliers: Madonna embraced pink’s bordello associations, performing in 1990 in a soft pink cone-cupped bustier by Jean Paul Gaultier. Pink became ubiquitous in Japanese girl culture, the blushing hue of mini-gangs of Lolitas roaming the Harajuku district in Tokyo.
十年后，随着粉色成为以离群者自诩的人的时尚符号，这种颜色在全球范围得到肯定：麦当娜拥抱了粉红与窑子的关联，在1990年穿着让·保罗·高提耶(Jean Paul Gaultier)设计的圆锥形罩杯粉色紧身胸衣演出。粉红色成了日本少女文化中无处不在的颜色，是在东京原宿区游荡的“洛丽塔”小伙伴们脸上挂着的红晕。
The cultish color was taken up by American club crawlers, the emblem of cybergoths and ravers. More recently, it was appropriated by hip-hop culture. Turned out in pink mink and diamonds at New York Fashion Week in 2003, the hip-hop artist Cam’ron lent the sugary hue some clout.
“People showed me so much love,” he later recalled. “I had to go out to Pantone and create my own color, which is called Killa Pink.”
With the years and shifting emphasis, pink turned political, the infamous pink triangle of the Nazi era repurposed by gay rights activists as a symbol of protest. Pink was taken up by a new generation of feminists as an assertion of proud womanhood, a trend that reached a crescendo at the 2017 inauguration when women descended on Washington en masse, flaunting quaintly homespun-looking pussy hats.
Around that time, pink took on a more knowing shading, as marketers and scores of young consumers made a run on the beiged, grayed and dusty variations known in aggregate as millennial pink, a color that spruced up a range of goods, including Scandinavian furniture and the Fenty label.
Fenty’s creator, Rihanna, improbably melded a boudoir mood with the aggressiveness of the playing field in a spring 2017 collection.
“I figured pink would be over by the time this show was up,” Ms. Steele said. But there are indications — Tom Ford’s pointy pink glitter shoes and the feathery pink ball gown Lady Gaga wore to the premiere of “A Star Is Born,” among them — that pink has yet to run its course.
“我原以为，这个展览结束时，粉红色也会成为过去，”斯蒂尔说。但有从Tom Ford的粉色亮面尖头鞋，到Lady Gaga参加《一个巨星的诞生》(A Star Is Born)首映式时穿的羽毛装饰的粉红色舞会礼服等一系列迹象表明，粉红色还有待发展。
“In terms of its meaning new things, pink has acquired the charisma and complexity of black,” Ms. Steele said. “Once it’s been interpreted as an androgynous and political color that speaks to young men and women of all races, there is no going back.”