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June 1, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

THINK PINK

By Chris Boyle

Although the ever-feminine color of cotton candy and peonies is no stranger to menswear in the form of subtle accents, this season’s collections truly embrace the power of pink on a man.

When it comes to a gent’s wardrobe, there is one color that has consistently raised debate and challenges many men to step out of their comfort zone. Whether in a pale pastel hue or potently vibrant shade, the color pink has earned its place as a sartorial lighting rod, and on the spring/summer 2012 menswear catwalks, no one is questioning the power of this connotative color.

Designers are showing how versatile pink can be, pairing it with unexpected colors like fire engine red (Versace) or robin’s egg blue (Kenzo). But also, and perhaps more importantly, they demonstrated how the color can work on any staple item of clothing, from a summer coat (Trussardi 1911, Raf Simons) to a business suit (Alexander McQueen, Canali).

For some men, pink will always be for girls only. It’s Barbie’s favorite color, after all. And maybe that is why so many women love a man who wears a bit of pink, be it a pair of socks, a pocket square or a starched shirt. They are likely under the impression that a man who wears pink is more in touch with his emotions and isn’t afraid to show his sensitive side. Whether this is the case or not, psychological studies have proven that pink can have a calming effect on those who are exposed to it.

One thing is certain: On men, pink is a color that commands attention. A plain white shirt seems bland compared to its pink alternative. A pair of easy summer pants in linen (as seen at Dirk Bikkembergs) looks that much chicer in a shade of pink. And trading in khaki cargos for those tinted ever so lightly pink refreshes the style and instantly sets the wearer apart from the rest of the weekend warriors.

Today, a man who wears pink tells the world he is selfassured, confident and not seeking the sartorial approval of anyone. But there are still pink barriers to be broken. Wearing an all pink outfit looks out of place almost anywhere off the catwalk, although lighter shaded pieces are starting to gain general acceptance if worn during the peak of summer. That said, pairing multiple shades of pink in one outfit à la Comme des Garçons or pink and patterns like those seen on the Walter Van Beirendonck runway are looks that might be better off staying on the pages of glossy magazines.

WHERE TO BUY

 

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ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Monique Hagen

(212) 645-1797

www.alexandermcqueen.com

 

CANALI

Joel Cardona

(212) 842-8700

www.canali.it

 

COMME DES GARÇONS

Sandy Park

(212) 604-9200

www.comme-des-garcons.com

 

DIRK BIKKEMBERGS

Valentina Colonna

39-02-3663-8250

www.bikkembergs.com

 

KENZO

Nelson Liriano

(800) 558-1855

www.kenzo.com

 

RAF SIMONS

Jason Broderick

44-20-7730-1234

www.rafsimons.com

 

TRUSSARDI 1911

Laura Santangelo

39-06-6992-4391

www.trussardi.com

 

VERSACE

Roseann Sandor

(212) 317-0224

www.versace.com

 

WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK

Vanessa Fatton

(212) 219-3950

www.waltervanbeirendonck.com

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