An unprecedented gloom took over the world two years ago when the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe. The world moved online, human touch went missing, and the significance of nature was revived. This, possibly, could be the reason why Pantone released Viva Magenta as the shade for 2023.
“A nuanced crimson tone that balances warm and cool – an unconventional shade for an unconventional time,” Pantone said in a statement, terming it as “audacious, witty and inclusive of all”.
Viva Magenta represents reassurance, confidence and connection in a world trying to get back on its feet, according to Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute.
Trend forecasters have dubbed the theme “assertive, but not aggressive”, almost “fist in a velvet glove”, and thus the hue began its dominance on catwalks. Italian fashion house Valentino released a magenta pink fall-winter line and the beauty industry has been flooded with this shade to create a mood for the eyelids and lashes.
The lips are now the centre of attention, with a range of luxury beauty companies launching this tone–Rouge Hermes has added rose magenta, MAC-Flat out Fabulous, Violette-Bisou Balm in Sucette, and Tromborg-Lip cute in raspberry.
Vibrant pink or “Barbiecore” has been a staple for street style celebs like Grece Ghanem and nottoforget, the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, who wore an Emilia Wickstead coat dress in this tone, to receive the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently.
Internationally, catwalks have been awash as Prabal Gurung, Blumarine, and Gucci paid a tribute to this warm-hearted serotonin-enhancer.
Accessory designer Aprajita Toor believes Viva Magenta is empowering in its nature as it encourages you to experiment and make bolder design choices.
“It also adds a pop of vibrancy to your accessories, with the daring and fierce hues of red. A world that is obsessed with fickle trends is now understanding that comfort and an attitude that supports it is the only way to live in this unpredictable scenario. Thus, magenta embodies the outlook where you seek freedom to live on your terms,” she explains.
Vandana M Jagwani, creative director of Mahesh Notandass, believes jewellery has seen a surge in the demand for brighter colours, which add exuberance to fight the “blues”. The earlier preference for pastels, which were ruling for the past three years, has receded. This subtle change, she attributes to the festive season (Christmas and New Year) where people want to celebrate, after years of despondency.
Khushi Shah, creative director, Shanti Banaras, believes Viva Magenta is emblematic of an energy that will help us overcome any hurdles that come our way.
“Designers like Alexander McQueen, had their own versions of hot pink; the radiant colour usage has been popular amongst designers—in India Rani Pink was always extremely popular,” she adds.
If we take a stroll down in history, Italian fashion guru, Elsa Schiaparelli, was the torch bearer of “Pink” way back in 1939, and launched her fragrance titled “Shocking” as a homage to the audaciousness of this colour.
Style mavericks Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna confess, according to colour psychology, this is pleasing, warm and sensual –almost a colour of love.
“Former Dior creative director John Galliano brought to life this colour being a British designer heading a French fashion house. It is a new and refreshing change, people don’t believe in trends and fads anymore. Everyone has a mind of their own and creates their own style statements-customisation is key. Clients have become smarter in their buying, they like to invest in sustainable clothing more and more in a post-covid scenario, of course with a pinch of adventure which Magenta offers,” says Rahul.
Pankaj and Nidhi worked extensively with magenta for their 2022-23 couture collection titled “Luminos” crafting their signature appliqué technique on gowns.
The pieces with beautiful petalled bodices, shimmered in the light.
“The colour itself is intrepid, so the rest of the ensemble shouldn’t have too many details, or it will become overwhelming. It works well as a mono tone and doesn’t, when mixed with other shades in this family,” says Pankaj.
Loewe, Thom Browne, and Dior fashion shows have abundantly worked with crimson red and Marni, Rodarte, and Sacai have all recently shown collections featuring magenta–others have their unique versions that range from hot pink, fuchsia, raspberry to maroon.
Electronic giants are also not shying away from this, and Motorola is planning to release a Viva Magenta phone.
Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, says that cochineal beetles served as an inspiration, “These small bugs, native to parts of North and South America, get their colouring from feeding on prickly pear cactuses. When ground into a paste, their bodies can be used to impart a vivid red pigment onto paper, canvas, or clothing. The dye was first used by the indigenous people of Mesoamerica, who used the potent colouring for purposes both aesthetic (dyeing clothes, tinting teeth) and medicinal. According to accounts from Spanish conquistadors, the Aztec red was so impressive that some speculated it might have magical properties.”
Is fashion finally understanding that maybe it needs the magic that has been missing from its core due to the world coming to a standstill? Hopefully Viva Magenta will help us get a little of that back!