They have become totally, absolutely unavoidable. Season after season they even seem to strengthen their ascendancy on design and fashion making the link between vintage candor and very fresh modernity.
But beyond editorial phenomena and social networks, what is it really in our closets? What do we really have, at home, as pastel products, in our interior decoration or our dressing rooms?
Let’s take advantage of this moment of confinement to shed light on this pastel-mania, real or fantasized. This is now the moment of domestic truth.
Vintage (Photo Carlin Creative)
First, to be pointed out, pastels have not always been popular. Suspected of being mawkish, namby-pamby, and even downright suspects outside of childhood world, they have long carried in them that desperate-housewife touch, old-style kitchen atmosphere and housekeeping mood. But precisely since the mid-century vintage became a must, we rediscovered the virtues of pastels.And they have so many qualities…!
First they are no-gender or agender, as you like.Then, they adapt to city-chic as well as to sportswear with so much ease:
Yes, if we hadn’t been confined, we could have paraded in this pastel pink leather trench or play it the street way in pale blue tracksuit.Destiny having decided otherwise, let’s stay on our sofa and scroll through our photo gallery in search of pastel treasures.Ah yes, there, I found some.
That was, of course… in London!
Well, sorry for the clichés, but in Europe, the homeland of pastel tones is located across the Channel, definitely.
Oxford Street London (Photo Carlin Creative)
Topshop London (Photo Carlin Creative)
This lilac taffeta dress with balloon sleeves, you clearly won’t find it in Paris or anywhere else! And the little sky blue croc coat neither, although maybe at MiuMiu on avenue Montaigne or Via Sant’Andrea, you would have a chance. Otherwise, go see rue Cambon at Chanel. Ah damn, we’re in confinement-time, I forgot …
But there, we’re talking about real life okay; so let’s open our closets right now, the pastel police will conduct their inspection.
Well, in the so-called real world, it looks quite easy to wear pastels on casual mode, under preppy influence:
Coca-Cola et DIY – Villebrequin – Pull&Bear (Photo Carlin Creative)
Cool T’s and fresh sweatshirts, jeans or chinos, printed swim shorts, you’d think we were on vacation soon, right? A first observation is obvious, pastels team very well with cotton, displaying springtime feel.
In a wardrobe that remains relaxed but more refined, and more grown-up too, a shirt, a blouse pairs with a knit or jersey piece:
Topshop – Old Engalnd (Photo Carlin Creative)
Tinsels – Les essentiels (Photo Carlin Creative)
In light stripes for him or in the pattern background for her, again, cotton is king. But, as this pale yellow cardigan demonstrates, pastels also work very well on fine gauge cashmere.
In a more intimate and secret universe, pastels become slightly grayish and express something delicate, subtle, in a more autumnal atmosphere too:
Calvin Klein (Photo Carlin Creative)
Etam (Photo Carlin Creative)
Nightwear top + shorty set with floral pattern or the eternal tutu dress for the ballerina in you. From 13 to 23 years old, that was a pretty good investment! A decade of candor is worth it.
But this brings us to a fundamental question, crucial even:
I don’t really have pastels but I have nude, will that be fine for your article?
Bel Air (Photo Carlin Creative)
Adidas Superstar – BlingBerlin (Photo Carlin Creative)
Back on the cultural schism between Anglo-Saxons and Latins.Is nude a pastel? An expert in the matter, hes gracious majesty Elisabeth II disagrees; she frowns very slightly, which means in royal language NO WAY! Except that for Parisian women, for whom any color is potentially suspect, it’s yes. Nude is definitely THE Parisian pastel.
On the tableware level, pastels are at their best and gleefully surfing trends: pared-down version under Scandinavian or Japanese influence…
Monoprix Maison (Photo Carlin Creative)
Photo Carlin Creative
… pastel shades combine influences and know-how from Asia with our beloved vintage western references. Note the little black detail that skillfully links the two options:
Chinese teapot (Photo Carlin Creative)
Vintage – (Photo Carlin Creative)
Culturally, there would be so much to say on the subject. To be followed in a next TrendCulture video, maybe? Don’t forget to visit our You Tube channel during quarantine.
On the design level, pastels do not necessarily convey an idea of comfort, of coziness, but however, please note that you can perfectly sit on them:
Chistian Koban – DOM
Photo Carlin Creative
Clearly, these are the Nordic references of design that permeate the pastels here, favoring above all lightness and minimalistic lines.
And finally, did you know that, pastels can also be … camp.
Ordinary people discovered this concept during the last Met Gala, a teeming notion theorized by Susan Sontag in the 60s that could be roughly summarized by fun, artifice & elegance.
Easy. Real life, we said…!
Postcards Camp MET (Photo Carlin Creative)
Special notice to beauty-addicts and nail-art fans: sky blue nails are so camp! Well, the cultural dimension is fundamental there too, because pastel nails in Miami are not camp at all, that’s just normal. Especially among retirees.
As a conclusion, I share with you the essential quarantine wish-list to put you in spring mode, in case your wardrobe would not be that much reliable on the pastel side:
Faithfull The Brand
Thank you to the Carlin dream-team for all these pastellizing and especially personal contributions.