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Before peachy-pink “Living Coral” was named the Pantone Color of the year, pink has been in the fashion spotlight for years. It seems like only yesterday that women in pink pussy cat hats marched in mass in Washington, DC (and cities big and small all over the world), the color earning both praise for its modern political message and criticism for being a wimpy symbol of a bygone definition of femininity. The beauty of pink is that it can signal all sorts of meanings—from sweet and girly pale pink to pinky-beige—the-color-of-skin erotic, to deep, dark, flamboyant shades of what the designer Elsa Schiaparelli christened shocking pink to more neutral shades regarded as cool and androgynous. Personally, I’ve never met a shade of pink I didn’t like. I chose a blush pink lace dress to wear to my son’s wedding. I still remember my hot pink wool suit with the flared mini skirt and bolero jacket that I swanned around in when I was in high school. And I love how my cozy blush cashmere scarf looks with my deep brown puffer coat. So of course I was drawn to the recent exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color. Beyond the gorgeous clothes dating from the 18th Century to current times, this exhibit is a must-see for history buffs. You’ll see through 35 examples how the color came in and out of fashion though the years—including men’s fashions. But better hurry, the show closes on January 5, 2019. Here’s just a small sample.—Sue Perry

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Pink is political.

 

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Pink is punk.

 

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Pink is playful and fun.