Fashion

LILAC IS MORE THAN JUST MILLENNIAL PURPLE

And it therefore deserves our respect

31.01.2020

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Millennial pink has been usurped. And who can be surprised? As millennials themselves swiftly approach cultural irrelevance and leave the zeitgeist - strewn with discarded avocado pits and deleted dating apps - to Gen-Z, it makes sense that their team colour should do likewise.

Its replacement is lovely lilac. To call it ‘millennial purple’ would be lazy, not least because ‘Gen-Z purple’ seems more suitable. After all, it was Kylie Jenner who wore a lilac bespoke Versace ensemble to the Met Gala - not Lena Dunham. But since lilac existed before Gen-Z, and will probably exist after, ‘lilac’ it is.

While its overbearing older sister 18-3838 Ultra Violet was the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018, lilac is more of an underachiever. This is for the best, since anyone who’s encountered an overachiever will tell you they are smug at best and make you feel insecure about your intrinsic value as a human being at worst - and that’s no fun at all.

Lilac is fun because it’s slightly unexpected. If the axis of gendered colour has pink at one end and blue on the other, lilac is in the middle. Not as boyish as blue and considerably less saccharine than pink, it’s like going to a fancy restaurant (Levan in Peckham, probably) and ordering a dessert featuring cep ice cream rather than the cheeseboard.

Although lilac season on planet horticulture tends to be brief, we anticipate that the colour will monopolise our wardrobes - and our lives - for a while. In some Western cultures, lilac was historically associated with the final stages of mourning. It seems like we too are ready for a bit more life.

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