11 Jan Everything is better in multicolour
Forget flamingos, pineapples and unicorns. The symbol set to sum up summer 2018 is the rainbow – a visual pot of gold for uncertain times.
But what is it about rainbows that make them the style symbol of the season?
Rain leads to rainbows, which makes them a natural metaphor for good things coming out of bad – and that makes them exactly the spirit of cheer, and the symbol of inclusivity, that we need as we face uncertain climates worldwide.
Maks Fus Mickiewicz from the trend forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, sees the roots of this in the late-noughties Tumblr seapunk culture – all mermaids, dolphins, unicorns and rainbows. It’s an aesthetic that musicians including Grimes, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj have all played with. “It was a natural reaction to the recession,” he says. “If you can’t change your natural environment, then you create your own world.”
Of course, the 2010s aren’t the first decade to embrace the rainbow. Fashion and culture is still totally stuck in the 70s and early 80s. The rainbow formed an arch across that time period too – as both Apple and Pink Floyd suggest. Think of those classic 70s roller skates with rainbow colours flanking the laces, rainbow legwarmers, or the rainbow-colour-patterned backdrop of that famous BBC test card, starring eight-year-old Carole Hersee playing noughts and crosses. Rainbows are in Skittles’ long-running “taste the rainbow” campaign.
The fashion crowd can be a color-averse people—a regular mantra is, black is the new black. So consider it a rare moment of optimism that designers are embracing the rainbow, all of it, all at once. From red all the way to violet, it’s a full spectrum of saturated stripes on everything from sandals to sweaters. Gucci designer Allessandro Michele, fashion’s maximalist of the moment, loves the 70s and has produced rainbow stripes throughout his tenure – from those flatforms with rainbow soles to Alexa Chung’s jumper – symbolising a childlike desire for all the colours, all at once.
While a real rainbow is a rare shot of magic across the sky, emoji-type rainbows are never far from your smartphone screen, so live your best rainbow life – be irresistibly cheerful and apply those rainbow filters to selfies because if nothing else, they look really great on Instagram.
FloorworX Rainbow Trend: