It's not our first time falling in love with pastels. The soft, comforting colour palette paints many childhood memories of sweets, clouds, and gentle dreaming. Not too long ago, fashion was fixated with Millennial Pink, and now pastel is returning in shades of lilac, baby blue, mint, and lemon to soothe restlessness at home.
Pastels are becoming colours associated with self-care. Fashion embraced Pantone's 2016 colour of the year "Rose Quartz" and renamed it "Millennial Pink" the following spring. Later that autumn, Glossier packaged baby pink as the colour of self-care, which the beauty industry steadily adopted. For winter 2020 and spring 2021, our renewed connection to pastels is a longing for wellness and comfort, in response to the tension of the pandemic and its series of unfortunate events.
"Easy to live with and non-confrontational, this group of calming shades bring people together in unity rather than cause division, a feeling that speaks to the overall philosophy of a generation that prizes inclusivity and sharing," Pantone's vice president Laurie Pressman told POPSUGAR. "Conveying a message of cleanliness and simplicity, the pastels easily fit into a more minimalist and decluttered design aesthetic, as well as offer a quietness that is soothing to the soul — enduring messages that are especially desirable at this time."
The serenity of pastels was predicted on the winter 2020 catwalks and will be an enduring colour trend well into spring 2021. Periwinkle illuminated Richard Malone's collection for winter 2020, while lemony yellow outerwear was shown at Rejina Pyo, and creamy orange ruffled gowns featured at Molly Goddard and Preen. For spring 2021, we're most excited for lilac dresses — which were standout pieces at Charlotte Knowles' and Victoria Beckham's recent collections. Buttermilk yellow dresses are also on our list, like the ones at Emilia Wickstead and Erdem that were validated by Pantone's 2021 colour of the year, "Illuminating".
Pastels are certainly optimistic, which makes sense that Molly Goddard's spring 2021 collection was filled with empire-waist tulle gowns in buttermilk yellow, and baby pink. While Simone Rocha and Richard Malone showed their spring 2021 dresses in the softest shades of sky blue. Off the runway, we can't wait for more stunning red carpet fashion moments. But until we're all back out in the open, we continue to reminisce about Rihanna's mint Fenty outfit at the 2019 Fashion Awards, and Kylie Jenner's lavender Versace dress at the 2019 Met Gal.
If you fancy wearing pastels in 2021, keep reading ahead for dreamy outfit formulas from Instagram's style set, and the best pastel pieces to shop now.