By Paige Smith
BOSTON, MA – Tucked away in the midst of the winding hallways of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston lies an exhibition that glistens with femininity and beauty. “Think Pink” enlightens visitors on the history behind the color pink through various mediums reflecting high fashion couture from the 1700s through the 21st century. As you walk through the show’s threshold, the center of the room creates a sense of the fashion runway. Mannequins grace the platform in glamorous outfits from the various historical time periods. Each outfit is constructed out of pink shades of color and patterns.
The exhibition walls surrounding the center platform are filled with artistic creations ranging from ink drawings, luxurious accessories and fashion pieces. The selection of art expresses how the color pink has evolved over the years into an iconic symbol of gender association, fashion and hope. This exhibition enlightens how influential and powerful the color has become. Pink is the official color of breast cancer awareness, artists use it in their work, the fashion industry loves it and for most little girls, it is their favorite color.
Kenneth Paul Block’s opulent fashion illustrations grasped the fashion industry’s attention with his ability to portray the elegance of fashion icons of the 20th century such as Jacqueline Kennedy and socialite Babe Paley. His drawings captured beautiful gestural moments that depicted how women carried themselves as individuals, along with their immaculate fashion sense and sophistication. “Think Pink” exhibition features Blocks’ ”Model In Lace Negligee,” which illustrates a women dressed in a pink pastel nightdress embellished with lace. The model is propped on her elbow as she gently rests on her side gazing off into the distance. Block’s fluid line quality expresses an understanding of contour and movement, as the black ink wraps around the model’s crossed legs and the curvature of her spine. His line gestures express how the dress wraps around the figure and hugs to the body’s silhouette flawlessly.
The exhibition showcases several exquisite female fashion pieces. However, there was one piece that brought a man’s touch to the mix. The reputable fashion designer, Ralph Lauren, designed a pink, cotton wool twill “Man’s Suit” complete with a taffeta tie and nubuck shoes. According to the accompanying description, “This suit was made for Hamish Bowles, Vogue’s international editor at large. The ensemble copies the pink suite worn by Robert Redford in the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book. The suit’s pinkness signifies Gatsby’s questionable past and perceived lack of respectability.” Gatsby’s past may have been questionable, but he had a polished sense of style that was admired by all. Today, modern society is more accepting of men’s fashion trends that embrace new color pallets and daring patterns — especially when the color pink in involved!
“Think Pink” ends with a quote from the film, “Funny Face”: “To the women of America…to the women everywhere, banish the black, burn the blue, and bury the beige! From now on girls Think Pink! Think Pink! Red is dead, blue is through, green’s obscene, brown’s taboo.”
The color pink is a statement of strength, femininity and sophistication. “Think Pink” opened on October 3, 2013 in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and will continue through March 26, 2014 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Make sure to check out the history behind the color before it closes!