Even if you’ve never heard of it before, you’ll know Millennium Pink. The dusty salmon colour has come to represent the non-conformist, non-binary vibe of the younger generation. But according to the broadsheets, Revolutionary Red is the new Millennium Pink. As Guardian fashion writer Morwenna Ferrier says: “Evidence is stacking up in favour of a rich, arterial colour we’ll call revolutionary red.”
So why has this primary colour suddenly hit the mainstream?
According to Ferrier, revolutionary red’s timing is on point thanks to the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. In the critically acclaimed show, characters are trapped in nightmarish subservience. But the show – and the colour red – are symbolically fighting back. Millennial pink may be the colour of gender politics, but red boasts a greater association with protest.
“It’s impossible to get away from red’s radical roots and the way it became part of the anti-establishment design canon,” says Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review. “Its original meaning has been subverted and co-opted.”
Simply by wearing or using red, you can associate yourself with a movement without committing to it.
Ferrier explains that red has always been used in fashion and branding. It’s cheaper to print with fewer colours and an arresting shade of red gets the most bang for your buck. If a politician wants to get noticed; they opt for red. Theresa May wore a red jacket to meet Donald Trump. Ditto Hillary Clinton, whose fight for the presidency was carried out with the aid of her Nina McLemore red jacket. See also Ruth Davidson, Diane Abbott and Nicola Sturgeon,