Now that summer is upon us, the pastel brigade is out in force. You know what I mean; middle-aged matrons - and their men – busting out of dresses and shirts fashioned from icky-ticky, eety-tweety pale pinks and lilacs and blues – uck! It’s enough to make you feel that way, too. Give me the deep, the bright, the vibrant, forever.
It is not so much the colours I object to as the collective age of their wearers. The reason you dress babies in pastels is because you don’t want to blind the little ‘uns before they can walk or talk. While there is nothing so cute as a baby’s nursery fashed out in pale pink or blue, and the teeny occupant dressed that way, too, there is something creepy about someone who expresses their age in decades all done up like a dripping ice-cream. They seem to be saying
Look at me! I’m young, too. And clean and pure with it.
Paradoxically, there is nothing ‘pure’ about pastels. Pinks and lilacs and lemons are actually ‘corruptions’ of primary colours, then faded almost into non-existence. This strikes me as being a metaphor for life – corruption followed by a steady progression towards the grave. Could this be why so many oldies veer towards pastels? Think about it, the next time you don that taupe and pale-blue shirt.