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By now, you might have seen the not-so-candid ‘’leaks’’* from Margot Robbie’s Barbie film, due to premiere in theatres on July 31, 2023.

*Note my intentional use of the quotation marks around the word ‘’leaks’’ as I am sure we are all aligned that they were a skillfully produced PR tease, a cinematic amuse-bouche, if you will.

There is a cowgirl outfit and a rollerblading outfit in blinding neon hues, and naturally, we get to feast our eyes on the colour pink. A lot of it – as was to be expected from a film based on the eponymous fashion doll line that trademarked the PANTONE shade called ‘’Barbie Pink’’ in 2008.

So far, so good; everything adds up. Yet I had somewhat of an epiphany, as simultaneously with the above PR stint, global fashion weeks dominated my iPhone screen and my head space at the time. The colour palates collided; was it all a coincidence or a well-timed trend prophecy?

It started with Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino pink for FW2022. The brand described the total pink-out as an ‘’experimental yet deeply human gesture that enhanced individuality, captured values, and feelings’’. We watched it from the sidelines, enjoyed every morsel but happily cruised in our current beige, breathable, ethically produced linen fashion reality. We matched the fits with artisanal baskets that were either indeed artisanal and purchased during a trip to the south of France; or adorned with a subtle YSL / Prada / CELINE logo and purchased at the Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue.

Fast forward to last week, and acid yellows, neon greens, and showstopping pinks appeared on almost every brand’s runway. Amidst the (still very much present) nudes and beiges, we saw glimpses of joyful, kaleidoscopic, almost technicolour-like hues.

Was this to be expected? Very much so. A fashion trend’s life cycle can be divided into five stages: introduction, rise, peak, decline, and obsolescence. After obsolescence, however, comes reintroduction – there is no such thing as new trends, merely circular renditions of what once was, and more importantly, what once reaped commercial revenue. We crave the opposite of what we have witnessed too much of, naively thinking that it is something new. With social media overexposing every trend, we get tired a little quicker than we used to, and as opposed to lasting decades, trends last for a couple of seasons at most.

As we are currently lingering in a very easy-on-the-eyes, post-pandemic, trauma-healing earthy aesthetic (with a fixation on neutrals, Japanese living and what TikTok calls the Clean Girl Aesthetic); kudos to Margot Robbie (co-producing the film) for spotting our need for neon as early as in 2019. Kudos to costume designer Jacqueline Durran for executing it with such panache.

Are you hesitant about incorporating Ken’s bum bag acid yellow into your beautifully curated off-colour wardrobe? Ease into it – it is important to remember that fashion is merely a tool for your self-expression and not vice versa. Neon typically translates well into activewear and pieces suitable for nighttime lighting. I envision trying on the trend with a bright and saturated XXXL-sized blazer, cinched at the waist, worn as a dress, and perhaps a new pair of fast athletic sneakers with an acid yellow triple stripe.

It takes some planning and courage to jump on the technicolour trend, and I might be the last person to entirely cave in. It is, after all, in my Scandinavian genetic coding to fear all colours. But guess what? I am already eyeing spray tan vendors after one too many leaks of Ken, (played by Ryan Gosling), looking like a bronze 80’s schnack.

Watch this space.

thoughts?