Beyond the Trend: Pale Pastels for Spring

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The Spring/Summer 2019 runways proved that pastels will be the go-to color palette for spring. From sherbet-hued tweeds at Chanel to delicate-toned laces at Rodarte, a rainbow of pastels replaced the electric neons of the previous season.

Often correlated with spring because of their association with Easter, pastels have created strong connections with other cultural movements throughout history, too. Pastels were initially known as a chalk-like medium for artists during the Renaissance. In the 17th and 18th centuries, pastel painting became a popular medium with the rise of the Baroque and Rococo styles. During this time, pastels became fashionable in dress because the same frivolity that was the popular taste in art was applied to clothing as well. Marie Antoinette had a proclivity for grand gowns done in pastel silks and laces. In the 20th century, pastels regained popularity during the Roaring Twenties, as flappers turned to the light tones as a response to the seriousness of World War I. Later on, pastels became the calling card of Miami architecture, as art-deco buildings throughout South Beach got a fresh coat of candy-colored paint, reviving the city. Pastels also made an impact on pop culture, with the iconic style of Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice and the art direction of Wes Anderson films, including The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The light hues have often been presented as a refreshing option for the season with designers turning to pastels to bring a soft side to spring fashion. Ahead, click through the gallery to see how the pastel trend has withstood the test of time, from historic art to the current runways.

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