Pink and orange, brown and green, reddish brown and blue were not even considered viable combinations just a few years ago. But yesterday's tasteless mismatch is today's high fashion, the latest collections by haute couture designers in Paris and New York such as Prada, Marni, Jil Sander, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Dries Van Noten suggest.
Where do these awkward combinations of colors come from? Lee Min-a of an organization called the Korea Color Academy said, "There were three revolutions in the history of fashion and colors since 1900. The first was the 'New Look' by Christian Dior in 1947, and the second was Pop Art in the 1950s and 60s. The third was the color fields of Mark Rothko in the 1960s. Pop Art brought vivid primary colors and neon colors into the fashion world, and from the color field came combinations of non-matching colors."
Why is Rothko's work from the 1960s suddenly popular in fashion 40 years later? "While the 20th century was a period of experimenting new designs, the 21st century is a period of experimenting with colors," said Lee Jung-min of fashion trend information company PFIN. "Attempts to convey psychological radicalism through exploration of colors rather than designs are increasing as the recession prolongs."