by Hakim Faiz Baloch
Grow up in an Asian household and you’ll truly understand the definition of attached and omnipresent parents.
Once they birth you, you are their life, soul, social experiment and pride or headache depending on which hour of the day you ask them. Having joined the ranks of parenthood, they have become settled in their ways, but the spark of creativity that is their self-expression manifests itself in your attire, upkeep and hobbies. That is, until you reach the age where the training wheels become obsolete and you want to manufacture your own persona – the age where all hell breaks loose.
Generally, I think of myself as a rather obedient child. I’ve more or less always done what my parents asked and expected and even managed to convince them of things they did not initially agree with. But when for the first time I was no longer in the same country as them and our contact was limited to Face Time conversations, I decided to branch out. Not the smartest idea, given that the shape of the back of my head doesn’t comply with the natural roundness all the stock photos of undercuts on Google images have. My mother was livid, and I could tell my father was trying to figure out where, along the 19-year journey of raising me, they had gone so very wrong. Despite the very vocal opposition to this change, there was another that sat better with them. And this was my new obsession with bright coloured apparel. This they approved of, this they saw as acceptable and safely expressive.
Now don’t get me wrong. As a little girl, my parents dressed me in bright blues, greens and reds in the good-natured effort to make my childhood bright and radiant. But it wasn’t me that chose the clothes. It wasn’t me who made a conscious pairing of sky blue shorts with a fuchsia peasant blouse. That was not my self-expression and to be finally making a choice for myself, was refreshingly liberating. I have since then gone with bright reds, pinks, blues, and lots and lots of yellows. The range of emotion the various shades of a single colour can incite is quite extraordinary – sunflower yellow bell-bottomed trousers on a rainy day is the emotional equivalent of a delighted giggle, while a mustard yellow button down shirt paired with no nonsense denim culottes is the ideal ‘I have places to go and people to meet’ outfit.
To be honest, the ultimate goal is to pull off ochre, saffron and goldenrod, without appearing to be a sufferer of jaundice.
After centuries of viewing yellow as a no-go zone, the runway has finally reclaimed the sun-drenched hue. Yellow classics pepper the red carpet too, with Cate Blanchett in Valentino and Rihanna in an imperial cape-like number at the Met Gala. Retail fashion brands have caught on fast, with Zara and Mango sticking true to their roots and producing bright yellow articles for the woman on the move, while higher-end brands like Bottega Veneta and Chlöe offer an array of cinched dresses, complete with frills, pleats and sheer tiers in shades from creamy custard to hot mustard. Simone Rocha reminds us that earthy and pastel tones of yellow can be innocent and romantic with a carefully crafted range of billowed and flowy clothing. To be honest, the ultimate goal is to pull off ochre, saffron and goldenrod, without appearing to be a sufferer of jaundice.
It’s not easy adjusting to the climate, culture and people of an entirely new country all at once. It all requires effective and functional coping mechanisms. And after the icy cold winter I had to endure, nay, somehow survive through, summer was like a much-awaited festival season. Lucky for me, the full look of fearless and unapologetic colour has been championed by Emilio Pucci, Chanel and others, making brights the new norm. Colour not only feels good, but also is contagious in its excitement. Such saturated shades like a badass daffodil inspire, act as an instant mood-lifter and create a false sense of self-assurance that, true to folklore, is as infectious as they come.
Wear that yellow. Let it sit on your skin and feel the inner glow being activated. Embody Beyonce walking off jauntily with a fire billowing behind her – your yellow dress will protect, inspire and leave you speechless.
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