Unless you've been a recluse over the past week, you have likely seen photos of last week's Met Gala. I'm not going to get into too much detail about it except to say that my picks for the three best-dressed guests were Lauren Santo Domingo, Vanessa Traina, and Plum Sykes, all of whom work in the fashion world. Plum Sykes's decision to wear scarlet satin Manolo Blahniks with her pale pink column dress especially captured my attention because the color combination was a bit unexpected. And yet, it was really quite smashing, with Sykes's red shoes making her prim gown sing. It also reminded me of how much I love this color pairing. (I did not want to fool with obtaining permission from Getty Images to use their photo of Sykes, so you'll have to click here to see her stepping out to the Gala.)
Rarely do you see pink and red used together within the same room. In fashion layouts, however, you do. When standing alone, pink can appear slightly (or sometimes sticky) sweet. But when dashes of red are thrown in for flavor, the effect can be sophisticated and effervescent. Could this be why Babe Paley wore pink and red for her Round Hill, Jamaica portrait?
One interior designer who did mix the two colors together to great effect was David Hicks. Hicks, however, took a brash approach to the pairing, using pinks that had vigor and swagger. Cerises, scarlets, and magentas mingled to create rooms of bravado, fit for even the most manly of men. If all of this sounds too swashbuckling, you could take your cue from Hicks (or even Mark Hampton, whose 1970s-era Manhattan apartment included a red and pink bedroom) but tone it down for more feminine sensibilities. Paint a room's walls in lacquered aubergine and upholster its furnishings in pink silk and red damask. I think that such a room would like really pretty...or, to use a phrase that gets on my nerves, such a room would look "very gala."
The early Manhattan apartment of Mark and Duane Hampton. Their bedroom was decorated in shades of magenta and pink with some red thrown in for good measure.
Serge Obolensky photographed by Slim Aarons at the St. Regis Roof, New York. I can't really tell if the room was mostly pink or if there was some red somewhere (perhaps the ceiling?)
Photo of Paley and Obolensky from A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life by Slim Aarons; Hicks and Hampton photos from David Hicks: Designer; Maharaja of Jaipur photo from The World in Vogue 1893-1963.