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The World of Color: Shocking Pink

When I learn fun things, my first inclination is to share with you.  I had no idea that the name for this beloved shade of pink actually came from the mouth of designer Elsa Schiaparelli when she described a 17.67 carat diamond Cartier ring owned by Daisy Fellowes. The story goes that Daisy, the only daughter of Isabelle Blanche Singer of sewing machine fame, was known as a transatlantic social tornado in 1920s and 1930s Paris and New York.


She had a penchant for shopping and, one day, turned up at lunch with Elsa wearing the above-mentioned Cartier hot pink diamond ring. Schiaparelli had never seen such a color and fell irretrievably in love.  “The color flashed in front of my eyes,” Schiaparelli later wrote, “bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life giving, a color of China and Peru but not of the West, --a shocking color, pure and undiluted.” And there we have it. Shocking pink.

Schiaparelli immediately incorporated the color into her new perfume, which she named “Shocking.”  The packaging was hot pink and the bottle shaped to emulate Mae West’s voluptuous figure.

One more fun fact about hot pink: Marilyn Monroe wore a hot pink dress with a big back bow when she sang “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

In the pink,