Fashion Goes Hog Wild: The Year of the Pig

February 5th heralds in The Chinese New Year and 2019 is the Year of the Pig (an Earth Pig to be exact). Each year belongs to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle and the Year of the Pig includes 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, and 2031. Among the famous people, past and present, born in those years: Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Ford, Luciano Pavarotti, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Crystal, Elton John, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Julie Andrews, Woody Allen. And disgraced actor Kevin Spacey (no comment!).

Harry Styles and a baby pig

But even before the advent of the upcoming New Year, pigs have been in the spotlight, celebrated as unsuspecting fashion mascots. During NYFW last September, a teacup pig, Whistle The Fashion Pig (a brand ambassador for WhistlePig Rye Whiskey) appeared before the Proenza Schouler spring/summer 2019 runway show in New York dressed in an ‘on trend’ pink cable-knit sweater no less. The same month, Harry Styles, impeccably turned out in Gucci, posed with baby pigs and baby lambs. It was part of Gucci’s Cruise 2019 campaign photo shoot that took place in the historic Renaissance village Valla Lanta, north of Rome.

Miley Cyrus with a pig on the cover of Paper Magazine

Pigs have been the pet of choice for eccentric celebrities like Miley Cyrus, who not only adopted a pet pig named Bubba Sue back in 2014, but later posed nude on the cover of Paper Magazine while holding onto a large pig. More recently, Ariana Grande and her then fiancé, Pete Davidson adopted a “micro” therapy pig as part of her healing process following the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller. She kept the pig but let go of Pete.

But regardless of the fact that a few plugged in fashion companies and a smattering of celebrities have gone “hog wild” over pigs, and that according to the Chinese, they are diligent, compassionate, generous, and symbolize wealth, they don’t exactly have a glamorous reputation and have gotten a bad rap through the centuries. In actuality, they are some of the cleanest animals on the farm but have become synonymous with being filthy and dirty. Their name has been used adversely in the vernacular to describe people who are gluttonous, very fat, greedy, selfish, swinish, repulsive, or bad mannered. The phrase ‘male chauvinist pig’, which was originally coined in the late 60’s and 70’s, could not be more relevant now. It is meant to describe men, specifically men of power, who think women are not equal and are there for their pleasure, which is expressed through word and action. Thankfully, some of the more high profile among this group have been outed and given their justly deserved ‘rewards’.

Constance Wu in a custom Vera Wang nude tulle gown

There are animals in the Chinese zodiac that lend themselves to fashion, (the horse, the snake, the tiger), but the pig isn’t one of them and it is a bit more challenging to link pigs to something elegant or chic. Of course, there is Bacon, the outerwear brand that specializes in distinctive ‘puffa’ jackets and duvet coats for men and women. I suppose if you want to celebrate the Year of the Pig, it’s better to wear bacon than eat bacon, or wear pigskin for that matter lol. Then again, you can wear the color that best symbolizes them: pink. Specifically, the range of pinks that are nude, blush, flesh-toned and barely there.

Julia Roberts wearing a Stella McCartney jumpsuit in blush and black

Coincidentally, some of the best dressed stars who attended the recent Golden Globe Awards, including Julia Roberts in Stella McCartney, Emma Stone in Atelier Louis Vuitton, Kiki Layne in Dior, and Constance Wu in custom Vera Wang, were wearing iterations of those sophisticated shades.

Gabriela Hearst

These are some standout choices available in the market right now. They are so neutral, so chic, and so modern; they just might make you re think pink! Gabriela Hearst’s baby-pink “Sophie” blazer, made in Italy from wool and silk-blend features classic details like notched lapels, button-fastening cuffs and a single back vent, $2500. More info/purchase The matching “Masto” wool blend pants, $1590, are $ 2500. More info/purchase


This plunging front Missoni dress, knitted in Italy from antique-rose Lurex, has a flattering nipped-in waist and pleated maxi skirt that shimmers underpinned. There is a chiffon slip for added coverage and comfort, $2830. More info/purchase

Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan’s floor-sweeping pastel pink tulle maxi skirt is embellished with beaded and sequined fringing that swishes elegantly and has a back slit to allow for movement, $ 3995. More info/purchase

Jason Wu Grey

This airy slip dress, from Jason Wu Grey, is cut from blush stretch-jersey embellished with scores of tonal sequins, $495. More info/purchase

Cecile Bahnsen

Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen’s ‘Siv’ midi skirt is cut from blush fil coupé organza and has been reduced from $1225 to $612.50. More info/purchase


This Vince coat is made from a cozy mix of Italian wool, mohair, and alpaca in a pale dusk shade of pink, which has been brushed for an incredibly soft faux fur effect. Inspired by menswear, this calf-grazing style has a streamlined single-breasted front and matching belt at the waist, $695. More info/purchase


This iconic and authentic Chanel 2.55 Handbag is made from rare pink ombre diamond quilted lambskin and features silver-tone hardware accents, $3110. More info/purchase

Rejina Pyo

This pale pink ‘Mila’ shirt by Rejina Pyo is cut for a slightly loose fit from lightweight jacquard patterned with leaves, $425. More info/purchase The matching jacquard flared ‘Mila’ pants are $575. More info/purchase

Jil Sander

Jil Sander’s pumps have been crafted in Italy from blush leather and have a detachable silver anklet embellishment and high-cut vamp, $267 reduced from $890. More info/purchase


– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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