Released at the start of June, Charli XCX’s Brat can be said to be responsible for many things this summer: its song – a toss up between 360 or Everything is Romantic, according to TikTok. Its hot mess dress code – “a strappy white top with no bra”, as decreed by Charli herself. And – of course – its colour: Brat green. Here’s all you need to know about the shade of this summer.

What is Brat green?

Not quite neon, not quite lime, this is a colour all of its own. Pleasingly putrid but with the citric sugar rush of Haribo Tangfastics, the pop star tried 65 different shades before settling on this one. “It will definitely be a marmite, love it or loathe it shade,” colour analyst Jules Standish told Crack magazine. “One that will get people’s attention and create a reaction.”

Where is Brat green?

On billboards and streaming services, of course, but also way beyond music: the London Eye was lit up in the colour the day the album was released, and its spawned everything from manicures to a shopping edit at Heaven by Marc Jacobs, perhaps the peak Brat brand. But Charli is an internet overlady, so social media is Brat green’s natural home. With the album, she released a Brat generator – allowing fans to make text memes using the Brat font and – of course – the colour. There are currently 2.6m posts on Instagram tagged ‘brat’. Most of them are green. 

Why did Charli make Brat green?

Charli XCX is a woman who has taken a zero-fucks-given attitude to god-tier level. This is channeled into her colour choices: Talking to Vogue Singapore, she said the colour came about because “I wanted to go with an offensive, off-trend shade of green to trigger the idea of something being wrong.” It almost sends up the branded shade found everywhere nowadays, from the livery of a Lime bike to the Tandem banking app, and instead embraces that of an actual lime left in the fruit bowl for too long.

Why do we like Brat green?

Green has been gaining ground in aesthetics for a minute. See Bottega Green, as popularised by Daniel Lee when the designer was at Bottega Veneta. It even goes back to Keira Knightley’s green dress worn in 2008’s Atonement, via Jordan Pickford’s kit at the Euros. But if most greens in the past have been about money (emerald) or the nice side of nature (grass), Brat green subverts that. Instead, it’s closer to the bodily fluids not talked about at the dinner table – bile, snot, puke, mould, smokers’ phlegm. By embracing the icky and the gross, it rejects the perfection of the That Girl dominating the discourse over the last few years and instead centres a growing very online demographic who hard relate to concepts including goblin mode and bed rot. Think of it as the inverse of the colour trend we had last summer – Barbie pink. This could be the revenge of Weird Barbie, in fact. 

What are Brat green’s references?

Charli, like many people in their early thirties with the internet at their disposal, enjoys the nineties. This was a time when ‘ugly’ colours ruled – see the dirty blonde of Kurt Cobain’s hair, the sludges in Prada’s famous ‘geek chic’ SS96 collection and the code green used for The Matrix. That Brat green its only a few shades away from this is definitely not a coincidence. 

Is Brat green worth investing in?

People already are. Fashion search platform Lyst says searches for ‘slime green’ have already increased 17% over the last two weeks. Unlike Barbie pink, this is not sickly sweet nor cloying – and has the most impact in moderation. Take inspiration from Charli’s fans, the appropriately-named Angels and wear as eyeshadow, nail polish or hair dye, for a IYKYK take on Brat summer. To be more explicit, Brat bead necklaces are available on Depop (of course they are). 

Lauren Cochrane is Senior Fashion Writer of The Guardian and contributes to publications including The Face, ELLE, Service95, Konfekt and Mr Porter. Based in London, she writes about everything from catwalk shows to footballers’ style and the linguistics of Love Island. She is author of The Ten: The Stories Behind the Fashion Classics. Header image: Charli XCX / Instagram.

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