Fresh from New York’s Fashion Week, Pantone — THE authority of color trends — released the Fashion Color Report for Spring 2011.
When I used to be an ad agency art director, I lived and breathed by Pantone’s color trends when selecting colors for photo shoots, logos and packaging color stories. I always thought the coolest job would be to work for the Color Institute and get to name the colors. Cerulean blue was status quo to the art student as I went to the art store to buy paints, but when I became a working art director and could specify “Capri Ocean Blue” — oh! the visions that came to mind. Back then I hadn’t yet been to Capri! I don’t “pick colors” for a living anymore, but I still get excited when Pantone announces the color forecast.
As you look at these colors, keep in mind that these are saturated hues, kind of like if you colored straight from the crayon. Your skin and hair color combination may not work well with the full-saturation hue and you might be better with a tint (lighter) or tone (darker) of the color or lean to the warmer or cooler values. So, don’t be discouraged if Honeysuckle 18-2120 is not in the palette that your color consultant advised. There is probably a variation of Honeysuckle that you can work with. (Note: If you’re in the Chicago area and are looking for a color consultant, we can put you in touch with one that we know. Just drop us a comment and we’ll connect you to Kathy.)
“Explore the world!” seems to be the theme for Spring 2011. Africa, India, Peru and Turkey were the inspirations for Spring 2011’s color palette. (Hmmm, I just might need to make trips to these places for the real deal.)
“The colors designers have chosen for the spring season present an interesting marriage of unexpected warm and cool tones,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “By cleverly combining complementary colors, those that are opposites on the color wheel, they have created a striking intensity to the palette. These unique color combinations make it possible for consumers to pair existing pieces in colors traditionally associated with fall, with new favorites to punch up springtime wardrobes.”
Flirtatious Honeysuckle is a feel-good hue that brings a festive sense of playfulness to this season’s palette. This vibrant pinkish-red for both apparel and cosmetics makes consumers feel alive, and is a perfect post-winter pick-me-up.
Spicy, gregarious and persuasive describe Coral Rose, a sophisticated orange that, much like Beeswax, a warm, honeyed yellow, conjures up feelings of faraway lands and locales. Pair either of these piquant hues with a cool, refreshing color-wheel opposite like Regatta for a vibrant color combination that will add zest to any wardrobe. Romantic, fanciful Lavender implies sensuality with its subtle hint of red undertone. Combine it with Beeswax or Coral Rose for a unique counterpoint.
Alluring Blue Curacao evokes thoughts of tropical destinations and pays homage to the 2010 Color of the Year, Turquoise. Practical consumers can continue to incorporate enticing Caribbean blues into spring by pairing Blue Curacao with warm, complementary colors like Honeysuckle or Coral Rose. Peapod, a fresh yellow-green, brings an organic element to the palette and is reminiscent of the green shoots that signify change and new beginnings traditionally found in spring.
Trans-seasonal neutrals ground this season’s palette and provide a stable backdrop for all the other colors. The so-called “nude hues” are represented in the range of ethereal Silver Peony to dramatically deep Russet. Another dependable background color, Silver Cloud, is the quintessential neutral that consumers can rely on to coordinate with everything in their closet.” Source: Pantone, Inc.
Download the full report with the designers’ inspirations from Pantone’s site. You’ll find sketches and color stories from designers such as Christian Soriano, Tracy Reese, Catherine Maladrino, Tadashi Shoji, and many more. They also give their quick “must-have’s” for Spring 2011. At the end of the report, Pantone also talks to other fashion industry influencer, such as make-up artist Collier Strong, Desparate Housewives costumer Cate Adair and Essie Weingarten from Essie Cosmetics to ask what geographies are influencing fashion and how it plays into the color palette.
Play with their interactive summary and you’ll see all the designer sketches who commented by specific color.
And for our male readers or if you’ll be sewing for a man in your life, Pantone specifies a separate color palette for menswear.
If you’re like me, I haven’t even started to think about Spring 2011. So, I thought I’d include the Fall 2010 color trend. You can download the full report from Pantone’s site with the designers’ inspiration stories.
Pantone’s iPhone/iTouch App
If you have an iPhone or an iTouch, you can keep the Pantone colors with you. What better reference to have the next time you’re in the fabric store and dreaming of your next garment or accessory?
Pantone has an iPhone/iTouch app, you can carry the Pantone library with you and build color palettes. Select a color and you can also select complementary colors or “matchy-matchy” tones. The really neat feature is being able to take a picture either already on your iPhone/iTouch or snap one immediately, then extracting a color out of that image and go from there to pick your complementary colors, etc. For more screen captures, read more about it on Pantone’s site with screen captures of the app.
Open your box of crayons or uncap your colored markers! Whether it’s a new fall scarf, patterned hose or just a splash of color on a trim, I hope you enjoy color throughout the seasons!