Just yesterday the global authority on colour, PANTONE, have made their annual Colour of the Year Announcement. For the first time ever, they anointed not one, but two!
ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY.
The experts who have every year picked one colour that they predict will be reflected in the following year, decided that pale pink and light blue will dominate throughout fashion, home décor, architecture, art and design next year. I have to say I didn’t really expect this decision from them, not that because I’m not fond of these two colours (I like them!) but because I thought they would be choosing a more darker, sharper colour for next year.
In case you are unfamiliar with PANTONE, they are a company owned by X-Rite Inc, which develop and markets colour software, support systems and other products. They search the world for new colour trends in order to arrive at their annual selections and they also tip off some marketing partners so that they can create products, such as Sephora cosmetics and Keurig coffee makers. They question décor, fashion designers, manufacturers and retailers on what colours they plan to use, so Pantone can pick the colour of the coming year. The annual prediction is unveiled at the end of each year and foreshadows coming trends.
So why these two colours?
“We look at the history of where we’ve been with color and ask ourselves, is this a time for change? Our feeling was: yes.”
Lee Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute (2015)
“THE perfect blue for this year: very calming, it imparts a feeling of relaxation and tranquility. By pairing it with Rose Quartz, you’ve got two gentle tones — but that pink is a beautiful mineral that comes out of the earth, which gives it strength.”
She thinks of pinks as “compassionate and composed, but also warm and embracing — we wrap ourselves in pink, so to speak. Putting these two colors together, you get a whole clearly greater than its parts.”
“From a business perspective, it’s two colors, so it’s an opportunity to make extra combinations,” says Ms. Eiseman.
Pantone explained that the iridescent combination echoed a growing trend of challenging traditional perceptions about color. Leatrice Eiseman , executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, said the decision to select two distinct colours was indicative of “gender equality”. The two colours are also the colours of the Transgender pride flag that is a big thing currently.
“In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design,”
“Gender blur and equality is huge today,” says Eiseman. “More people than ever are using pink, and women never had a problem with blues. Younger consumers don’t have those same objections and biases that their parents and grandparents do. They don’t attach the same-old ideas to a color combo” that predominated before.
This kind of reminds me of the very first university project we did earlier, CONFIDENT ANDROGYNY (Monochrome) which focuses on gender fluidity and the ‘gray’ area between the two opposing genders.
Is it trendy on the runway?
The choice also reflects a surprising pastel trend that has been on fashion runways in recent seasons.
Designers that featured this two colours lately on the runway:
Chanel – haute couture collection fall 2015
Prada – spring summer 2015
Fendi – spring summer 2015
Thom Browne – womenswear resort 2016
Richard James – menswear spring 2016
Roberto Cavalli – menswear spring 2016
Louis Vuitton – spring/summer 2016
Leanne Marshall – spring RTW 2016
Oscar De La Renta – spring/summer 2016
Christian Dior – spring/summer 2016
Valentino – spring/summer 2016
Carolina Herrera – spring/summer 2016
Defending the choices
“Am I concerned it’s going to look babyish? No, context is everything,” Eiseman notes. “It’s all in the design and fonts you use, or spot colors that give the palette some sophistication. You can take the quietness of those two colors and add excitement — you might try a Lime Popsicle or Silver to add a metallic glint. Or add Old Rose for a more nostalgic look. Or use Fondue Fudge for a richer packaging look.”
“Rose quartz is not baby pink, it doesn’t have that wimpy feel.”
Pantone says the two colors are popular choices for jewelry, fashion accessories and wearable technology. The company expects the colors to show up in various kinds of makeup, interior decorating and graphic design. So do you think we’ll be seeing a lot of ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Serenity’ next year not just regarding clothing, but also home décor, design, architecture? Do you like the new Pantone colour of the year for 2016?
So what do you think of next year’s colour compared to this year’s controversial choice? Marsala (2015), an earthy wine red was last year’s selection (so this year’s colour). Marsala was widely criticized with Nylon magazine describing it as “dried period blood.” Yikes.