Pantone Prophesy: What’s the new black?

Pantone Prophesy: What’s the new black?


Colour is a universal, yet silent form of communication that defines the world. From an early age, the colours of our environment provide a heavy influence on psychological decision-making in our everyday lives; from something as simple as choosing an outfit to the more subconscious, such as how different colours can subtly affect our feelings and mood. A bright yellow is culturally symbolic of optimism and energy, engendering warmth and good cheer.

These associations often take place outside of our conscious awareness, with responses to colour triggered by reasons as varied as memories of a close friend or a specific vacation destination well or subconsciously responding to colours which we believe complement our physical or desired appearance. The use of colour in the fashion industry exploits these emotions to significantly direct prospective customers towards specific brands, whilst it might sound like a pseudo-science, the simple technique has proven paradoxically successful.

If you look at this year’s fashion runway shows, designers across the spectrum consistently incorporate tones of rose-pink, a persuasive yet gentle tone, that conveys compassion and a sense of composure alongside blue harmonies, which seem to bring a feeling of respite even in turbulent times. The vivid pinks and blues help provide subconscious excitement and optimism, through quiet stability prevails in this palette. Influenced by the world of art and the desire to disconnect from technology and unwind, this year’s designers have gravitated towards colours that are, first and foremost, calming.

This season, there is almost no perceivable distinction in colour choice between men’s and women’s collections;The Pantone Institute introduced Rose Quartz and Serenity as Colour of the Year 2016, with a view to transcend cultural and gender roles. From the big fashion industry names like Vionnet, Delpozo and Emporio Armani to BCBG, Emilio Pucci and Richard James huge swathes of the industry have already embraced Serenity and Rose Quartz in their collections.

Pantone Colour Institute has been brightening up the world for over 20 years, constantly on the look out to predict new trend and ultimately deciding which hue will be the new black.

Twice a year Pantone gathers a colour committee that who meet in secret. Pantone’s colourist experts believe that Pantone’s Colour of the Year has a deeper sociological meaning that one might think, arguing that for the most part the popularity of a colour reflects the age we live in.

The colour that the committee chooses each year will help dictate future fashion trends and is selected to precisely reflect the status quo and represent the cultural zeitgeist. In any given year Pantone’s Colour of the Year attempts to serve as an expression of a mood and an attitude of people at a specific moment in time.  By creating the looks that truly represent the world we live in, both constructed and organic, Pantone experts seek to awaken a sense of reflection, followed by playful escapism.

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