Trends: Say It with Color In Tucson

The Spring-Summer 2018 Pantone palette of top fashion colors speaks to the growing desire of consumers to add more color to their lives. The list also plays out in the trends we’re seeing.

ABOVE: Belle Étoile, Mosaica Multi Bangle. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America.

For the first time in 46 seasons and over 23 years since the Pantone Color Institute started calling out its top fashion colors, the palette for Spring-Summer identifies 12 instead of 10 leading hues. It also includes four additional classic colors that transcend seasons and provide structure to any wardrobe.

Pantone Colors: Coconut Milk, Almost Mauve, Lime Punch, Meadow Lark, and Pink Lavendar. Amy Glaswand, Edge Collection Jazz Earrings. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America. LeVian, Ring. Photo: Courtesy LeVian. Kamaria Jewelry, Bracelet. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America. Drukker Designs, Earrings. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America.

Pantone Colors: Coconut Milk, Almost Mauve, Lime Punch, Meadow Lark, and Pink Lavender. Amy Glaswand, Edge Collection Jazz Earrings. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America. LeVian, Ring. Photo: Courtesy LeVian. Kamaria Jewelry, Bracelet. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America. Drukker Designs, Earrings. Photo: Courtesy Jewelers of America.

“As consumers continue to embrace color, designers are recognizing the need to show more color in their collections,” hails Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “The color palette showcases an appreciation for the complexity and distinctiveness of color and the expression of it, which is something that evolves and can be played with. Consumers need more variety, and this expanded palette embraces the lack of gender and seasonal borders we’re seeing within the fashion industry.”

Experts at Pantone see that fashion and the people who interact with it no longer want to be limited to following traditional color guidelines. “Untypical spring shades that make for complex and original combinations expand the opportunity for self-expression and communicate consumer desire to experiment with color all year round,” says Eiseman, who describes the color story as wildly divergent, a kaleidoscopic bounty of uplifting shades and tones. “There’s a feeling of optimism and confidence driving a new vitality in fashion trends.”

The top 12 colors for the season are: bright yellow Meadowlark, orangey red Cherry Tomato, clear skies Little Boy Blue, earthy red Chili Oil, Pink Lavender, dusty blush Blooming Dahlia, cool green Arcadia, Ultra Violet, rich chocolate Emperador, Almost Mauve, fuchsia Spring Crocus, and Lime Punch.

Eiseman notes that neutral colors remain as core basics and seasonal essentials because they work well on their own or as landscape for more complex color combinations — highlighting this season navy Sailor Blue, dove gray Harbor Mist, Warm Sand, and Coconut Milk. “We felt that, if we included these core basics in our top color call outs, we’d limit the number of colors we thought deserved special attention. The core classics play a critical role in any wardrobe, and we want to highlight the nuances of these colors for spring.”

Pantone Colors: Harbor Mist, Blooming Dahlia, Little Boy Blue, Arcadia, and Cherry Tomato. Campbellian Collection, Phoenix Feathers Earrings. Photo: Courtesy Jewelrs of America. Lydia Courteille, Queen of Sheba Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski. Roberto Marroni, Infinity Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski. Isabelle Lopes, Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski.

Pantone Colors: Harbor Mist, Blooming Dahlia, Little Boy Blue, Arcadia, and Cherry Tomato. Campbellian Collection, Phoenix Feathers Earrings. Photo: Courtesy Jewelrs of America. Lydia Courteille, Queen of Sheba Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski. Roberto Marroni, Infinity Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski. Isabelle Lopes, Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski.

Gem Palette

The new Pantone color palette perfectly embodies what we’re seeing across fashion and with trends in general, says Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations and events for Jewelers of America. “There are fewer standouts and more options to choose from. A few of the selections were surprising, like the rich brownish-red color of Chili Oil, but most of the colors you’d expect for spring.”

For jewelry, Gizzi name-drops morganite for Pink Lavender, emerald and tourmaline for Arcadia, purple sapphire for Ultra Violet, blue sapphire for Sailor Blue, grey diamond for Harbor Mist, and pearl for Coconut Milk.

At JA’s Annual Fine Jewelry Preview, there were a number of gems popping up in many of the pieces on display including opal — especially Ethiopian and Mexican varieties — emerald, peridot, aquamarine, sapphire, lapis, ruby, carnelian, coral, pink sapphire and tourmaline, mauve moonstone, morganite, rhodochrosite, and amethyst. Blue green combinations continue to capture attention in jewelry designs, as well as pink and orange, and purple and green.

In fact, LeVian, the brand of chocolate diamond fame, in its annual fashion report with Harpers Bazaar hailed blue sapphire gem of the year for 2018, as well as naming other denim-hued stones like tanzanite, topaz, and aquamarine popular picks. LeVian also sees the use of ultra-feminine shades continuing, fueled in part by the increased popularity of rose gold, with “nude” declared a top tone supported by the ongoing success of peach morganite and Ethiopian opal. Moreover, the brand forecasts Americana inspirations key including red, white, and blue blends.

Pantone Colors: Spring Crocus, Emperador, Chili Oil, Ultra Violet, and Sailor Blue. LeVian, Blueberry Sapphire Ring. Photo: Courtesy LeVian. Taehee In, Forgotten in Madhouse Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski. Karolina Bik Jewelry, Out of the Sea Rings. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski.

Pantone Colors: Spring Crocus, Emperador, Chili Oil, Ultra Violet, and Sailor Blue. LeVian, Blueberry Sapphire Ring. Photo: Courtesy LeVian. Taehee In, Forgotten in Madhouse Ring. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski. Karolina Bik Jewelry, Out of the Sea Rings. Photo: Courtesy Swarovski.

Trends Forecast

Undeniably, the buzz around the runway shows is for sun-drenched hues, from creamy butter to Post-it yellow, which have been showing up on recent red carpet affairs. In fact, Pantone hails Meadowlark the highlight of the season. Gems that come in yellow hues include beryl, citrine, garnet, sapphire, diamond, sphene, topaz, tourmaline, and zircon.

The Spring 2018 palette encourages a sense of fun and playful release, Eiseman describes. “With an air of complexity and distinctiveness, we find ourselves in a sanctuary of color that is ideal for more unique and dramatic color mixing like the striking Lime Punch with dusty Blooming Dahlia.”

Swarovski, in its trends forecasting research “GemVisions,” identifies three major design directions. Together these that encompass an overarching theme dubbed “Wunderkammer” that cites a fascination with the extraordinary and a renewed preoccupation with the origin of gemstones. Fashion’s favorite genuine and created gemstone and crystal design elements brand identifies gems like sapphire, topaz, spinel, rhodolite, citrine and smoky quartz, with popular colors ranging from light and dark blues and grays to rich brown, poppy, golden yellow, and greens; caramel, deep red and intense black to misty rose and violet; and purplish pink to pale yellow, orange, and white.

The challenge is to use color trends wisely, advises Andrea Hansen, brand intelligence and business development for Luxe Intelligence. “No designer should completely alter their DNA to incorporate a color that doesn’t make sense for their brand. In the specific case of Pantone colors for a season, the knee-jerk reaction is to look for gemstones that fit the palette. But I would suggest that by incorporating the Pantone colors in photo shoots, web banners, wardrobe, Instagram graphics, and email newsletters, one can actively play the game without a long-term commitment to product development that may or may not sell.”

Article reprinted from the 2018 Tucson Show Guide


DEBORAH YONICK has been writing about jewelry and fashion trends for more than 25 years for trade and consumer publications and online, and has loved both for much longer! With roots in New York, she presently lives and works in York, PA.


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