It’s that time of year again! Christmas bells have yet to start ringing, but the Pantone Institute – that austere organization that so brilliantly predicts color directions for the fashion industry – has already announced its ten top colors for spring 2009. So forget about the winter. Spring will soon be here, and with it, this brilliant, serene collection of Pantone colors favored by New York designers for the upcoming warmer months. The palette is cool, optimistic and inward-oriented. You might say meditative. Emphasis is on blues and greens, water colors, refreshing and revitalizing.
PALACE BLUE comes in at the Number One spot, a classic color considered to be in the navy family, though it is quite a bit lighter. “Palace Blue is one of those colors that really goes well with every other color in the top ten,” declared Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. It is not exactly new to the Pantone list, more like updated, since it is a continuation of the top Blue Iris color of last fall.
LAVENDER makes the Number Two slot at Pantone, a variation of purple, and somewhat softer than Royal Magic from last fall, of which it is a continuation. “This isn’t some baby pastel lavender,” Eiseman says. It is vibrant, and more assertive.
SUPER LEMON takes the Number Three spot in the top spring color list. This is a very alive yellow, complex and zesty. It carries some green undertones which Eiseman thinks makes it more interesting. Yellow is a hard color for many people to wear, but the Institute director points out that it is an excellent color for accessories.
SALMON ROSE, the Number Four spot winner, is softer and lighter than Burnt Orange from last fall. It is gentler than real orange, and not as difficult to wear. It goes wonderfully with darker skin tones. Fuchsia Red and Lucite Green make terrific teammates.
FUCHSIA RED follows salmon rose at the Number Five post. It is a strong, dramatic color, with blue rather than warm undertones, fitting to the overall spring palette. This is an extremely popular color, being used by numerous New York designers as their signature color for the season.
ROSE DUST is somewhat deceptive in name, since it looks like a very pale beige. At Number Six on the Pantone chart, this flattering neutral has an extremely delicate rose cast. It is seen as a neutral base for many different colors, including khaki.
SLATE GRAY is a beautifully sophisticated color with all the subtlety of slate itself. The color, voted Number Seven on the Pantone list, has both blues and greens in its undertones, although blue definitely predominates. It is complex and elegant and works well with many other blues and greens in the spring palette.
VIBRANT GREEN is just as its name implies: alive, intense, lush. At Number Eight on the Pantone list, vibrant green is described as the “quintessential spring color.” This is a true green, suggesting golf courses and other well-cared for landscapes.
DARK CITRON is anything but dark. At Number Nine on the Pantone Chart, it is a strong, yellow-green, with deep tonality. It is very adult.
LUCITE GREEN, Number Ten, is a fascinating combinationof color and light. It is almost translucent, like Lucite ®, but it is also a clean, clear, early-spring green. This is a slightly offbeat green, not traditional, with a pop of ice cream color and a slight hint of blue. It is very NOW.