PANTONE HAS RELEASED ITS LATEST COLORS for Fall 2009, and they are new, surprising, and elegant! In some ways they reflect the financial turmoil the country is going through, because there is an undeniably somber quality here, but even that is sophisticated and moving, with a depth we haven’t seen in a while.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, points out that even the most neutral tones have rays of light that “keep things interesting.” As she sees it, designers are looking “to comfort people.” At the same time, they have “to grab the consumers’ attention.” Overall, it is a rich palette. Let’s see what you think:
1. IRON: A warm, strong gray with a brown cast. The shade is practical, dependable, a real staple for most wardrobe pieces. It is also deep and intense, though “not as foreboding as black,” Eiseman says. It gives brown an urbane look!
2. PURPLE HEART: A deep, creative, and complex purple with what some may see as a depressing name. This is a fresh version of the purples we’ve seen in recent seasons. It is very clear and strong. Eiseman sees it as a natural for accessories and jewelry.
3. MAJOLICA BLUE: Designers who are big on smoky colors for fall see this blue as a steadfast constant in anyone’s wardrobe. It is very dark, very saturated, almost black. Eiseman thinks it could be described as “a deep, teal blue.”
4. AMERICAN BEAUTY: This is a real red, perfectly balanced, with both cool and warm undertones. “In times like this, people have a tendency to return to patriotic colors,” Eiseman, says. There is a real patriotic feeling here. This is true red, one that is popular with retailers and customers alike.
5. HONEY YELLOW: This is a handsomely subdued yellow, just perfect for fall. It has a feeling of earth and minerals about it, a very grounded and at the same time sensitive hue. It mixes beautifully with oranges and greens, in a classic manner.
6. RAPTURE ROSE: A bright, almost playful pink, many see this as the season’s need for something lighthearted and whimsical. Eiseman sees it as working with many other colors in the palette, but points out that, with American Beauty, it becomes “a real attention-getter.”
7. BURNT SIENNA: Warm and bold, this color has the feeling of power. One designer said the inspiration for his use of the color in his fall palette was Egypt – “the richness of the sand and the stone of the architecture.” Eiseman calls Burnt Sienna “fall’s answer to orange, only more versatile.”
8. WARM OLIVE: An exciting variant on green, this is not your usual citrus spring color. It’s exotic and has a lot of yellow. “Working with the green family is basic, not trendy,” Eiseman says. She also noted that “designers are concerned about being eco-conscious.”
9. NOMAD: A good, practical, saturated beige, it anchors other colors in the palette. Bright colors complement Nomad perfectly. Look for it in accessories and in outerwear.
10. CRÈME BRULEE: A warmer, softer variation of white. Even though this comes in at last spot, don’t discount its importance. Crème Brulee is a fabulous neutral that goes with everything! It also brings forth the hot white trend of the year, which many see as an ongoing influence on costumes and accessories.