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 A quick glance at the spring and summer palette will make you think this season’s colors are in a Caribbean theme.  But a closer look at Pantone’s palette reveals hues that don’t fit into Caribbean—colors like beeswax, russet, and silver peony.  Pantone says the inspiration is exotic destinations like Africa, Peru, Turkey, and India. 

While black, white, and the metal colors of silver or gold plating are timeless in fashion jewelry and accessories, the season’s palette is important because these hues that change with each new season are part of the excitement of fashion consumers look forward to each year.  These colors keep your accessories in tune with what is going on in apparel.  Pantone points out that the palette has a mix of warm and cool colors and an interesting point is that many colors are opposites on the color wheel so pairing apparel and accessories in these opposites has stunning results.  

Turquoise is the color of the year and we will come back to that, but let’s begin with regatta, a blue that is a little deeper than turquoise and much lighter than royal.  This is a cool color that is soothing and the color opposite it on the color wheel is beeswax, which is the next color featured.  Apparel and accessories using the combination create a classic complimentary color scheme of opposites.  Color experts call this combination of opposites a complimentary color scheme.  Create this combination in your store because it will be a key look for the spring and summer. 

Beeswax has yellow edging towards honey that delivers an almost butterscotch color.  Consider the combination with regatta mentioned above when combining with apparel.   Shown is a ladies dress hat that can really stand out with a regatta suit.  Another way to accessorize the color is coordinating with the hues adjacent to the color on the color wheel.  This is referred to as an analogous color scheme where accessories or jewelry has a slightly different hue than the apparel. 


Before we continue, let’s cover turquoise that is the color of the year.  For at least three years, turquoise has been important in fashion. It contributed to a boom in gemstone jewelry that is still going on.  When consumers see so much turquoise jewelry in the market at affordable prices, they wonder can it be real.    With gemstone quality of turquoise costing $1,500 per pound, we know for sure that it is not top grade turquoise. 

Actually, the turquoise used in fashion jewelry in nearly all reconstituted.  What does that mean?  Well…, low quality turquoise is ground up and mixed with resin and dye and then formed into stones or sheets, from which stones are cut.  The outside receives an attractive coating and the components of the jewelry still have the cold feel of characteristic of turquoise. 

The value is far less, but the fashion jewelry created with these stones has a gorgeous look that cannot be ignored.   While most of the gemstone jewelry like rose quartz and tiger’s eye has some intrinsic value, the value of the reconstituted turquoise jewelry is mainly in the artwork.  This season turquoise jewelry is back again with fresh designs that are gracing the showcases of upscale fashion retailers and department stores. 

Now back to the palette for spring.  If you print Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for Spring 2011, honeysuckle is on the cover.   This pleasing rosy color suggests a Caribbean theme.  Pantone says it “makes customers feel alive, and is a perfect post-winter pick me up”.  We are in spring right now with Easter approaching, so imagine this color in ladies dress hats going with a suit.  The suit can be match, an adjacent color with a different hue, or a complimentary color.  In this case, the opposite on the color wheel is peapod, the color we will cover next.  This pairing of apparel and accessories is striking and may be something most would not have tried.  In Part II of the color blog, we will provide information about tools that make combining colors easy. 

The final color in Part I is peapod.  This is a soft green color with a tinge of yellow that Pantone says “is reminiscent of the green shoots that signify change and new beginnings traditionally found in spring”.  The necklace set shown provides the color which would be stunning with honeysuckle apparel as well as with other hues of green.  We have six more colors on the palette that we will cover in Part II. Also look forward to some other novel ways of combining colors.

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