Pantone | Fall 2016 Fashion Color Report


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PANTONE Fashion Color Report Fall 2016: A Unity of Strength, Confidence and Complexity

Fashion designers continue to search for reassurance and stability through their collections, a trend visible on the runway for several seasons. As noted in the Pantone Color Institute’s analysis for the Color of the Year 2016, consumers, too, have sought mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern stresses. As designers beget fashion, consumer sentiment begets designers, and we see color directions taking shape that continue to answer a common call for calm. This equal desire for tranquility and need for strength and optimism, from both the designer and the wearer, have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that captures strength and dependability while being uplifting, complex and sophisticated.

Inspired by fine art – particularly abstract art, landscapes and graphic geometrics – designers this season have animated a 10-color palette that is solidly rooted in the Blue family, conveying a message of calm and constancy. These two prevailing Blues along with a classic Gray and a comforting taupe anchor the palette, providing the essential foundation for the season. Injecting some more unusual notes are these organic yet sophisticated earth tones that bring warmth and excitement. Exuberant pops of bright colors also appear throughout the palette representing this season’s take on graphical elements and geometric shapes across the collections. Some designers are using clean lines and shapes against more fluid, abstract patterns for fall, while others have done the reverse. Both of these trends can be likened to the unexpected brights in our Fall 2016 palette which act as playful but structured departures from your more typical fall shades.

As always, travel inspired many designers, and thereby the Fall 2016 palette, with Japan and the Far East being destinations of particular interest and influence. A strong Red and a deep Green pay homage to both the natural and built elements of this part of the world. While Beijing’s art district and the Forbidden Palace provided inspiration to some, traditional quilting also served as an influence as did, Japan and China’s rich, impeccably maintained botanical gardens.

“If you look at this season’s entire palette, the idea of comforting Blues coming to the top of the list again shows that people are still searching for that reassurance,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute™. “The color Blue is fundamentally important to the human eye as a stable icon of the balance in our universe. Even in an uncertain world where cultural, economical and social tensions can cause us anxiety, we remember that the Blue skies above us have never fallen. The Grays give a feeling of stability and represent rock solid colors that you can go back to and use with everything in your wardrobe. Inciting confidence and warmth are the Red tones rounding out a palette that is stable and grounded, but at the same time also bold and complex.”

The unilateral approach to color and trend toward gender neutrality continues. Enthusiastically responding to a public that is more comfortable with color as expression and less concerned with stereotypical ideas about gender, in both the men’s and women’s collections this season, we see a breadth of color choices that transcend sexual identity, preference or bias.

Fall 2016 FCR Colors

PANTONE 17­4028 Riverside ­- new color

Earmarking the importance of Blue in the overall palette, the new blue shade of Riverside undeniably takes precedence in the Fall collections. Cool and calming, strong and stable, Riverside is a strong color whose subtle vibrancy and sophistication displays an unmistakable approachability and warmth. While the use of PANTONE 17-4028 Riverside borders on exciting, it easily maintains a sense of constancy that gives the wearer a feeling of repose.

PANTONE 14­4122 Airy Blue ­(new color)

Blue tones have shown up in nearly half of the designs we have seen leading up to the Fall 2016 runway shows. Pantone 14-4122 Airy Blue gives a nod to both Riverside as well as Serenity, one half of the Pantone Color of the Year 2016. As consumers and the design community strive toward a feeling of weightlessness in a world heavy with conflict and uncertainty, Airy Blue’s lofty nature of introduces feelings of lightness and freedom to our top 10 shades. Pairing easily with the somewhat darker Riverside, combine Airy Blue with Lush Meadow, Taupe or Dusty Cedar for a fresh approach.

PANTONE 17­3914 Sharkskin ­(new color)

There’s an edge to PANTONE 17-3914 Sharkskin, and yet it manages to remain neutral and pair-able with almost any fall color whether bright or muted. Sharkskin represents a color that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on. While several Grays have come through the Fall collections, this particular shade showcases practicality through a dependable but contemporary lens.

PANTONE 18-1550 Aurora Red

In contrast to the stability that serves as the backbone of the Fall 2016 palette, PANTONE 18-1550 Aurora Red adds a welcome punch. A bold Red that is warm, sensual and immediately pleasing to the eye, Aurora Red gets the metaphorical blood of the palette and the collections pumping, in an exciting, dynamic way that breeds unmistakable confidence.

PANTONE 16-1318 Warm Taupe

After departing slightly from the foundations of the palette in its Blues and Grays with a confident Red, we look again for reassurance and stability. Trusted, organic and grounded, the timeless shade of PANTONE 16-1318 Warm Taupe is a warm, pleasing and approachable neutral that pairs well with each of the top 10 shades of the Fall 2016 season.

PANTONE 18-1630 Dusty Cedar

Like Airy Blue, PANTONE 18-1630 Dusty Cedar gives a nod to the Pantone Color of the Year 2016, this time to Serenity’s other half, Rose Quartz. A fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring collections, Dusty Cedar is a ruddier and more complex Pink shade with some complexity that exudes warmth and welcome.

PANTONE 18-5845 Lush Meadow (new color)

As its name suggests, PANTONE 18-5845 Lush Meadow brings to mind fresh botanicals and foliage. Rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated. this green shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of color that elevates it from more natural greens. Its usage elevates the overall elegance woven through this season’s collections.

PANTONE 14-0952 Spicy Mustard (new color)

In a shift from previous season, the spicier, zestier Yellow, we are seeing for Fall 2016 is unexpected and unusual. Bouncing elegantly off other colors in the palette and adding another splash of uplifting vibrancy, PANTONE 14-0952 Spicy Mustard is an exotic addition that comes through in both the abstract and the more defined geometric accents designers have employed this season.

PANTONE 18-1340 Potter’s Clay

This neutral earth tone takes the palette back to what we might expect for fall and winter fashions, but like Spicy Mustard, PANTONE 18-1340 Potter’s Clay has an added degree of sophistication and inherent layering. A shade with real substance, Potters Clay has elements of Orange in its undertones, giving it a grounded feeling that is anything but flat. Like Sharkskin, this warm orange shade has emerged as another strong foundation for the fall palette.

PANTONE 17-3240 Bodacious (new color)

Lending itself to fabulously interesting and vibrant color combinations PANTONE 17-3240 Bodacious speaks to the gender fluidity we continue to see with designers’ use of color. Unexpected in the fall 2016 palette, this versatile Purple shade can be used monochromatically with colors in the Pink and Red family, or just as easily with Spicy Mustard or Potter’s Clay. No matter which way you chose, this bright, rich Purple, with its hints of a more sophisticated Pink, transforms fashion accents into fashion statements.