Attention-grabbing red-based and orangey hues dominate the Pantone Color Institute’s spring 2019 fashion color report, reflecting our desire to face the future with empowering colors that give us confidence and uplift our spirit.
Leading the way is Pantone’s Color of the Year, Living Coral, described as a warm hue with golden undertone, vibrant yet mellow, conveying comfort and buoyancy in an ever-shifting environment.
A familiar color in nature, Living Coral is “evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color”, the report describes. Since Pantone began promoting top seasonal colors in 2000, there have been two years when similar shades have risen to Color of the Year — 2004 Tigerlily and 2012 Tangerine.
Living Coral is a sociable, spirited color that encourages playful expression, and symbolizes our need for optimism, describes Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. With the onslaught of digital technology and social media in daily life, she says we humans want authentic experiences that engage connections.
Other equally hot hues to get our blood pumping are Fiesta, a festive orange red; Jester Red, a rich, sophisticated russet shade; and Turmeric, a tangy orange. “From a psychological standpoint, when you look at what the colors mean, the hotter colors, particularly in the red family are all about empowerment,” says Eiseman.
Allison Peck for the New York City based Color Merchants, says as far as Pantone specific, coral is limited in the gems that mirror the hue, including its namesake gem, and possibly topaz and sapphire. She reports the most popular color stones she sees are garnet, amethyst and blue topaz, noting that birthstones in general are always in fashion.
With Living Coral the Pantone Color of the Year we can expect brighter colors in general to be sought after, says Theresa Namie, Merchandise Manager Ostbye, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She sees a shift from pastels to more vibrant, jewel tones (think ruby, emerald and sapphire). “I would expect an uptick in color-treated diamonds, as well. These gems will be most often set in rose and yellow gold in 2019. We are already seeing a rise in ruby sales, and as always, we will do very well with our birthstone collections.”
Many see green continuing to be a top hue, with shades like Pepper Stem, a spicy yellow green and Terrarium Moss, a dark shady green among Pantone’s palette for the season. In fact, Pantone has selected shades of green to blue as Color of the Year eight out of 19 years (2000 Cerulean Blue, 2003 Aqua Sky, 2005 Blue Turquoise, 2008 Blue Iris, 2010 Turquoise, 2013 Emerald, 2016 Serenity blue, and 2017 Greenery).
Millennials passionate about the environment see the color green as an affirmation of their beliefs. Green is a universal symbol of nature, health, and healing energy. Fresh and youthful, green remains popular, and so does gems like emerald, garnets, tourmalines, topaz, and peridot.
Moreover, sunny shades of yellow continue to inspire with Aspen Gold, a zesty, sunny yellow-green; and Mango Mojito, a golden yellow among the top colors. Gems like yellow sapphire and beryl, garnet, citrine, and fire opal can be found in this color family. While yellow has fascinated fashion forecasters for years, popular on recent red carpets, it only nabbed Color of the Year once in 2009 with champagne-hued Mimosa.
In 2019, our allure with royalty will continue on the heels of a year of fairytale weddings, movies about queens, and news of the next generation of Royals on the way — not to mention 2018’s Color of the Year. Ultra Violet is expected to remain important, as the color purple has since Radiant Orchid was the year’s top hue in 2014. Among the regal colors on the palette this spring are Pink Peacock, a theatrical purplish-pink; Sweet Lilac, a pink-infused lavender; and Princess Blue, a majestic royal blue. Gem families like garnet, tourmaline, spinel, and sapphire have lots to offer in this color range.
Color in general is trending not only in fashion, but also the bridal category, which really underscores the growing popularity of gemstones, particularly birthstones, reports Karen Crowe, Merchandising/Marketing for Quality Gold, Fairfield, Ohio. Beyond the success of stackable gem-set bands in fashion and bridal, she sees colors’ impact most evident in the increase of requests for gemstone centers in engagement rings. This has inspired Quality Gold’s latest collection, due out this spring, called Blooming Bridal, spotlighting gems like sapphires and morganite.