Pantone Colors for Spring 2022 Reflect Optimism

Pantone’s seasonal palettes elevate the color conversation in style and design.

Our need for calm and comfort with free-spirited optimism is clearly expressed in Pantone’s Fashion Color Trend Report for Spring/Summer 2022, representing a diverse and distinctive range of grounded and exuberant hues.

The new seasonal palette, inspired by the colors pervasive in the latest collections that designers debuted during New York Fashion Week in September, identifies the top 10 standout colors, and current takes on five core classic colors that we can expect to see more of in spring/summer ready-to-wear.

Four of the standout colors are in varying shades of blue that express not only safe harbor but also signal blue skies ahead. In pastels, Spun Sugar is an airy cotton candy blue, and Glacier Lake, a cool, serene blue. In more saturated tones, Skydiver is a midnight celestial blue, and Harbor Blue, a reassuring blue-green. The palette also features two shades of red: Poinciana, a fiery, festive red, and Innuendo, a flirty raspberry red; as well as a powdery Gossamer Pink; standout purple Dahlia; joyful yellow Daffodil; and warm, yummy Coca Mocha.

Identified as the five core classic colors are Snow White, a white with hushed gray undertone; Northern Droplet, a silvery gray; Poppy Seed, a season-less deep gray; Basil, a sweet and savory green; and Perfectly Pale, a sandy beige.

These colors “bring together our competing desires for comforting familiarity and joyful adventure through a range of soothing, timeless colors, along with joyous hues that celebrate playfulness,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute reports. “As we enter this new landscape where fashion rules no longer apply, hues for spring allow us to mix as we please, encouraging the exploration of new chromatic realities and spontaneous color statements.”

Catching many by surprise, Pantone declared its 2022 Color of the Year, Very Peri, a hue not found in its top 10 fashion colors for the season. It’s the first time a color was custom-created for Pantone Color of the Year. A “warm and friendly blue hue, Very Peri has a carefree confidence and joyful attitude that emboldens uninhibited expression and experimentation. In apparel and accessories, it takes on distinct looks through in different materials, finishes, and textures.

Gem Connections

The spring fashion color palette is great for jewelry lovers because it encompasses all of the colors that metals and gemstones look great on. The neutral feel of the palette lays the foundation for vibrant pops of color. Brown as a new, season-less fashion neutral, not only looks great on everyone, it’s the ideal backdrop for jewelry and gemstones to shine.

Any time bold colors make a statement in high fashion, it’s a good sign for the gemstone industry. Siera Burt, graphic designer and marketing coordinator for SDC Creations, notes that with top fashion trends inspired by the 1980s and ‘90s vibrant jewelry is coming back in style, and geometric, mixed gemstone jewelry designs are expected to be especially popular. About half of SDC’s newest releases in its Colore Oro collection, she notes, are mixed gemstone pieces that combine different stones, colors, and cuts.

Parag Desai, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing for SDC Creations describes the Colore Oro collection as very modern, reimagining classic designs with gem favorites, including blue topaz, amethyst, garnet, and green quartz in not-so-standard cuts, and gem combinations like ruby and onyx.

While the latest fashions are bolder and glitzier, nature remains a dominant inspiration for colors and designs, finds Theresa Namie, merchandise manager for Ostbye. She believes the organic trend will continue to be strong, with motifs like leaves for growth, flowers for love, and trees for strength especially popular. She cites blue topaz, citrine, and pink tourmaline among the forecasted gem favorites for the season and expects rubies and sapphires to be more prominent.

Leading fashion lifestyle media list gem-set jewels among the top jewelry trends for 2022. Marie Claire describes the jewelry spied on the spring runways as: “Oversized, colorful, and a bit quirky… begging us to have fun with our jewelry… Spring’s baubles offer a quick and easy mood boost.”

The style blog, The Zoe Report, hails “the biggest Spring/Summer 2022 jewelry trends as bold and vibrant as the clothing itself.” Gem beads abound, primarily playful strands for neck and wrist be it a whimsical choker or a mixed-media design incorporating extras like pearls and charms.

This trend, in fact, is not just for women. A recent Forbes article cites the growing interest in men’s jewelry that has been brimming with excitement the past few seasons, with Gen Z and younger millennials the focus of most menswear brands. Covering men’s spring/summer 2022 runway shows in Paris, Milan, and NYC, Forbes found men’s jewelry abundantly apparent from bead necklaces to elements of nature, even shells and pearls.

Elevating the Color Conversation

Pantone’s seasonal palettes certainly elevate the color conversation in style and design, as people, surrounded by lively hues, are paying more attention to what evokes emotions.

Cora-Lee Colaizzi, director of marketing and catalogs and senior merchandiser for Quality Gold, says she uses colors-of-the-year information when considering marketing and advertising decisions.

Given the strength of blue hues in the palette — soft to saturated, representing both comfort and joy — gems like London and Swiss blue topaz, aquamarine, and blue sapphire will continue to be bestsellers. Red also is expected to be a hot color this year. A symbol of power and strength, red gems like ruby and garnet are forecasted to be important in jewelry design in 2022, as well as raw stones and gems with unique markings (think rutilated quartz).

In the color of the year, Very Peri offers a harmonious blend of cool and warm tones, the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red. Colaizzi says this color, best captured in amethyst, pairs nicely with most of the seasonal shades. Other gems that come in this hue include iolite, agate, chalcedony, moonstone, and jade.

The demand for color, says Colaizzi, is not only for natural, earth-mined gemstones but also for lab-grown color. With increasing interest in lab-grown diamonds, she says rising retailer requests inspired new collections, like its Pure Serenity, lab-created Paraiba tourmaline. Lab-created ruby and blue sapphire are desired, as well as opal, morganite, and alexandrite.

Mood-boasting pieces with uplifting colors in playful designs represent a wave of optimism in trending jewelry. The Plumb Club Industry & Market Insights 2021, in a 2021 survey of 1,000 U.S. jewelry consumers, 78% say that colorful gemstone jewelry improves their mood, with 67% wearing jewelry that expresses their mood and personality. Consumers prefer neutral (41%) and bright gems (31%) that are translucent or clear, the data says.