Buyers ready to hit the ground shopping for next year’s hot trends will likely be wondering which colors will be important to their collections. According to Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman, they should keep symmetry in mind when approaching their new hues. “The season is a new look at definitions of harmony, proportion and balance. There’s an irreverence about color. The way colors are combined, the hues, the shades and tones, is inspiring.” A focus on color may also play into some design trends currently in the work. “A huge percentage of women are saying that, even though they like to look at crazy designs and very high heels, at the end of the day they want comfort, stability, quality and value. You can show them haute couture, and it may bring them into a store, but they’ll buy what’s comfortable. One way they can get crazy, though, is with design and color.”
Here are some closer looks at three of the palettes that will be important to spring/summer 2011.
“This is a palette that works off of neutrals,” says Eiseman. “That’s the practical aspect of it. We’ll see a deep graphite blue color and grays are the neutrals, but overall this palette relies on the hotter hues to infuse it with energy. People are being more practical, but they still want excitement. You can bring in yellow, orange or red, which gives energy to a more neutral shade. A good word to use for this palette is vibrant.”
“To me, this is one of the most interesting palettes, because it’s about the use of complementary colors. It really makes things vibrate. Still, a lot of the colors come out of nature. That’s the great instigator for color combinations. We’ve been on a nature kick for many years now, and we’re seeing that it’s not a fad. That’s a given. So if you tell people you’re using sustainable materials, but the product also has value and quality, you have lots going for you. In nature, you may see many different shades, but they do work together. If you look at a dahlia, the center is often a complement to the petals around it.”
“This palette isn’t as vibrant as Complementary or Focus. It’s more sophisticated and quiet, with colors equally divided between warm and cool shades. There are some sophisticated nuances. What this palette tells us, which is important to remember, is that it’s not all about warm tones for spring and summer.”
Leatrice Eiseman is executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and heads the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. Pantone is known worldwide as the standard language for accurate color communication, from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer, across a variety of industries