Friends often ask what inspires my design work. I could give a thousand different answers to that question, but if you held a gun to my face and said there could be only two answers, I’d say: color and fashion. Everything I do is inspired by those two forces. Everything.
So, it may come as no surprise that, every season, I check Pantone’s Fashion Color Report and compare it to the runway shows, partly because it’s fascinating, and partly because I’m curious how accurate their predictions are.
I have yet to enjoy my fall wardrobe (yep, still wearing sandals and tees), but I’ve already gone through the spring 2011 collections. On the whole, the clothes are dominated by black, white, and variations of khaki, but when color does appear, it’s bright and punchy and surprisingly joyful. Pantone got that absolutely right. As for the rest of their predictions…
Beeswax. Yellow has a monopoly on spring color, but the majority of yellow hues were more acidic than Pantone’s honey-toned prediction. Still, it was there, and my favorite Beeswax looks were from Cynthia Rowley, Prabal Gurung, and Nanette Lepore:
Coral Rose. Orange continues to gain popularity and was probably the second-hottest color on the runway, but Pantone’s version was more yellow-based, whereas most designers favored a red-based orange. Of the Coral Rose looks out there, I loved these from Guy Laroche, Elene Cassis, and Costume National:
Honeysuckle. Hot pink was all over the place. It was fuchsia, it was magenta, it was neon. No particular shade of hot pink dominated, but when it was Honeysuckle, I admit it looked fresh and new. Hello, Jason Wu, Christopher Kane, and Gianfranco Ferre:
Regatta. Blue is still hot right now, and it’s in every tone and shade, from royal to pastel. Pantone chose Regatta as one of its top ten colors of the season, but I’m not convinced they’ve chosen the right blue; it wasn’t easy to find these images from Angelo Marani, Costume National, and Philosophy di Alberta Feretti:
Blue Curacao. Just like Regatta, Blue Curacao joins the ranks of turquoise on the runway but might not be the most accurate shade of turquoise. Perhaps the point here is that turquoise is still popular, whatever the shade. Cynthia Steffe, DKNY, and Costume National were part of the handful of Blue Curacao out there:
Peapod. Unlike the other colors I’ve mentioned, green wasn’t everywhere—but man, when it was, it felt so right! It was tough to find these images, but I have a feeling this shade of green is on its way up. Bravo to Lutz, Pin-Up Stars, and Cynthia Steffe for grabbing it early:
Russet. I would never have noticed this color if I wasn’t looking for it. And wow, I’m glad I was, because here’s another color that feels really right for spring. My favorite Russet looks were from Amanda Wakeley, Hermès, and Ter et Bantine:
Silver Cloud. When I said that black, white, and khaki were big on the runway, I should have included gray in that statement; it was nearly impossible to narrow it down to three. But I did it, and I chose these looks from Badgley Mischka, Sergio Zambon, and Elena Miro to best represent Silver Cloud:
Silver Peony. Pale pink was like the underdog of the spring runway. It was there, but it was subtle and sporadic. Some were peachy and some were close to champagne, but of those that matched Pantone’s Silver Peony, my favorites were Antonio Berardi, Dennis Basso, and Oscar de la Renta:
Lavender. Oh, lavender. It’s so pretty, yet this is where I think Pantone may have made a mistake, because its presence on the runway was miniscule. You can see that I couldn’t even find images to match Pantone’s hue—but I did my best with Elena Miro, Bebe, and Marchesa. Perhaps Pantone would have been better off making their tenth color a neutral khakhi. Even a strong, jewel-tone purple was more prominent than this pretty pastel:
And then there was Versus, whose charming spring collection looked like a page right out of Pantone’s Fashion Color Report and makes me want to end this post with applause:
*All runway images from Elle.com.