2017 Spring Colors 

It is always an exciting time to look ahead to a new season and as I shared in my previous blog post, new beginnings.   Even though I get a peek at the prominent colors when I go to market, the season doesn’t fully take shape for me until the new spring merchandise begins arriving in the store.  Those racks begin to fill up with a burst of newness, and the whole store gets a color makeover.  

The colors for the spring 2017 season are grounded in nature.  According to Pantone.com, the dominant color for the season will be Niagra blue (third from the left on the bottom).  In this case, dominant means Niagra showed up the most on the runways of fashion week and will be prevalent in prints and solids.  Based upon my early shipments from Elan, I am finding this to be true.  We ordered several new tops in Niagra, as it felt fresh.  It is a soft blue but with plenty of pigment to keep it from being whimpy.  

Niagra is next to Kale(to the right) which, if you have ever eaten this good for you green, you will agree is an excellent description of the color.  Kale is a deep, almost dark, green.  Lapis rounds out the row and is placed at the end.  All three colors are somewhat muted and softened and remind me of the ocean and forest.  They are all calming colors and will be a joy to wear this season.  

On the same row, you will find Flame (on the end) and Pink Yarrow (second from the left).  Both are the colors of tropical flowers and make a beautiful contrast to to their more muted partners.  They also provide some liveliness to the color palate.  These are colors that you use to “pop” an outfit.  A Pink Yarrow jacket, for example, will look radiant paired with white ankle pants.  These are also the colors to use in accessories or as layering pieces.  

On the top row, we can begin with the left and work our way to the right.  Primrose yellow is the first color, and is vibrant without being bright.  It is a warm yellow and exudes the warmth of a sunny day.  Next to it is Pale Dogwood.  This, barely there, soft pink is the perfect compliment to sands and tans, giving them color but keeping them very neutral.  You can see how nicely it pairs with its neighbor, Hazelnut, for example.  The neutral shades in the palate ground it in earthiness and are contrasted to the last two colors on the top row: Island Paradise and Greenery.  The turquoise of Island Paradise conjures memories of island vacations and the intense blue of the Carribean ocean.  It is a universal color that compliments most complexions.  Greenery is the color of the year, and you can learn all about it in my last blog post.  

Keep checking back as I give more tips and tricks in the coming weeks on how to wear and pair these colors.  

Find Your Equilibrium This Spring

Working in the back room the other day, I startled when the buzzer rang.  Opening the door, I welcomed our UPS driver in as he began to pile box upon box of varying shapes and sizes.  I quickly signed for the delivery, and  opened the box to reveal springtime!  The yellows, oranges and blues were a welcome sight.  While everyone else is just fully embracing winter, we in the clothing industry are embracing spring.

Pantone.com is my favorite website for finding out what the trendiest colors for the season will be.  According to Leatrice Eisman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, “this season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium.” What a beautiful thought.  Equilibrium means being in a state of rest and balance.  It occurs when two opposing forces cancel each other out resulting in stability.  The key colors this season are a blending and balancing of both soft and vivid.  Thus, two opposing forces, or in this case, colors, work together to bring stability.

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The key tranquil colors are Placid Blue (sky blue), Violet Tulip (lavender), Hemlock Green (similar to spruce green) Paloma (dark grey) and Sand.  I love the Big Horn Mountains, so when I think of these colors, I imagine a hike through a field blooming with flowers and towering mountains in the background.  Picture it -a soft blue sky contrasted by the dark grey cliffs in the distance and the grey-green of a spruce tree just in front of you, all accented with wild lavender hyacinths. Just imagining it brings a sense of rest to my soul.

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But to have equilibrium, you also need a contrasting force of equal power.  So, now add into the mix Freesia (vibrant yellow), Cayenne red (just like the spice), Celosia Orange (like a really ripe orange), Radiant Orchid (the purple of an orchid) and Dazzling Blue (the color of the deep ocean).  Freesia, Cayenne Red and Celosia Orange make me think of India and the mustard and red colors of curries.  But to get a sense of these colors, you could also imagine the progress of a sunset and how the sun turns a deep yellow and the sky transforms from orange to red to violet and then deep blue.

Before you chuff and say this is too much ado about nothing, be reminded that color affects your mood.  Red is the color of passion, blue promotes a sense of calm, green makes you feel refreshed,  yellow lifts your mood and makes you feel happy, and orange can bring out your creativity.  For more on this topic, check out “How Color Affects Our Mood” in the Huffington Post   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/how-color-affects-our-moo_n_1114790.html.  Indeed, research shows the first aspect of a product a consumer responds to is color.  I’m sure you’ve had the experience of walking into a store and having an article of clothing jump off the rack.  You might have even heard yourself utter, “I love this.”  More than likely, you were responding to the color.  So I encourage you this season to think about the colors in this new palate that bring about that response in you.  Take a copy of this color palate with you as you shop and choose clothing that brings you equilibrium.