Empowering colors top Pantone spring color trend report for NYFW

Powering up with color seems to be the takeaway from the Pantone Color Institute’s spring 2019 fashion color trend report for New York Fashion Week.

Attention-grabbing red-related and orange-y tones dominated the season’s leading five colors, with Fiesta, Jester Red, Turmeric, Living Coral and Pink Peacock ranking first through fifth, respectively. Their names alone relay a certain verve for inanimate aesthetics. Some might chalk up the list’s pink-infused hues as remnants of the Women’s March pink-hatted supporters or the current “pink wave” of female candidates running for political office in the U.S., but next season’s emboldened palette is not a gender-specific forecast.

Pantone Color Institute’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman said, “From a psychological standpoint, when you look at what the colors mean, the hotter colors particularly in the red family are all about empowerment. That’s a word that has gotten some play that is really going to show itself in the spring collections. Confident, uplifting, joyful hues, but the undercurrent is empowerment to all of them.”

Combined, they also help to meld high fashion and street style, which has shown no signs of going away. Pepper Stem, Aspen Gold and Princess Blue — sixth through eighth — are “a way to have fun,” or in colorist lingo they are prime for “playful expressionism.” Color-minded Instagrammers have bolstered the interest in more offbeat kaleidoscopic combinations, as have directional designers like Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, Miuccia Prada and Sies Marjan’s Sander Lak. Many pro athletes are diving into the emboldened color trend, as evidenced by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills’ Fiesta-shaded three-piece suit at this summer’s ESPYs and, more recently, Roger Federer’s Jester Red Uniqlo shirt and Sloane Stephens’ Turmeric-tinted Nike tennis dress at the U.S. Open. Look for more shocking colors on NBA courts now that the league has loosened color restrictions on sneakers for the first time in its history.

Stores understand that shoppers already have a lot of black in their wardrobes. “Who doesn’t?” Eiseman asked, adding that most shoppers are all set with navy blue, too. “Now, they want something to have fun with or to make a statement with. This spring’s bevy of statement colors aren’t just so over-the-top that they pop off the web site or a page. They are also colors that are bolder, and yet, they’re not so in-your-face that they’re overwhelming.”

“It’s also hitting on the zeitgeist of needing to express one’s self in a more original and more powerful way. The use of more vibrant colors takes you down that path,” Eiseman said.

In addition to the Top 12, there is a compact list of four spring neutrals — Soybean, Eclipse, Sweet Corn and Brown Granite. These are not unexpected as far as neutrals, Eiseman said. “Four are needed because it is the glue that holds everything together.”

Spring Neutrals
To ensure the aforementioned bolder colors have a solid base, there are four more malleable neutrals. As seasonless fabrics become more suitable for different climate regions, so do transitional neutrals.

The days of bidding adieu to white after Labor Day appear to be falling by the wayside. Trend Union forecaster Li Edelkoort expects variations of white to become more year-round staples in response to climate change. Sweet Corn would qualify. “The Favourite” lead actress Emma Stone got the memo, wearing an embroidered Louis Vuitton gown in this shade at the Venice Film Festival.