Pantone Colour in Fashion.

The Pantone Colour of the Season.

Each season the design development team at the ‘Pantone Colour Institute’ creates the Pantone Fashion Colour Trend Report. This is an eagerly awaited release in many areas of fashion and design. These colours are the overview highlighting the top colours that fashion designers choose for their showing at New York Fashion Week. These colours will be the ones featured in the designers collections for the upcoming season, whether Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter. Race going Fashionistas watch carefully what is released and then design their outfits to reflect these colours.

The company of Pantone organizes their nearly 5,000 Pantone Colours into two Systems, one for print and packaging and the other for product design. Why? Each system is designed to feature market-relevant colours.

Fashion designers are thought to require more whites, blacks, and neutrals in their colour palette choices. Print, product, interior and packaging designers need colours that will grab attention from the shopping shelves and change the style of a product. The appearance of colour can change based on the material on which it is printed or produced whether metal, rough or smooth fabrics, and whether it’s a plain or patterned design. This is also very important for those trying to match fabrics and hat materials. Fabrics dye differently, so hat materials also retain dye differently.

The Pantone of today started as a graphic standards system for professional designers in 1963 but has morphed into a global design and major influence on colour in many areas of our world today. Back in the early 1960s, Pantone was a printing company in Carlstadt, New Jersey, with a specialty in colour charts for the cosmetic, fashion, and medical industries.

Now, it’s not just about the Pantone Matching System (PMS for short) for products for printing.

For fashion, be it runway or races, it’s the ‘Colour of The Year which the Pantone Colour Institute releases that reflects the style of fashion colours twice a year that dictates what we wear. Each colour in the range has a name. For those who have watched Meryl Streep in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” a blue is not just a blue, it could be just one of many shades of a specific tone of blue, influenced first from the wearing of that particular shade on the New York runway by a specific designer. That colour then filters through all levels of fashion, all the way down to underwear and socks..

So there are many different names and shades of every colour of orange, blues, yellows, mauve etc. Even black which most people think is just ‘black’ has many hues.

Each year new colours are also carefully mixed and developed to broaden the range of available colours.

There are red-based purples and blue-based purples, warm and cool shades, lighter and darker tones. These terms are classic designers terminology for the colour palette of the world we see. Today even colour is coded and refined for webpages. Colour printing on paper is governed by the specific mix of three base colours. The colour on a television screen is also determined by the mix of tiny pixels of base colours.

Creating an objective, numeric language means that any printer anywhere in the world can accurately produce a colour was what the Pantone company did, and its effects are still an important part of the way we live today to see specific shades, tones and hues of colour.

So asking your milliner to match a colour is not as easy as you would think. The milliner need to know the mixing effects of different shades and mounts of colour dyes. But of course the back ground to this aspect is what are you dyeing. Dyeing a dark fabric won’t have the same final colour effect as dyeing a white base. A cream based fabric will also change the final colour. The actual fabric used also changes the final effect of a colour. More on this is in the following article about colour and fashion.

So although the Pantone colours are release as the season influences, its really up to you which colours you wear. Your personal preferences, what suits you, event appropriate and age relevant are all considerations. Its your fashion, your style your life and its up to you to decide your direction for your special event. Choose what makes you happy and feel confident.

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