Work the 2016 Pantone Fashion Colour Palettes Into Your Wardrobe This Fall

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The art of colour pairing is never to be taken lightly as colours themselves can have many hidden faces and tones to them. Just a slight mismatch can potentially ruin one's look and what could be worse than wasting an brilliant outfit, huh? ;) When Pantone announced the new it-colour palettes for this season, I thought I could give you guys a few ideas on how to incorporate such complex hues into your everyday life to make dressing-up in the morning, a notch easier.

I guess we can pretty much all agree that every season, fashion designers seek to answer a common call for this general social feel among trend aficionados. Through a Fall 2016 colour palette, strength and dependability have been captured and injected into more uplifting and sophisticated colours. This season, trendsetters were inspired by fine art, especially abstract art, landscapes and graphic geometrics, yielding a 10-colour palette that is led by the Blue family, conveying a message of calm and constancy…


If you look at this season’s entire palette, the idea of comforting Blues coming to the top of the list again shows that people are still searching for that reassurance. Starting with Riverside, a cool and calming hue with a subtle sophistication, that makes for the perfect base tone in any outfit. Whether you find it in a Rachel Comey classic blue jean (baby!), a Fall wool coat from Cinzia Rocca or a gorgeous leather slimming dress at Lovers + Friends, the complement of a strong blue will give you a much-desired feeling freshness when combined with hues like Lush Meadow, Taupe or Dusty Cedar (see below to find out more!).


The colour Blue is fundamentally important to the human eye as a stable icon of the balance in our universe. Even in an uncertain world where cultural, economical and social tensions can cause us anxiety, we remember that the blue skies represent constancy as they have never fallen. Airy Blue is a nod to one of the two Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, Serenity, that evokes a feeling of weightlessness. In a season where garment layering and heavy fabrics are at their popularity peak, softer colours such as Airy Blue can make a world of difference and lift some tension off everyone's shoulders. Do consider a St. John's light blue tweed dress and matching jacket for a chic update on Fall coordinates or, a perfect fit boyfriend jean at GRLFRND for your Airy Blue days…


Lush Meadow, as its name suggests, brings to mind fresh botanicals and foliage. Rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated, this Green shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of colour that elevates the overall elegance woven through this season’s collections. Be bold in a head-to-toe Lush Meadow look with the 'Jackie' jumpsuit at Anthropologie or cozy-up in Fall's best mohair-blend jumper at H&M.


Another anchor to the collections this Fall is Sharkskin, which serves as neutral with an edge. Pair-able with almost any Fall colour whether bright or muted, Sharkskin is a hue that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on. Generally speaking, the Greys give a feeling of stability and represent rock solid colours that you can go back to and use with everything in your wardrobe but this particular shade showcases practicality through a dependable yet, contemporary lens. Wrap yourself up in a warm, bulky Raey marl-knit midi dress by day and show a little bit of skin in a delicate Sharkskin floral lace halter top at Diane von Furstenberg by night.


Conveying warmth in more of a mild way, is Warm Taupe, a hearty, grounded and approachable neutral that harkens back to our search for reassurance and stability, and pairs well with each of the top 10 shades of the season. The unilateral approach to colour and trend toward gender neutrality enthusiastically responds to a public that is now more comfortable with colour as expression and less concerned with stereotypical ideas about gender. We see a breadth of colour choices that transcend sexual identity, preference or bias in women’s collections this season, from an SSENSE's Building Block Taupe tassel bucket bag, to a suede maxi trench coat at Lorne, through Alexander Wang's Taupe tees and Kaufmanfranco nude leather front slim trousers.


In a shift from previous seasons, the spicier, zestier Yellows we are seeing for Fall 2016 are exemplified through Spicy Mustard, an unexpected and unusual but oh-so welcome addition! Bouncing elegantly off other colours in the palette and adding another splash of uplifting vibrancy, Spicy Mustard is an exotic addition that comes through in both the abstract and the more defined geometric accents designers have employed this season. Spicy Mustard Yellows also suggest a touch of the exotic, rounding out a palette that is stable and grounded but also bold and complex, as seen on the 'Sephare'  Mustard jumpsuit at Ulla Johnson and on Missguided's faux-suede belted biker jacket.


Another neutral earth tone, Potter’s Clay, takes the palette back to what we might expect for Fall and Winter fashions, but like Spicy Mustard, Potter’s Clay has an added degree of sophistication and inherent layering. In line with the general penchant for true browns, this warm orange-toned shade has emerged as another strong foundation for the Fall palette, particularly in skirts, bottom pieces and footwear. Stroll around with a 70's flair in a Ruby Rd. suede button-front skirt and a pair of peep-toe leather booties from Steve Madden number, or opt for boho-chic vibes in a Nasty Gal 'So Long' midi skirt and Gianvito Rossi caged lace-up sandals duo.


Along with anchoring earth tones, the Reds invite confidence and warmth in this season's collections and act as playful but structured departures from the more typical Fall shades. Dusty Cedar is a dustier rose-toned Red shade with some complexity that nods to the other half of the Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz. It is also a Fall and Winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in Spring which allows us to keep playing with more feminine colours with a modern touch. You can find it within ready-to-wear collections in pieces like Knot Sisters' Cedar print shirt dress or a cocoon fit Dusty Cedar boyfriend coat at ASOS.


In contrast to the stability that serves as the backbone of the Fall 2016 palette, Aurora Red adds a welcome punch! A bold Red that is warm and sensual, Aurora Red gets the metaphorical blood of the palette and the collections pumping, in a way that breeds unmistakable confidence. Stand out in the office in a daring Aurora satin blazer and matching trousers from Missguided, look both chic and modern at dinner in a red ASOS' cold-shoulder ruffle blouse and stun at your next evening gala in a Mac Duggal red haute strapless ball gown.


Lending itself to fabulously interesting and vibrant colour combinations, Bodacious speaks to the gender fluidity we’ve come to see with designers’ use of colour (see Warm Taupe, above). Surprising for the Fall palette, this versatile hot pinkish Purple shade can be used monochromatically with colours in the Pink and Red family, or just as easily with Spicy Mustard or Potter’s Clay. The bright, rich Purple, with its hints of a more sophisticated Pink, transforms fashion accents into fashion statements, as seen in the chicness of a redgrave wool-crepe coat at Goat, in the funkiness of Alexander McQueen's glitter and metallic leather sneakers and in the exuberance of a House of Holland broderie-anglaise trim midi skirt!

Ready, set, match!

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