Taking cues from the great masters, sepia tones of old Hollywood, Chinese opera, cityscapes and countryside, designers are paying close attention to texture, contrast and color for fall 2011 – pairing menswear with feminine twists, warm prints with cool metals, incorporating both old and new influences, and creating an intriguing balance between colors.
“Designers take a painterly approach to fall 2011 by artfully combining bright colors with staple neutrals, reminiscent of how an artist would construct a stunning work of art,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Much like a painter’s masterpiece, there is a certain romance to this season’s palette.”
Bamboo, a surprising fall hue, brings a warm, exotic flavor to the season. Like a filtered sunset on the waning days of fall, Bamboo is a standout yellow with a subtle green undertone. This dappled shade pairs dramatically with several of the top 10, including Phlox, Teal and Honeysuckle.
Radiant Emberglow, a traditional autumnal tone, emanates the warmth of a glowing fire – the perfect panacea to the crisp air of fall. Combine Emberglow with Coffee Liqueúr for a classic look, or with Honeysuckle for something a bit more retro. Add a spark with shoes or a handbag in Emberglow, or perhaps a patterned scarf combining purpled Phlox or Deep Teal.
Offering a sense of continuity from spring, dynamic Honeysuckle adds a bold punctuation point. This playful, reddish pink works with any other color in the palette, especially fall staples like Coffee Liqueúr and Nougat. To add some intensity, pair it with complementary Bamboo. Flirtatious and festive, Honeysuckle produces a healthy glow – great for cosmetics and holiday soirees.
Phlox, a magical, deep purple with a hint of mystery, is an outstanding statement when worn on its own. Add Phlox to this season’s neutrals to create a bit of drama, or combine it with Cedar, Deep Teal or Coffee Liqueúr for something extraordinary. To add even more excitement, pair Phlox with Honeysuckle or Bamboo against a Cedar background – a combination inspired by Mother Nature.
Evoking the freshness of a cool mist in a dark forest, Cedar is a versatile, mid-tone neutral green. It is a natural with Deep Teal, and sophisticated and timeless with Phlox or Orchid Hush. Deep Teal, a strong, blue-toned green, suggests ocean depths and the color of the sky as daylight descends into darkness. A great standard when used with Cedar, its color-wheel neighbor, Deep Teal is also a unique counterpoint to Honeysuckle.
Consumers continue to add stability to their wardrobes with neutrals. Rich, decadentCoffee Liqueúr brings a sense of elegance to fall, and is a savory alternative to basic black. A deliciously warm camel tan, Nougat is tastefully embellished by Phlox, Emberglow or Honeysuckle. Orchid Hush, a unique tone of gray with complex orchid undertones, blends well with any other color in the palette. Quarry, a reliable medium gray, remains, as always, a practical, dependable staple.
Similar to the women’s palette, men’s hues take a painterly approach for fall 2011, but with a few nuanced variations, depicting a more masculine style. Reliable basics, including Nougat, Coffee Liqueúr, Cedar, Deep Teal, Quarry and Cadet, anchor the palette for menswear, while vibrant accents like Bamboo, Burnt Sienna, Raspberry Wine and Phox add pops of vivid color.
Taking orange in a more masculine direction, Burnt Sienna serves as the standard, fall classic. Accent pieces including ties, scarves and pocket squares in this warm orange are a must. Providing men an alternative to Honeysuckle, Raspberry Wine has more sparkle than a merlot, making a statement with its vital red characteristics. The assemblage of Deep Teal, Cedar and Raspberry Wine is a spectacular composition.
Cadet, the perfect marriage of blue and gray, is another indisputable classic, serving as a dependable backbone that can be worn from season to season. Magical purple Phlox blooms against a neutral background of Nougat, Coffee Liqueúr and Quarry.
For over 17 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and beyond to bring you the season’s most important color trends. This report previews the most prominent hues for fall 2011.