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Pantone talks Drapers through spring 18’s key colours

Leatrice Eiseman is executive director at the Pantone Color Institute. As London Fashion Week continues, she talks Drapers through the 12 top colour trends for spring 18, and what is happening in the world of colour.

pantone colours


Lee pantone

Lee pantone

Leatrice Eiseman

Is there one particular shade that stood out among the top 12 for spring 18?

There’s been a lot of interest in Lime Punch, which, as the name suggests, is a real punch of colour. It’s very vibrant and I think it speaks to a couple of trends. People have started to invest in neon after becoming accustomed to the colour in athleisure or on their running shoes. It has gained momentum and now we’re seeing it in some really great “after five” looks. It’s the kind of colour that fashionistas might embrace straight away and, although it might take others longer to warm to it, its time has really come.

 There are three shades of pink in the top 12 colour trends Pantone identified for spring 18. Why is pink such an enduring trend?

Both men and women have been embracing pink to an even greater degree. It’s about how you look in the colour and how you feel. Everybody at the moment is into wellness and exercise, and if you put something on that’s in the pink rose category, you just feel good. It radiates on to the skin and makes you look healthy. Those ramifications have kept pink popular – people are thinking: if it looks good and continues to work well, why shouldn’t I wear it? We have seen the trend start to change and develop. Pink Lavender, one of spring 18’s key colours, is a pink but it has a decidedly mauvey undertone. We’ve seen lots of light, ethereal tones in the last few seasons, which are a little bit more sophisticated and flattering.

Why is the fashion industry moving away from traditional seasonal colours?

It used to be the case that there would be very distinct fall colours that would never cross over from season to season. Now, we’re seeing similar colours appear in spring and summer. If you look at Spiced Apple, for example, that’s a very typically autumn colour, but pairing it with different shades brings it into the spring palette.

People are mixing and not necessarily matching, and combining unique colours as a form of self-expression. Consumers might have to be co-ordinated for work, but wake up at the weekend and want to have some fun. Another aspect is that customers are much more mindful when they are spending their money. They will wait until they see something they really, really like, that “I had to have it” piece. That’s not the kind of piece you’ll throw away next season, so they’ll keep wearing it but pair it with different colour combinations.

How do London’s top 12 colours for spring 18 differ from colour trends emerging elsewhere in the world?

The world is getting smaller and we’re seeing similar colour trends in London as we did in New York and across the world. There are many similarities, although the Spiced Apple is less red and the Ash Rose is a little dustier. We’ve also seen more colour similarities between genders, which has been fascinating to watch.

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