Ever wondered who decides what colours are In each season?Sometimes the colours are universal colours that can be worn by every woman. Sometimes they only suit those with that Season’s colouring so that once a year you can buy clothes in your favourite colours. Occasionally the In Colour is one that most women hate or cannot wear. Despite the best efforts of fashion writers and retailers, those colours do not sell even at heavily discounted prices.So who makes these decisions?The answer is Pantone. They are a Global Colour Authority and have been doing this for 50 years.About PantoneEach year Pantone surveys fashion runways to check what colours are popular with designers. From these answers they create a report based on both the colours used and the themes that inspired the designers. Pantone then makes this information available for those involved in fashion, fabrics design, home designs, paint colours, product designs and new colours for digital application.From Pantone or their licensees, you can buy a Swatch of a single colour for US$10, a Palette Swatch of the 10 new season colours for both men and women for US$99.50 each or a Trends Forecast Report with very detailed information for US$750. Pantone also sells products in the Colour of the Year and the coming season’s colours. You can even download the Colour of the Year wallpaper for computers and iPhones. For curiosity’s sake, I did it and the wallpaper is not very inspiring.As well as these products they also produce the Pantone Skin Tone Guide for beauty, fashion, photography, toy makers and as a baseline for medical use in restorative and plastic surgery as well as the manufacture of prosthetics.The Colours of 2013Each year Pantone names the Colour of the Year. For 2013 it is Emerald. On their website they describe Emerald as Lively. Radiant. Lush… a colour of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony. Now is your chance to convince someone close that they should buy you emerald jewellery because it is the In Colour. It might work or you can always buy it yourself, justifying your purchase with the same logical reasoning.Last year’s colour, if you missed it, was Tangerine Tango which was a rich, bright orange. The colour guides are formulated for the northern hemisphere. Their current colours are for Spring 2013. The colours are described as dynamic brights with novel neutrals to create a harmonious balance. In the world of Colour, creative writing is a must. The colours that we may see soon in our shops in the Southern hemisphere are the Fall 2012 colours.Creative Colour NamesOccasionally I dream of having the job of Colour Namer. I could have fun with it. Come to think of it, the current person or people are already doing just that.Here are some interesting Pantone colour names from Autumn 2012.
French Roast- Is that roast beef, roast chicken or roast pork? It was a dark brown; so it must be well-done roast beef.
Rose Smoke- Not sure what sort of fire that came from. It was a pale pink.
Of course in Fall 2012, there was Olympian Blue. You could put the word Olympian in front of any colour. It was a bright blue.
Men had the colours Sea Fog and Whitecap Grey.
Now Sea Fog I can relate to. It is a mid-grey and I have a photo of that exact colour taken in the Inside Passage off western Canada.
Whitecap Grey is a very light, almost white colour.
For Spring 2013 the women’s colours include Tender Shoot.
I always pictured Tender Shoots as Light Green. I am wrong as it is apparently an Olive Green.
For men, their white/grey colour has now become Tidal Foam. It is definitely much cleaner than the sea foam from either tropical cyclones or winter storms.
Last WordsNow you know who decides our fashion colours. Of course designers can use them or go their own way just as you can.