Subtle contrasts, like those found in a painter’s masterpiece, make up the diverse color palette for fall 2009. Designers play with a broad spectrum of unique color combinations this
season, resulting in distinct, yet cohesive color palettes.
“The fall 2009 palette is more unique and thoughtful than the typical autumnal hues of years past,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.
“Designers recognize the desire for fundamental basics that speak to current economic conditions, but also understand the need to
incorporate vibrant color to grab the consumers’ eyes and entice them to buy.”
A natural choice during uncertain times, patriotic American Beauty, a wonderfully balanced, true red, speaks to the need for cohesiveness. Perfect for all skin tones, American Beauty is a feel-good color. Purple Heart connotes a sense of refinement and sensuality, adding an air of creativity and excitement to the top 10, especially when paired with American Beauty.
A warmer, more subdued Honey Yellow carries the 2009 color of the year, PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa, through to fall and winter with its golden tones. Pairing Honey Yellow with its color wheel opposite, Purple Heart, will surely add a surprising flair. Or, for a more typical fall combination, group Honey Yellow with Burnt Sienna and Iron.
Strong yet understated Iron serves as the “new black,” making traditional basics much more interesting. Neither gray nor brown, Iron is a grounding color that coordinates well with all colors in the palette. Crème Brûlée, a grayed-down beige, and Nomad, which bridges the gap between beige and light gray, also speak to the need for timeless neutrals. All three classics can stand alone or serve as anchors when paired with other colors.
Fall would not be complete without a seasonal favorite like Burnt Sienna, a deepened, earthy shade of orange, reminiscent of an autumn sunset. Pair this versatile hue with Nomad and Rapture Rose for a different twist. Adding spark to the fall palette, Rapture Rose artfully captures the vibrancy of fuchsia and the softness of pink. Underscored by nurturing and feminine tones, the addition of Rapture Rose enlivens the more traditionally subdued fall hues.
Look for it in cosmetics as well as clothing and accessories. Like the olive in a martini, Warm Olive, a rich yellow-green, adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to fall. When combined, this tangy, intriguing hue makes all other colors come alive. Look for it paired with Majolica Blue, a deep, mysterious teal blue with more vibrancy than the usual navy. Majolica Blue brings an exotic flair to the group, especially when paired with Burnt Sienna or Purple Heart.
Each season, Pantone surveys the designers of New York Fashion Week to identify the 10 most directional colors. Like a painter’s palette, fall 2009 offers choice and diversity, but the unique integration of colors is what makes it so appealing.
HOW THE DESIGNERS INTERPRET COLORS INTO THEIR DESIGNS
Source: Pantone, InStyle, Barney's NY, WWD