June 8, 2012

The Wonderful World of Pantone

Pantone Mugs, $25 or 6 for $90. Photo courtesy of Pantone.

If you design your own products, as we at Wink&Flip design jewelry, you might be interested in the Pantone Fashion Color Report. What is it?

Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color, and accurate communication of color, across a variety of industries. Huh? It turns out that what you call "pink," is one of 1,677 solid colors, each with its own name and Pantone number. There are 116 colors identified as some form of "pink." This season's top pink is Cabaret (18-2140).

Pantone is the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer. Each color gets a name, a number and swatch. Because the color spectrum was seen and interpreted differently by each individual, in 1963, Pantone's founder Lawrence Herbert created the Pantone Matching System to assure accurate color matches in the graphic arts community. Today Pantone is the Bible for color in the fields of fashion, digital technology, textiles, plastics, architecture, interiors and paint.

But back to little old us. At Wink&Flip, we create jewelry in keeping with the trends of the season and that means our pieces have to be in the colors of the season. To determine what those colors are, we turn to the Pantone Fashion Color Report. It's free on the web site, http://www.pantone.com.


Pantone metal 9" x 12" storage box, $25. Photo courtesy of Pantone.


Last winter, Pantone released the Fashion Color Report for Fall 2012; ten colors for women and ten colors for men. The information comes from a larger report that includes fashion and home colors which are culled from New York Fashion Week designers, and others who provide feedback on prominent designer collections, color inspiration and something called "color philosophy." 

This fall, we will be swimming in a sea of Olympian Blue, Tangerine Tango, Ultramarine Green, Titanium, Honey Gold, Pink Flambé, Rhapsody, Smoke, French Roast and Bright Chartreuse.

If you were a follower of Pantone, you'd recognize that Tangerine Tango is a holdover from this spring, and is being integrated into fall fashion. And that Olympian Blue is very close to what the lay person calls cobalt blue, which debuted this past winter, turned into a big success, and is sticking around. The men's line includes much of the women's, as well as Rhubarb, Sea Fog, and Whitecap Gray. Ah, yes, what would autumn be without a little Rhubarb?

The Report consists of multiple sections: a snapshot of all the colors, a "designer outlook" that shows how top designers have used the colors, and a list of "must haves," a fun feature detailing the items that "influentials" consider essential in certain colors. Betsey Johnson, the outlandish designer who mixes animal prints with neon colors, says her must-have for the spring season is a Day Glow Fuchsia push-up bra with lips and nails to match. Go, Betsey!

Pantone luggage tags, $18. Photo courtesy of Pantone.

The Fashion Influencers section is a feature that queries leading industry experts on a fashion-related question, such as, "What colorful item of clothing defined your style as a child and why? How do you see this style being reinvented for 2012?" 

Celebrity stylist Isabel Dupre said: "As a kid, I wore culottes. They were a good item, being feminine but practical for a tomboy... My favorite was Dark Navy. It would be a good thing to bring them back in fashion especially since they are making all these new bike lanes in the city."

You can use the colors, as we do, to guide your collection (or your clothes and accessories shopping), or you can get into it in a much more cerebral way. "From love potions and the magical hour of sunset to witches and warlocks, fantasy and illusion are inspiring designers this fall season," reads the report. "With an unexpected mix of darks, brights and neutrals, they cleverly manipulate reality to transport consumers to an enchanting place, free from the stresses of everyday life." Hmmm….

There are also suggestions for how to pair colors, which is useful in creating dynamic color combinations in our jewelry design, but would work as well for a personal wardrobe. "Like the name implies, Pink Flambé is a delicious, vibrant pink with a bit of heat to it. Pair it with vivacious and enticing Tangerine Tango for an ongoing retro feeling. Or, to bring a calming element to the mix, combine these vibrant warm tones with Ultramarine Green, a deep, cooling blue-green. Ethereal Rhapsody is a grayed-down purple that also encourages comfort and serenity with its quiet, muted tone."

I just bought a pair of shoes in what could be called Ethereal Rhapsody (although I didn't refer to it as such in the shoe store) which I liked because the color was so neutral. My absolute favorite color of this past season was Cockatoo, which regular people would refer to as mint.  I bought a Rebecca Minkoff hobo bag in the color (http://rebeccaminkoff.com/), as well as a few pieces of jewelry for my personal collection. According to Rebecca, who stopped by our table at the Hester Street Fair recently, mint is going to stick around all winter.


The Women's Wear Daily article, featuring Spring 2012 Pantone
colors, from our inspiration board.  

You can purchase a card with swatches of the 10 colors of the season for $99.50. We just use the Women's Wear Daily half page article, but you can print out the palette from the report on the web site. We carry it wherever we go, whether it is hunting for charms at the fleas or buying beads in the market. In our workspace, the first thing to go up on the wall (our real life Pinterest board) are the Pantone colors. It marks the official change of the season for our business. 

Lastly, there are additional informational industry-related products. But elsewhere on the site is an area called Pantone Universe, a drool-worthy offering of products with Pantone colors -- and logo -- on them, some of which I've pictured here. I wish I could explain why I am so crazy for these Pantone products, but all I can say is if you are an artist, color is your vocabulary, and you can fall in love with the tools of your trade. Pantone's explanation for my obsession with their products is that, "the colors you love are deep and vital affirmations of who you are. Bringing those colors into your day and your environment is the ultimate form of self-expression."

The store sells IPhone 4 and IPod cases, luggage tags, mugs, stationery, notebooks, posters, flash drives, and more with a specific coloration and that color's name. I own the stackable metal boxes, and a mug I bought at Galleries Lafayette in Paris. My daughter just gave me a set of Pantone toothbrushes she found in the gift shop of the W Hollywood hotel. Finding these products at retail is like hunting for buried treasure; they pop up in the most unlikely places. The best bet is to buy them from the web site.

The product I am really lusting for is the VISA Platinum credit card, the face of which is Pantone 18-2120 Honeysuckle. I can just imagine smiling every time I pull it out of my wallet. The ultimate vanity card, it says "I am a fashion insider." So why don't I own it? Alas, the interest rate is not very competitive. I adore fashion, but I'm a business woman, and I love super-low interest rates even more.

WinkandFlip


WinkandFlip's Little Leather Bow
Necklace (Pantone's Cockatoo)



1 comment:

traceytoole said...

Fantastic thorough article!