Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Colors of Spring

Fashion week is behind us.  The Spring 2011 colors and fashions have been introduced.   I'm absolutely no expert about forecasting colors but I've been trying to do as much reading as I can -- if you google "fashion color forecast spring 2011, you'll get way more info than you could ever possibly need!   But in my reading, a few major color trends have popped out at me -- so I'll share them.  

In general, over the past few years, colors for fashions as well as home decor have been fairly saturated and there has been much use of contrast to make colors really pop.  We're still going to see some of that with some rich tones being used, but there is also going to be a new trend toward soft washed pales -- looking very vintage.

It looks like blues are going to be really big in fashion colors next year!  I saw a lot of references to New Navy, a slightly lighter version of the traditional navy we all know.  I'm also seeing a LOT of Caribbean, water and sky blues in a range of aqua to turquoise.

I'm not seeing a lot of mid-range or clear, pure pinks for next spring -- pinks are soft and pale with hints of silver or nude OR they're fairly intense and bold.  The soft pinks will be very vintage light roses and the intense pinks are really going to pop!  Look for colors like shell pink, blush, salmon pink and aged light pink or watermelon, raspberry, fuchsia and honeysuckle.

Orange seems to be all over the place!  But in all the colors, there were really 2 basic trends -- rich, intense, saturated orange or pinkish coral shades.  It makes sense that orange will be big -- if you look at the color wheel, orange is opposite (or complementary) for blue.  I shared some color wheel info last spring regarding craft show displays but the color wheel is the same for any color application:
Look for melon, papaya, paprika, bird of paradise, peach, salmon, and coral, coral, coral!

I didn't pick up on any specific greens -- maybe I missed something?  It seemed to me that each designer was using whatever shade of green best suited the rest of their respective palettes.  Someone using intense colors also used intense greens -- someone using soft washed colors used soft washed greens.  It appears that greens will not be strong stand alone colors but will be used to add life to overall prints.

Plan on lots of red!  It works with nautical, florals or African inspired prints.  Reds are going to be rich and intense.  Look for poppy, lipstick and fiery reds.

The sunny lemon yellows that have been popular for the past few years are going to start to give way to yellows touched by honey or amber.  Look for sunflower, buttercup and beeswax.

Like the pinks (with little in the mid-range of colors), it appears that purples are either going to be color rich or the range of soft lavenders.  

LOTS of neutrals are coming down the pike!  There will be an abundance of blacks, whites, tans and grays, along with all their variations like ivory, bone, khaki, camel taupe and silver. 

A major style trend seems to be the use of neutrals or very soft colors with touches of intense colors to give them punch.  I see lots of gray or khaki or black & white prints touched with blues, corals or reds.

Some (but not all) of my information comes from this website:
You can download a pdf of the Spring 2011 fashion forecast.  I did read up several other sites which offered differing opinions.  While this post is not complete, it's a few of my broadest observations... and my observations may be somewhat influenced by my personal color preferences.  But this should give a general starting point for my design planning (and supply purchases) for next spring's inventory.  If you have other observations, I'd love to hear them!


Glenda said...

Thanks for taking the time to do the research. I'm never sure if the color forecasts make a difference in what I will sell but I still like to know what is in the wind.