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The latest news and trends from the wonderful world of visual merchandising. Jano Dawes and her team share their passion for VM.

Colour of the Year 2016

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Pantone’s  Colour of the Year has become a universal barometer for the defining spirit or mood in style, fashion and interiors over the past 16 years. This annually awarded event is closely watched by the design, fashion and retail industries as an early indication of a trend that spreads through home decor, fashion and design for several years. This year, breaking with their usual championing of just one colour, two colours were chosen for 2016, Rose Quartz, a warm rose pink and Serenity a cool blue with a hint of violet. Pantone describes Rose Quartz as “a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.” Serenity is “weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

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The colours can be used seperately, but their strength lies in the combination – in using colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel, the cooling qualities of Serenity are invigorated by the warmth of Rose Quartz. The colours are intentionally serene, bringing a sense of calm and relaxation as consumers are seeking welcoming colours that reassure and evoke feelings of wellness. The colours also reflect the growing unisex trends in fashion, with Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eisemand stating “colour is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using colour as a form of expression which includes a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged.” The harmonious colours are already seen across high fashion for women and men, home interiors, accessories, active wear, industrial design, beauty, multi-media and packaging design.

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In the fashion world, the Rose Quartz and Serenity featured on the runways for both men and women and highlighted in the Spring 2016 collections. Pantone predicts that historical gender colour barriers will be break down with unisex fashions speaking to personality rather than gender. More boys will be seen wearing pink and more girls wearing blue as well as blue and pink worn together on both men and women in a pattern or colour blocking.

The balance of warm and cool can be used with all fabrics but is most outstanding when used in silks, satins and soft chiffons that compliment the blending nature of the tones. Rose Quartz and Serenity-coloured choices are appealing in all finishes, matte, metallic and glossy. They can be paired with silver or brights for more splash and sparkle. With these dynamic pairings, the pastel pink and blue joins easily with other mid-tones including rich browns, greens and purples, and all shades of yellow and pink. This is also being incorporated in many ways into accessory items such as handbags, footwear and jewellery.

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Instead of presenting them as two separate colour swatches, Pantone is often showing Rose Quartz and Serenity blending together in one swatch. This tcombination revives trend that has been popular in beauty and hair treatments in recent years. The soft pastel colours compliment most skintones and have already been featured in stores, beauty blogs and on the runway. In particular watch out for two-tone makeup combinations and soft pastel ombre highlights in both or one of the colours in hair styles.

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Soft pastel pinks, musks and warmer rose tones have become popular in furniture, fabrics, bed linen, cushions and homewares. Rose quartz lends itself to accent items easily because of its soft, neutral tone and can easily be incorporated into existing interiors. Serenity, another muted hue is also easy to introduce, and is cool without being cold. The two colours offer opportunities to make extra combinations with predictions that paisleys and plaid prints will also make use of the combination. And where it could become feminine, the colours pair incredibly well paired against deeper charcoals and greys, navy, black and indigo blues creating a fresh, gender-neutral space. Touches of copper, silver, brass, crisp white finishes and timber textures, marble, beautiful teak or oak and polished or brushed gold accents also pair well with the shades and keep it looking clean and modern.

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Although these hues are historically used for baby showers, there are numerous ways to incorporate them into all sorts of events throughout 2016. Serenity and Rose quartz worked perfectly to make bolder colours pop and tie together a whole event theme. Whether used together or separately, they will pair up with a multitude of styles and colour palettes whether softening a modern monochrome palette, enhancing a vintage soiree or adding elegance to a rustic setting. These versatile colours will lend any event an elegant, calming vibe.

 

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