Monday, December 18, 2017

More About Pantone's Ultra-Violet

There are so many influencers of fashion design and the colors used in fashion. I've always thought the most well known "international" designers (think Calvin Klein, DKNY, Stella McCartney etc.) cast the greatest directions. I've been told these designers are working two years ahead in many cases. Dunitz & Company starts working on new fair trade collections about six months ahead of their fair trade jewelry release. And then there is Pantone making their announcements of color long after the rest of us have done our work.

I've been at the design game for a long time. Often, I dream of color combinations. Most often I am inspired by the ready-to-wear runway shows. I watch them avidly for inspiration. I also have noticed over the years that color trends gradually evolve and disappear. For instance, shades of grey have dominated for as much as three years. In recent years all shades and tints of jade seem to persist. This has allowed Dunitz & Company the opportunity to repeat successful color combinations. Shades of grey or silver with jade and seafoam ....just isn't going anywhere. And then there is PURPLE!

With our fair trade jewelry collection, I tend to always offer twelve colors. With our lower-end jewelry, our gift shop customers are more successful when they can offer their clients a potpourri of colors. For the upcoming Spring 2018, our plans were no different. New to my color range for Spring and one I'm most excited about is Black/Silver/Crystal. There seemed a plethora of black & white on the New York runways. And after I finished my colors this season, I thought something is missing. Guess what that was? Yes. Purple. To round out our fused glass and beaded collections we added some amethyst and plum. And in a few cases combined with lime or grass green.

Flash forward. December 2017 and after all of those "international designers" I mentioned earlier have launched their Spring 2018 designs, Pantone crowns ULTRA-VIOLET color of the year for 2018. Seriously? Leatrice Eiseman is viewed as the goddess of color. And clearly, everyone is scrambling. Harper's Bazaar immediately wrote that many designers including Tom Ford and Michael Kors were showing more flattering shades of amethyst for Spring 2018!

So why did Pantone choose ULTRA-VIOLET as their color? Eiseman is quoted here, "We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level."  Pantone's website suggests Ultra Violet is focused on the mysteries of the cosmos,  the intrigue of what lies ahead and discoveries beyond.  Enigmatic purples have also been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality and artistic brilliance. Seriously, who is Pantone hiring to write this stuff? I'm afraid to say that purple is also the color of kings or those that think they are king.

Pantone has joined the Facebook advertising craze and is actively sponsoring posts about their 2018 color choice. And Facebook strollers are eating up the announcements. ("I better paint my walls purple now." "I bought a dark purple shirt last week. I'm way ahead." and the comments go on and on and on.)  You better believe Pantone is successful in creating trends. I'm sure many an "international designer" is masterminding how they can cut some last minute garments for retailer racks.

Bloggers and top magazines and publishers are grabbing at straws. Nylon and New York Times and every other magazine last week launched articles with found photos of perfect purple clothing and accessories for your 2018 wardrobes. I'll almost guarantee that their next printed editions will offer the same.

Even the stylists on NBC's Today Show were in on the act this morning. Both Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb were decked out in 'Ultra-Violet' clothing. I tuned in late. I have no idea if they featured a story today on this recently crowned shade.

I'd like to say that I was on the pulse in advance of the Pantone announcement. The truth is, as mentioned above, I added 'shades of purple' to our 2018 Spring collection, because it was needed to round out our offerings. Honestly, I would have never guessed "Ultra Violet" (AKA dark Purple) would be bestowed such an honor. But heck, Dunitz & Company is ready for you. Our fair trade fused glass will shine this season with our color 88 (a repeat of amethyst and violet) and our new color 117. This luscious combo marries plum with lime.

Our newest bead-work color 354 joins amethyst and violet with various shades of spring green. We think you'll love it. It's bright and perky and makes one think of new growth and flowers. One might suggest that this combination is the perfect coupling of Pantone's 2017 color "Greenery" with their 2018 queen, "Ultra-Violet".

Dare I say sometimes these projections don't equal sales or popularity. Somehow, 2016's Rose Quartz was a big bust. In the meantime, if you want to fit in, you might look to Allure magazine's suggestion. After the Pantone announcement, they offered new hair coloring as a way to blend in!

What are your thoughts on this topic? -ND