The Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2013


The Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2013 – image via

The Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2013 is here and they are calling it “a palette of many moods”

A truer statement I have not yet heard in 2013, but before my own reflections on the color palette, I always like to begin with Pantone’s own vision of the spearhead targeted to influence entire industries and all of us on the ground with their branded color vision.

True, this is a design blog focused on residential color and design. But I intend it as a tool that you can use to better identify and apply your inspirations to differentiate your own space. Wardrobe is one of the key areas of self-expression – the clothing you choose expresses 80% of the first impression you make on the world – it therefore stands to reason that your wardrobe palette speaks volumes about who you are and how you hope to be seen – at least in a perfect world. If this statement is less that representative of what’s in your closet, it’s probably falling short at home too.

In Pantone words:

“…colors come together to create moods that range from sophisticated and structured to lively and vivid, encapsulating our inherent need for wardrobe variety to reflect emotions that run from thoughtfully introspective to irrepressibly elated.”

“Just as the leaves change in autumn, the consumer will enjoy the ability to change their ‘look’ and try a new approach to their wardrobe for brisk days ahead,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color InstituteĀ®. “The fall 2013 palette allows for that versatility and experimentation.”

With the changing season, the greens from spring evolve and develop. Multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate, bringing luxury and elegance to the palette, while yellow-toned Linden Green brings a lightness and brightness to the deeper shades of fall. Try pairing both with Mykonos Blue, a bold, meditative blue, for a classic and relaxed fall look.


Exotic Acai adds mystery and richness to the palette, and can be incorporated with the other colors to create a number of powerful fall combinations. Pair the elegant shade of purple with Emerald for a regal disposition, or spirited Samba red for an expressive and dramatic look.

Koi, a decorative orange with dazzling and shimmering qualities, is a statement color that serves as a pick-me-up for your wardrobe. Vivacious, an unruly and wildly deep fuchsia, adds an ebullient sensuality to the palette.

Pair Vivacious with anchoring Deep Lichen Green, a naturally lush shade of green, for a dynamic juxtaposition that captures both ends of the seasonal spectrum. Rounding out this season’s cornerstone colors, Turbulence, a dark mercurial gray, and Carafe,

a rich, glamorous brown, provide more interesting and sophisticated alternatives to the black basics usually worn in colder months. Both staple neutrals pair gracefully with more expressive colors within the palette, such as Samba, Koi and Vivacious.”

Ok…so what can we draw from Pantone’s wisdom? At this question my hand might be the first raised – I see allot of reinvention, and confirmation of the ground gained by gray tones in the new year.

This all speaks longevity and style that endures. No need to toss those honeysuckle or Tangerine Tango accents of ’11 and ’12.Ā  This palette is built on a platform of safety with only slight variations on the eye-popping colors of the year of the past two years. Koi and Vivacious are kissing cousins of Tangerine Tango and Honeysuckle. While Koi in contrast to Tangerine Tango is a shade with the air let out, but we have not lost orange’s less than subtle influence. This may be due in part to the dominating role played by the PC in viewing media – I think it was Thomas Paul who corroborated the love relationship enjoyed by orange and the camera. Orange enjoys great impact as an accent in small proportion, so it’s fun and safe. the same can be said of fuchsia, turquoise, lime and bright yellow – particularly in combinations including black, white or both.

If you don’t believe it, have a look at the lead color in 2014’s Pantone Magic card’s ad – hmmm…color of the year 2014 perhaps?

MAGIC Color Card Spring / Summer 14

And no, that’s not Koi – I sampled it, and while it’s close, the variation in blue in this orange’s RGB (percentages of red, green and blue in the mix) is too great to be a screen faux paux.

While I have been quite busy on projects as of late, I have stayed tuned in to what is hitting the market and selling with the greatest velocity. Due to work stemming from burst pipes thanks to bitter cold, I actually missed NYIGF for the first time in years – but I have noticed that on member-based shopping leaders like One Kings Lane, Joss & Main and fashion site Rue la la that Emerald Green lacks the voracious sell-through that Tangerine Tango enjoyed. While people are buying it, it’s not with the piranha type frenzy that red-orange items created on taste-maker sales. I think it is for this reason that orange will persist and that the addition of a Samba makes sense.

Color is only 50% of a winning design equation – it’s what you do with it that makes or breaks trends. Next time we’ll drill down to see what is truly trending in 2013, and whether these looks are fads or future. Come and see!