“But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue … it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns … And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic “casual corner” where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin.” – Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada
While reading an international news report I came across what was titled as the biggest news of the year: Pantone has chosen the it color for 2014. It’s pinky purple (Radiant Orchid, to be exact).
Seriously? Are we still doing this? China and Japan argue over borders, U.S. senators are protesting in Ukraine, Obamacare is tanking, and Pantone is picking next year’s most fashionable hue. Initially, I was insulted by this declaration. The announcement, it seemed to me, was clearly directed toward women, manipulative, with the assumption that (1) like children we must be told what is appropriate to wear, and (2) desperately removed from reality, we actually consider this stuff relevant. This is the 21st century. Women wear white to weddings in October, fair-skinned women prefer lime, and no one follows the rules of color inherited by past formal generations. Pantone’s color of the year announcement is inappropriate and extraneous.
I was wrong.
The Wall Street Journal came up with the perfect explanation for Pantone’s tradition of color selection. The history behind this annual routine shows logicality and it is true that Pantone never fails in choosing the color we are all bound to see everywhere in the months to come. However, from the billions of shades in the universe, how does one presume to choose a specific color for one specific year? Let’s take a look at the chart, shall we? (I made it myself. #proud)
How Does Pantone Pick its Color of the Year?
Step 1: Ask those in the know.
Color consultants (yup. That’s really what they’re called) from all over the world survey leaders in design and fashion. These leaders divulge info on the colors they see trending in their field.
Step 2: Have a top secret meeting in a drab, colorless, room so as to avoid subconscious influence.
In these meetings, the color consultants take the information they’ve harvested and present their choice for next year’s color. The debate that ensues is full of tangents focused on everything from fashion to socioeconomics.
Step 3: Finally, a color is chosen!
These great minds (no sarcasm. These people are all experts) finally converge on a solid choice for next year.
Step 4: Fifty-‘Leven dresses in the color are already made and shipped to Macy’s.
The designers and influencers from step 1 have heavily influenced this entire process and are, subsequently, way ahead of the game.
Step 5: The public is informed.
Sometimes while reading the world news report.
Step 6: The color is EVERYWHERE (literally!)
The color is seen in clothing, cars, and electronics. Like a plague, it has infected every aspect of our lives…and we love it!
6 Ways Pantone’s Color of the Year Will Invade Your Life
Menswear. Yup, menswear.