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And the award for the ‘Color of the Year goes to Viva Magenta

Splash of colors


These are the hues the fashion world’s excited about for 2023. Let’s take a look at the color of the year, along with some additional wearable shades for Spring/Summer 2023. There’s something for everyone, with flamboyant colors, natural neutrals, and functional statement tones. These are already making waves on the runway.

Digital Lavender was highly predicted to be the Color of the Year, but Pantone has officially announced that "Viva Magenta" is their choice for the top color in 2023. “We chose this color because we felt that it was an unconventional shade for an unconventional time, something that could present us with a new vision,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone institute, told TIME.

Viva Magenta is supposed to signify strength in an assertive but not aggressive way, while also promoting a sense of optimism and joy. Pantone believes this is a color that this attention-grabbing color will appeal to a wide audience, especially those with a "rebellious spirit," so it might be the perfect color to use for clients who want to make an impactful statement with their decorated apparel.

Along with the same spirit that Viva Magenta brings, the Spring/Summer 2023 color palettes look to represent people taking a fearless approach to style, with a wide range of colors that celebrate freedom and trying something new. The individual hues and color combos allow for unique color experiments and contrasts allowing people to express their individuality.

“Colors for Spring/Summer 2023 are recalibrated for the new era we are entering. Blending escapism with reality, wholesomeness, and joy, we embrace the exploration of extreme contrast in mood and color," said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “There’s a utility and basic-ness to this season’s color story, while at the same time, there’s an uplifting vital sense of play that comes through.” Based on Pantone’s forecast, experts are grouping the top shades into three categories: Escapism, Quiet Presence, and Utility.

The 'Escapism' Palette

We’re loving the fun, energetic colors that play to our sense of “escapism,” or creating our own world, vibe, or mood. As Eiseman notes, these vibrant Pantone shades have an “uplifting, vital sense of play that comes through,” promoting freedom of expression.

Tangelo is a tangy, tasty vitamin-enriched orange; Peach Pink is a nurturing peach tone inviting the wearer in for a warm embrace; Empire Yellow is a luminescent yellow radiating joy; Beetroot Purple is an emboldened fuchsia hue representing nature’s fruits.

Color Palette, Tangelo, Peach Pink, Empire Yellow, Beetroop Purple

You’ll see a lot of escapism, fantasy, and joy on the runways. Intense-hued tulle dresses paired with casual shirts in contrasting hues of pink and orange, as well as green and purple – illustrate the season’s theme of outspoken individualism. Milan Fashion Week included many references to the late 1990s and Y2K, with leather and color schemes of vivid red, green, and pink. Versace even called on Paris Hilton to close their show by wearing a chainmail dress in Barbie Pink.

The 'Quiet' Presence Palette

Then there are spring/summer shades that are more of the core classics or neutrals – they’re calm and create a feeling of “quiet presence”.

Gray Lilac is a dreamy, ethereal lilac-infused gray; Macchiato is a delectable brown with a light layer of foam; Leek Green is a vegetal green with a subtle flavor; Vanilla Cream is a soft and delicious creamy tone; Skylight a pure, watery, cleansing aqua.

Color Palette Gray Lilac, Macchiato, Leek Green,  Vanilla Cream, Skylight

These neutrals read as chic and easy to pair with flashier shades or even blinged-out fabrications. Lots of designers have included Macchiato, Vanilla Cream, and Leek Green in various looks at their runway shows. Skylight and Leek Green also appeared all over the catwalks as unique takes on nature-inspired neutrals.

The Utility Palette

To balance out the escapism and play, the spring/summer 2023 color story includes shades that offer a “utility and basicness.”

Blue Perennial is a stand-out blue that spikes Pantone’s utilitarian palette; Crystal Rose is clear pink conveying modern romance; Summer Song is a clean blue tone that expresses relaxation and tranquility; Love Bird is an exotic green with a lively character; Classic Green is a nourishing color imbued with health-giving qualities

Color Palette Blue Perennial, Summer Song, Love Bird, Classic Green, Crystal Rose

Fashion shows previewed silhouettes inspired by 80s rockers, oversized trenches, and monochrome dressing, which had juxtaposed muted shades of green, purple, blue camel, and taupe, paired with flashier colors like gold. That speaks to this utilitarian group of shades: You can envision these hues in a unisex trench, or a head-to-toe hoodie and jogger set, as colors that are both functional and make an understated statement.

You’ve got three categories made up of 15 memorable shades you can show your clients – even before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Wear the shades alone, or pair them together in the same apparel piece or outfit, to try something new and different. When you venture out to introduce “play” and “contrast” into apparel and accessories, you can help your clients’ brands to express themselves in new and unexpected ways.

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