Pantone's Color of the Year for 2017 is called Greenery. It's a yellow-green shade which is meant to embody among other things, new beginnings.
Most of us choose a favorite color when we're only learning how to read and write. You probably don't really give it much thought these days, you just gravitate toward that one hue that makes you feel good or catches your eye. But do you ever wonder why color is important? I mean, blue is just blue, right? Yellow is just yellow...or is it? When it comes to stoplights, for instance, our established color code is extremely important for our safety. The great majority of us are crystal clear on what red, yellow and green signify, and if you're not, head on down to the Department of Motor Vehicles in a quick hurry.
If we move beyond just the necessity of communicating with color and consider entertainment, leisure and desire, then our universe's wide spectrum of color takes on a whole new realm of possibilities and meanings. Fashion designers, artists, interior designers and painters know this. Fashion in particular routinely utilizes color to distinguish and communicate style, both subtly and overtly.
Luckily, Lawrence Herbert came to the rescue with Pantone. Pantone, a company that invented a color-matching system for graphic designers and industries which rely heavily on color, is a widely recognized authority. The company created a system of electing a Color of the Year to decide what to announce as the 'color that expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times'. This chosen hue has been presented every year for the past 17 years. Last year was the first time in its history that it chose two to represent 2016 - Rose Quartz and Serenity, or two colors in the pink and blue family respectively.
Generally speaking, we tend to like what we like without any guidance from anyone else, thank you very much. Keeping in mind that this practice of choosing a specific color for a point in time is designed to help professionals in visual practices, in many ways it can actually come to mean so much more to us as consumers of fashion as well. Fashion, for example, is such a social element of our lives. Even if we don't care what anyone else thinks of our appearance, we individually choose colors which reflect the way we feel or how we choose to present ourselves, our thoughts and our moods. Black, for example is associated with funerals, formal wear and cool people in movies but we might wear it simply because it's easy to coordinate. Red signals desire and white is set aside for uniforms, confirmation dresses and wedding gowns. We find these same colors in any number of combinations in our wardrobes, meaning different things to different people, but overall signalling standard meanings in the broader culture.
This is the second time that a shade of green has been chosen - Emerald was 2013's Color of the Year. This is fine with me, because I absolutely love green. Not everyone is a fan of green - it can be difficult to choose a shade which complements your skin tone, or you just may not really like it at all. But if you're at all interested in keeping up with fashion trends, it may not be a bad idea to go on and give it a try.
There are so many ways to bring Greenery into your world. Maybe you don't want to wear it, but it might look great in your house. One way to get started is by reviving your green thumb - no matter how you do it, it should reflect your own personal style and taste. Here are a few pointers to work with Greenery.
Accessorize It - Accessories are far and away the best way to bring the green in Greenery to your world. Greenery can also be paired with other colors to help tone it down or enhance it. For spring fashion, pair your green watches, scarves, belts, shoes and nail polish with the following Pantone colors:
- Rose Quartz
- Twilight Purple
- Orion Blue
- Calypso Coral
- Nimbus Cloud
Try an even cooler pastel palette if you prefer lighter shades:
- Gray Lilac
- Green Lily
- Pink Icing
- Spa Blue
- Luminary Green
- Paradise Green
- Pure Cashmere
Top It - Maybe you're a little more confident with your green - invest in a green blouse. I love green tops because they can do so much to brighten up a black or navy blue suit or skirt. Try a gingham check or a simple silk shell for a more understated look, or bring out the ruffles or sheer blouse for a little drama.
You can also go to a more intense, slightly darker green:
Cultivate It - Okay, you already know that you love green but maybe you don't want it on your body. Another way to show your fashion sense is to add Greenery to your home decor. I love both white and blue rooms - my dream kitchen is blue and white. What better way to add a little brightness to this color scheme than with green? Throw pillows in the living room space, napkins for the dining room table, or a beautiful throw for your bedroom will get you right in the mix.
Formalize It - If you're a social butterfly or you just like to find an excuse to dress up, I'm betting that you can't go wrong in a stunning green frock or ballgown. You likely won't have to worry about anyone else wearing the same item at the same time, and with the right accessories you can make a larger-than-life statement about your fashion confidence. Truthfully I think emerald green is the most stunning when it comes to dresses, but I've seen some very beautiful dresses in the more subtle Greenery.
Green is the new red. Mixing and matching your green is never off limits. You may complement an emerald green dress with Greenery jewels or hair accessories. I love this gown - it combines many different shades of green:
Erykah Badu can literally do no wrong when it comes to fashion, and her green combination here is right on the mark:
Plant it - There's never been a better time than now to go green. You'll help the environment, improve your community and surroundings, and all the while be oh-so-chic. You can rest easily at night knowing that you're doing the right thing AND on trend.
If you don't have a green thumb don't worry. There are so many potted plants for indoors as well as outdoors which require very low maintenance. Aloe is a favorite - not only does it need very infrequent watering, the gel from these plants is excellent for remedying skin abrasions. HGTV recommends these low maintenance plants also -
- Snake Plant - can be left up to two weeks without any maintenance
- Bromeliads - needs bright light
- Jade - low-maintenance succulent
- Pothos - fast-growing houseplant
- Rabbit's Ear - its hairy leaves help prevent against water loss
- Rubber Plant - one of my favorites, very low maintenance
- Dumb Cane - large leaves which grow in many forms
- Philodendron - another fast-growing houseplant
- Spider Plant - its outgrowth can be easily repotted
- Cactus - ideal for a warm sunny home environment
- Cast-Iron Plant - the ideal plant - can handle a variety of conditions
- Umbrella Tree - fast-growing, need to prune occasionally to keep it within a desirable size
- Kalanchoe - an ideal hanging basket plant
- Air Plants - can grow without soil
Perennials are also perfect for adding Greenery to your home - two of my personal favorites are Yucca and Hens-And-Chicks:
Create It - Infusing Greenery into a creation should be fun, challenging and exciting. Here's a little story. I told you I love green at the beginning of this blog entry - it's my second favorite color next to blue. I was in the fabric store a couple of weeks ago looking for something new to work with. I came across some green chiffon - I mean, it was the most beautiful green chiffon I had ever seen. I went up to the counter to have a yard cut from the bolt and the fabric cutter asked me what I was making. We talked about the virtues of green - she loved it because it was tied to all of the important things in life, like money. We laughed...I told her that I love blue and green together, but we both agreed that it's hard to match up blue and green. I paid for my merchandise, left the store and began walking through the mall with my husband. I showed him what I bought - it matched my shirt, the one I was wearing that day. I wasn't even aware that it matched my shirt, I just knew I wanted some green. This is how I believe creativity works. We gravitate toward what we love first, and it produces other combinations and connections in our work or in our lives, sometimes when we're not even totally conscious of it.
Green itself is the essence of creation. Our bodies need leafy green foods to function properly - they contain all of the nutrients we need to be healthy and thrive. Plants and trees provide oxygen - I don't need to tell you what would happen to us without it. Green also expresses an emotion - you've heard of the phrase, green with envy? Envy is associated with deep desire and passion, something heartfelt, even though it isn't necessarily heart healthy. It is a basic human attribute and describing it as green helps us imagine its ripeness whether good or bad. Green is so fundamental a color that as my friend at the store noted, it is associated with money, along with finances, banking and greed.
On the more positive side, green is associated with new beginnings, spring time, fertility, freshness, growth and rebirth. It is an ideal color for home decor due to its calming effect. It's the national color of Ireland and associated with good luck. How can green enhance your creativity? One idea is to work with various shades of green in planning a collection. Let's take jewelry for instance, green is an excellent gemstone color. Emeralds, prehnite, peridot, jade, jasper and aventurine are just a few. Combining these elements in one piece or within a collection of many pieces can bring a deeper dimension to Greenery in design.
Similar to designing jewelry with Greenery, clothing design would be enhanced with incorporating not only alternate shades of green, but many other colors as well. Pantone's Color of The Year is accompanied by an excellent guide to Greenery color pairings. This is particularly helpful if you don't want to feel overwhelmed with this particular color green - it can be imagined as an accent color. This is even more true with interior decoration - too much green can be overwhelming, but with the right balance of other colors, it can really bring your home alive.
So there you have it - Greenery was chosen for 2017 and I believe it was a very fitting choice. After a long and deep recession here in the United States, in the midst of a rapidly evolving digital age and with humans living longer than ever we are in brand new and unpredictable territory. The possibilities are indeed endless but we have to embrace them while they are new and fit them with our own imprint. Design it, paint it, wear it - use this life-affirming shade to your advantage.
Admit it - it takes more than a little bit of work to be fabulous you. Yeah I'm talking to you!
The perfect hair, dress and makeup are investments in time, money and patience - drawing perfectly drawn black eyeliner is an art. Wearing four-inch heels all evening sometimes requires smiling through the pain, but we'll do it because we know we look good.
If you need a little fashion pep talk from time to time, visit and bookmark this page - here's one of my favorite quotes -
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” ― Coco Chanel
Read more at The Dapifer: 25 Inspirational Fashion Quotes for Creatives http://www.thedapifer.com/?p=24252
I already mentioned the price we sometimes pay for looking good - Joan Juliet Buck wrote a book about it and you can read the review here.