Pantone’s colour of the 2016: blended shades to define next year

We find out more about Pantone’s 2016 Colour of the Year.

Next year will bring a softer take on design, if Pantone's newly released 2016 Colour of the Year is anything to go by. For the first time, Pantone named the blending of two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity – pale pink and pale blue, for the untrained eye – as its key colour combination for the coming year.

The global authority on colour selects its shade of the year after careful consideration and trend analysis that takes into account everything from the entertainment industry and films in production to new artists, popular travel destinations, new technologies and sporting events.

The influence of fashion is also evident, as the two shades were seen in the spring/summer 2016 collections of designers such as Emilio Pucci, Leanne Marshall, BCBG and Richard James. The shades are being positioned as an antidote to the stress of modern life, with their warm, welcoming tones offering reassurance and security in an increasingly turbulent age. They’re meant to imbue feelings of well-being, respite and ­relaxation.

“With the whole greater than its individual parts, joined together, Serenity and Rose Quartz demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness, as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” says Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

The blending of the two tones is no coincidence. It reflects a wider blurring of boundaries in the fashion and design worlds. “In many parts of the world, we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted colour trends throughout all other areas of design,” says Eiseman.

“This more unilateral approach to colour is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumers’ increased comfort with using colour as a form of expression, which includes a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged, and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to colour usage.”

In the home, the pairing of ­Serenity and Rose Quartz will create a feeling of calm, says ­Pantone, which promotes the use of the colour on rugs and upholstery, as well as paint and accessories. It can be used as a solid or incorporated into patterns splayed across fabrics, throws, pillows and bedding.

“Like a serene sunset, Rose Quartz encourages reflection on one’s surroundings,” say Pantone, “while Serenity, a transcendent blue, provides a naturally connected sense of space.”

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