Pantone Reveals Spring 2012 Colors

Nanette Lepore uses Tangerine Tango and Sweet Lilac in her Spring 2012 design

New York—Want a burst of optimism? Pantone has just the right dosage.

Playful and breezy are two words to describe Pantone’s Top 10 colors for Spring 2012, and this is evident in what’s been parading down the New York runways during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Reflecting different moods, these colors feature vivid brights, soft muted tones and fun-loving pastels.

“Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

“They have learned how color can help them alter a mood and provide the vitality and enthusiasm that enables them to experiment with new looks and color combinations.”

Pantone’s Top 10 Spring Colors

Below are Pantone’s Top 10 top colors, as used by designers at New York fashion week:

 Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463): A provocative and enticing juicy orange, is a vivacious and appealing refresher to enliven anyone’s outlook this spring. Designer: Elie Tahari





 Solar Power (Pantone 13-0759): Providing a jolt of energy, this hue radiates warmth and cheer. Designer: Bill Blass by Jeffrey Monteiro.






 Bellflower (Pantone 18-3628): A fanciful and ornamental purple exuding uniqueness and creativity. Designer: Rafael Cennamo






Cabaret (Pantone 18-2140): A sensual, intense rosy red is scintillating and sexy. Expect lots of it for summer clothing and cosmetics. Designer: Betsey Johnson






 Sodalite Blue (Pantone 19-3953): This classic and dependable maritime hue brings order and calmness and pairs with every color in the palette. Designer: Barbara Tfank





 Cockatoo (Pantone 14-5420): An unusual blue-green hue adds a whimsical and statement-making touch to the palette. Designer: Tracy Reese






 Sweet Lilac (Pantone 14-2808): Reminiscent of a blossoming garden on an early spring morning, this delicate and romantic pinkish lilac evokes the fresh scents of summer. Designer: Adam by Adam Lippes





 Margarita (Pantone 14-0116): A piquant yellow-green that lifts spirits with a refreshing and stimulating glow.

Natural Versatile Neutrals

Adding practicality to the season’s brights are a palette of natural neutrals.

 Driftwood (Pantone 18-1210): An adaptable blend of beige and gray with a slightly weathered feel. Designer: Pamella Roland by Pamella DeVos.






 Starfish (Pantone 16-1120): A perfect warm summer neutral, complement all colors featured in this season’s top 10. Designer: Cynthia Steffe by Shaun Kearney

The Spring 2012 Pantone color report is also available for free download.

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Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine &
As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories for the past 14 years, Lauren Parker has covered women's fashion accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. She frequently judges industry design competitions and loves seeing the next generation of designers come into their own. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including women's fashion accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.

  • The shows have been beautiful so far… and LOTS of sunny, optimism! 

  • The spring 2012 shows have been beautiful so far… LOTS of sunny optimism! 

  • Ladies, Spring 2012 has Sprung!!  Check out these fab colors!  *LOVE*

  • Anonymous

    It’s undecided I think. Look at the depression era Sodalite blue, Starfish, Bellflower & Maragarita!
    Then you see the sun rising with Solar Power while you’re eating a Tangerine and laying on a Cabaret beach blanket.  I see a division by age.