Pantone Showcases How Designers Use its Top 10 Colors for FW16

In What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker


Launching alongside New York Fashion Week, the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2016 takes a comprehensive look at fashion designers’ use of color in their upcoming collections, offering a color snapshot for the season ahead. Complete with designer color sketches and inspirations, this report is released by the Pantone Color Institute™, the color intelligence and forecasting arm of Pantone.

Yet again, blue is key. “If you look at this season’s entire palette, the idea of comforting Blues coming to the top of the list again shows that people are still searching for that reassurance,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “The color Blue is fundamentally important to the human eye as a stable icon of the balance in our universe. Even in an uncertain world where cultural, economical and social tensions can cause us anxiety, we remember that the Blue skies represent constancy – they have never fallen”

Below, a look at how some designers are using these colors in their Fall/Winter 2016 collections.

Untitled-3Above from left: Rebecca Minkoff using Riverside; Rubin Singer using Bodacious; and Iris von Armin using Warm Taupe. “The color inspiration came from my idea of the global traveler,” says Rebecca Minkoff. “Who that girl is and what she sees while on an adventure is reflected through her clothes.”

Untitled-1From left: Tadaji Shoji using Lush Meadow; Charles & Ron using Spicy Mustard; and Nicholas K using Sharkskin. “Our Fall 16/17 collection is a vibrant collection of graphic prints inspired by ecclesial color schemes and by the decorative lights seen on a Maltese Basilica during Mediterranean village feasts,” says Charles & Ron.

Untitled-2From left: Bibhu Mohapatra using Aurora Red; Nicole Miller using Airy Blue; and Rachel Pally using Dusty Cedar. “Sunrises and sunsets are incredible here in Los Angeles, and they provide endless color inspiration,” says Rachel Pally. “Our journeys do inspire the color each season. This season we have an “India Spice Market meets Joshua Tree at dusk” color palette.”


PANTONE 17-4028-RiversidePANTONE 174028
Riverside – new color
Earmarking the importance of Blue in the overall palette, the new blue shade of Riverside undeniably takes precedence in the fall collections. Cool and calming, strong and stable, Riverside displays a subtle vibrancy and sophistication. While the use of PANTONE 17-4028 Riverside borders on exciting, it easily maintains a sense of constancy that gives the wearer a feeling of repose.

PANTONE-14-4122-Airy-BluePANTONE 144122
Airy Blue – new color
Blue tones have shown up in nearly half of the designs we have seen leading up to the Fall 2016 runway shows. Pantone 14-4122 Airy Blue gives a nod to both Riverside as well as Serenity, one half of the Pantone Color of the Year 2016. As consumers and the design community strive toward a feeling of weightlessness in a world heavy with conflict and uncertainty, Airy Blue’s lofty nature introduces feelings of lightness and freedom to our top 10 shades. Pairing easily with the somewhat darker Riverside, combine Airy Blue with Lush Meadow, Taupe or Dusty Cedar for a fresh approach.

PANTONE-17-3914-SharkskinPANTONE 173914
Sharkskin – new color
There’s an edge to PANTONE 17-3914 Sharkskin, and yet it manages to remain neutral and pair-able with almost any fall color whether bright or muted. Sharkskin represents a color that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on. While several Grays have come through the fall collections, this particular shade showcases practicality through a dependable but contemporary lens.


PANTONE-18-1550-Aurora RedPANTONE 18-1550
Aurora Red
In contrast to the stability that serves as the backbone of the Fall 2016 palette, PANTONE 18-1550 Aurora Red adds a welcome punch. A bold Red that is warm, sensual and immediately pleasing to the eye, Aurora Red gets the metaphorical blood of the palette and the collections pumping, in an exciting, dynamic way that breeds unmistakable confidence.


PANTONE-16-1318-Warm-TaupePANTONE 16-1318
Warm Taupe
After departing slightly from the foundations of the palette in its Blues and Grays with a confident Red, we lookagain for reassurance and stability. Trusted, organic and grounded, the timeless shade of PANTONE 16-1318 Warm Taupe is a hearty, pleasing and approachable neutral that pairs well with each of the top 10 shades of the Fall 2016 season.


PANTONE-18-1630-Dusty-CedarPANTONE 18-1630
Dusty Cedar
Like Airy Blue, PANTONE 18-1630 Dusty Cedar gives a nod to the Pantone Color of the Year 2016, this time to Serenity’s other half, Rose Quartz. A fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring collections, Dusty Cedar is a dustier rose-toned Pink shade with some complexity that exudes warmth and welcome.

PANTONE-18-5845-Lush-MeadowPANTONE 18-5845
Lush Meadow – new color
As its name suggests, PANTONE 18-5845 Lush Meadow brings to mind fresh botanicals and foliage. Rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated, this green shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of color that elevates it from more natural greens. Its usage elevates the overall elegance woven through this season’s collections.

PANTONE-14-0952-Spicy-MustardPANTONE 14-0952
Spicy Mustard – new color
In a shift from previous seasons, the spicier, zestier Yellow we are seeing for Fall 2016 is unexpected and unusual. Bouncing elegantly off other colors in the palette and adding another splash of uplifting vibrancy, PANTONE 14-0952 Spicy Mustard is an exotic addition that comes through in both the abstract and the more defined geometric accents designers have employed this season.

PANTONE-18-1340-PotterGÇÖs ClayPANTONE 18-1340
Potter’s Clay
This neutral earth tone takes the palette back to what we might expect for fall and winter fashions, but like Spicy Mustard, PANTONE 18-1340 Potter’s Clay has an added degree of sophistication and inherent layering. A shade with real substance, Potter’s Clay has elements of a russet Orange in its undertones, giving it a grounded feeling that is anything but flat. Like Sharkskin, this warm orange shade has emerged as another strong foundation for the fall palette.

PANTONE-17-3240-BodaciousPANTONE 17-3240
Bodacious – new color
Lending itself to fabulously interesting and vibrant color combinations, PANTONE 17-3240 Bodacious speaks to the gender fluidity we continue to see with designers’ use of color. Unexpected in the fall palette, this versatile Purple shade can be used monochromatically with colors in the Pink and Red family, or just as easily with Spicy Mustard or Potter’s Clay. This bright, rich Purple, with its hints of a more sophisticated Pink, transforms fashion accents into fashion statements.

The full report is available at


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