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Color Direction: Global Uncertainty Brings More Grounded Hues for Autumn/Winter 2018-19

What’s happening in the world has always had its impact on color, but with all the global uncertainty surrounding us now, color seems to be doing its best to counter that.

Highlighting color palettes for the Autumn/Winter 2018-19 season on the opening day of Texworld USA at the Javitz Center in New York City Monday, Pantone Color Institute VP Laurie Pressman said color in the coming season will be about a new sense of freedom and fluidity.

The trend forecast for the season is “Time,” and how humans are starved for it, constantly seeking it and striving to uncover more of it.

“There’s that saying that time is money but honestly today I think time has become much more valuable than money,” Pressman said.

The idea that people are starved for time and seeking more solid foundations in an increasingly unpredictable world will show itself in colors that look polarized, beaten down, drained, rusted and oxidized. When it comes to textures, they’ll follow suit, appearing dehydrated and shriveled. The digital influence on the world plays out in atomic metallic and neons.

[Read more about color trends for the coming season: WGSN Unveils Color Themes for Autumn/Winter 2018-19]

The need for nature to counteract uncertainty and time deprivation is what gave way to Greenery becoming Pantone’s color of the year this year—it’s meant to reinvigorate, refresh and revitalize, and AW ‘18-19 will see the color continue to be important as sustainability, recycling and escapism come more and more into play.

The Palette

Key colors for the season will be rich and powerful. Grenadine, for one, will bring about the confidence and self assurance red tones do and a winey Tawny Port will take the red family to depths. Combined, according to Pressman, the two “make a great statement for fall.”

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And if anyone thought Millennial Pink was over, it’s not. Autumn/Winter 2018-19 will see the commercialization of the pink family with softer pinks both as an accent and for head to toe looks.

“Unlike other families of color, this is one that because it had been considered a female shade for so long, it was considered off limits,” Pressman said. “But with old color rules out the window, it’s becoming more of a lifestyle color.”

Navy Peony will be a mainstay for the season, taking some of the focus off of black, and it will pair well with Tawny Port. Neutral Gray will share the anchoring role with Navy Peony.

Shaded Spruce will be big for blues, but channels Evergreen trees and has more reddish undertones.

Golden Lime will be the season’s green—“an Earthy tone with a twist,” as Pressman explained. The color will give traditional patterning, like Fair Isle sweaters more of an edge.

Marina is the season’s cool hue, a blue with added vitality and the only true cool color in the fall palette.

Autumn Maple brings some luxury to the color stories, and the deep, enriched rust orange shade will pair with Marine blue to spice up cold weather’s typically more drab palette.

Turquoises will be more gender neutral for AW ‘18-19, greys will get more color and beige will no longer be just a classic neutral but will channel luxury.

The overarching feel of the season will be colors that are more rich and rooted, but styles and silhouettes will also need to pare down to their purest and simplest forms.

“Less is more,” Pressman said. “Attention spans are dramatically shortened and product assortments need to be tightly focused…too many choices at this point can lead to frustration and indecision and for you guys, a lot of missed opportunity.”