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Pantone’s LFW F/W 21-22 Color Forecast Shrugs Off Tradition in Favor of Hope

While fall weather in London is typically characterized by moody shades of grey, color experts foresee a bright, bold fashion palette that will stand out against stormy skies.

On Friday, the Pantone Color Institute released its color projections for London Fashion Week’s F/W 21-22 collections, including 10 standouts and four core classics that promise to blend “heritage and quirkiness” to offer a fresh perspective.

After more than a year of languishing in a dread-filled state due to the global spread of the coronavirus, experts see next season’s color trends breaking with tradition to offer consumers a feeling of hope. While fall palettes often deal in dark hues and neutrals reflective of both weather patterns and shoppers’ cold-weather temperaments, this autumn promises to highlight “ingenuity and resourcefulness” through clear, unwavering tones that blend playfulness with practicality.

“This season’s colors reflect the reinvigorated desire to create,” Pantone said, “whether injecting a contemporary view into heritage or imposing an urban style on nature and the great outdoors.”

From Green Bee, a “grassy green” reminiscent of the English countryside’s rolling hills, to Clear Sky, a periwinkle hue “redolent of the cool blue of a cloudless day,” the London color palette choices seem designed to evoke optimism—or at least excitement. Ibiza Blue is “stirring,” not unlike impossibly clear island waters on a forbidden tropical getaway, while uplifting orange Daylily is reminiscent of a field of flowers or a burst of sunshine. Red Alert, which, as its name suggests, displays all the subtlety of a traffic light, is nonetheless fierce and commanding. Pantone’s buoyant Color of the Year (COTY), Illuminating, will also make an appearance this fall, suggesting that the desperate appetite for sunny cheer will extend year-round.

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The selection is rounded out by more familiar fall tones, from deep red Winery to “tender pink” Soft Blush, warm and rusty Tomato Cream and earthy Downtown Brown, and the season’s core classics fall into a similar, well-worn pattern. Deep black-blue After Midnight will undoubtedly be a favorite for outerwear—it’s easy to envision the goes-with-anything shade on an ankle-skimming wool coat. Meanwhile, warm and creamy Perfectly Pale, “tasteful green” Olive Branch and Ultimate Gray, Pantone’s second COTY choice, round out the quotient for neutrals.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said the color range of “heartening hues” was “reflective of the natural environment in our local surroundings.” The grouping was designed to inspire creative energies and awaken a replenished perspective on the application of color, she added, “one where whimsy and charm combine with pragmatism and our ideas of heritage re-envisioned and our connection to nature are reinforced.”