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Pantone Predicts Icy Hues and Spicy Shades Will Refresh Familiar Silhouettes for Spring ’16

Pantone SS16Iced coffee is more than a way to chill out on a hot day. According to the color experts at Pantone, it’s also a cool hue for Spring 2016.

On Thursday, the Carlstadt, New Jersey-based company released its top 10 color chart for men and women next season and declared that the soft, earthy shade would appear in many spring collections, along with Fiesta (a vivid, yellow-based red), Snorkel Blue (a maritime-inspired navy) and Buttercup (sunny yellow).

Other noteworthy colors on the list: Green Flash (a bright hue), Lilac Gray, Limpet Shell (aqua), Serenity (a calm blue), Peach Echo and Rose Quartz.

“Colors this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place where we feel free to express a wittier version of our real selves,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “With our culture still surrounded by so much uncertainty, we are continuing to yearn for those softer shades that offer a sense of calm and relaxation.”

A couple of days into New York Fashion Week’s spring shows and Pantone’s predictions have proven to be on the money.

BCBG Max Azria presented a candy-coated take on the Madchester look of the ’90s (bucket hats: check), sending models down the runway in yellow, peach and navy tie-dyed tees layered over baggy patterned pants and knit dresses.

Elsewhere, New York-based label Whit put a ladylike spin on the palette, with a flouncy mid-calf halter dress in spicy red and an oceanic blue painted in thick stripes on a column skirt, while at least four of Pantone’s top hues appeared on an A-line midi skirt.

Even Creatures of the Wind’s androgynous spring collection—in a mostly murky palette of brownish green and rust—featured some pops of color, notably on a tomato-red pantsuit paired with a long blue floral button-up blouse.

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Of course, Pantone is more than an authority on color; it also offers color systems and technology to textile mills, printers and designers. On Thursday, the company introduced the Pantone Plus Series Extended Gamut, a coated guide developed in partnership with software supplier Esko and packaging printer Disc Graphics to close the gap between CMYK and spot-color printing.

Extended gamut printing, also known as fixed color-palette printing, is used more and more in the packaging industry, an environment where spot color can be time-consuming and costly.

By comparison, this new printing process uses cyan, magenta, yellow, black, orange, green and violet inks that “extend” the shade range to achieve roughly 90 percent of all Pantone Matching System’s 1,729 spot colors.

“Pantone is excited to embrace the emergence of extended gamut printing in a rapidly changing printing and packaging landscape,” said Ron Potesky, Pantone’s senior vice president and general manager. “We have developed an essential tool for designers to assess which printing method best enables them to achieve their brand colors, while recognizing the efficiency of process printing versus reliance on spot colors.”