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Pantone: Spring Summer 17 Color Trends Evolve From Traditional

The pace of life has changed dramatically and just as fashion has followed suit, giving a nod to ever-pervasive technology, color too has turned on its head.

So it was only fitting that “Evolve” was the theme for the Spring Summer 2017 color story that Laurie Pressman, VP of Pantone’s Color Institute, presented at Texworld USA in New York Monday.

“Like seeds fully growing into something different, our planet and our lives are constantly evolving,” Pressman said. “The familiarity of what was disappears into the new and we turn around and see something that we don’t recognize anymore.”

As with retail, the consumer wants more, they want it now and they want novel.

“The cry from the consumer has clearly been ‘out with the old, in with the new and tear down those barriers,’” Pressman said.

From the way we work to the way we shop, share information, communicate, even date each other, has shifted in the face of technology—everything is moving fast and color is softer and more subdued as a counter to all of that.

“For Spring Summer 2017, we focus on sensible solutions. Accessible and flexible colors. We turn our attention to families: different colors working together creating new hybrid groups. A reflection of what is evolving in society now,” Pressman presented in Pantone’s trend video.

In the face of constant connectedness, people are seeking the simple, and wellness, according to Pressman, is today’s key social identifier.

That’s part of the reason muted and discerning colors that evoke an easy calm have been more popular, and namely why Pantone picked the soft blush Rose Quartz and gentle blue Serenity as its colors of the year for 2016.

“Weightless and airy, Serenity comforts us in turbulent times (and it’s certainly turbulent times),” Pressman said, adding that Rose Quartz may be a soft pink, but it’s also a strong pink.

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Both colors reflect the now sought after tranquility and inner peace, and are showing up as a pair in not only apparel, but in activewear, accessories and home furnishings.

The colors are coming up in menswear as well.

“We are seeing men exploring their other side. But instead of the masculinization of womenswear, what we’re experiencing today is the feminization of menswear,” Pressman said. “We are seeing a more unilateral or androgynous approach to color.”

For Spring Summer 2017, reds are infused with orange or brown, and pinks fall into two camps: the first being energetic and full-bodied, the second more toned down, almost matte like in appearance.

Orange will be more social and friendly and yellows will move away from golden ranges to hues that are more acidic. Browns will shift from earth-based shades to more sunbaked terracotta and greens will be sharper with a more synthetic look.

Phantom Black is Pantone’s one true black for the season, and greys for Spring Summer will appear more gaseous and blackened.

Pastels can still work as a single color, but the trend is more toward using the softer palette as combiner colors.

Despite the subdued slant to the color story, Pressman said the industry still see an onslaught of color and pattern for spring.

“We’re seeing animal patterning, denim striping, floral, tribal looks and even color blocking, taking on new form and dimension. Some even with a little bit of sparkle,” she said.

More typical feminine looks, with fringe, frills and wavy pleats will be apparent, and graphic prints will stick around but in a more “artistic” way.

Pressman outlined eight specific color stories for the coming season.


The idea for Genesis is open weaves, luminosity and sheen, materials that are light in weight.


Spiral is a story of refined tenderness, Pressman said. Materials will have a “beautiful roughness,” textures with a lot of finishing, more unusual shapes and transparent elements. The look is futuristic and geometric texture patterns and neutral colors will play a strong role.


A new gestation energy makes for the Embryonic trend and its palette of natural colors, blurred patterns evolved patterning and interesting textural effects on shiny synthetics.


In Boundless, the vibrant sky blends with the earth’s ochres. Multi layers of dissolving color and patterning that is awash in color vibrancy will make an appearance.


Changeling, according to Pressman, is a playground for innovative combinations. The theme here will be soft iridescence and harmonious color clashes.


A range of greens and blues that are both fundamental and futuristic color the Progression story. Fabrics will be organized and future facing, and patch denim looks will be apparent.


Assemble will be all about delicate pastels mixing with earthier utilitarian shades. Looks will take on divergent personalities and modern updates of historical and traditional patterning to appeal to a different, new audience.


The Mutation trend will reflect a freckling of color and manifestations will come in the form of bold statements with tiny color accents.