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Pantone Unveils Autumn/Winter 2017/18 Color Trends

Color imitates life just as art, and with the flood of technology rendering consumers overrun, color in the coming season will be all about a break from that norm.

Fittingly, “Disguise” was Pantone’s theme for the Autumn/Winter 2017/18 color story that Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone’s Color Institute, presented at Sourcing at Magic Tuesday.

“Technology is accelerating everything to the point where it feels like we’re living in a constant state of evolution,” Pressman said. “Color is transformative, fulfills our fundamental desire for change.”

Today, what used to be abnormal has become normal, there are no longer clear-cut borders between things and being a disruptor is something sought after.

Consumers are also seeking more respite in green spaces, giving rise to greater earth tones in the color palette, while greater interest in sustainability and recycled materials means retailers will have to consider that those colors could have greater staying power.

“There is the backlash against bland and we’re seeing unexpected color and color combinations,” Pressman said.

Pinks for one, aren’t just making appearances in menswear in their bright iterations, but in all ranges of the rosy hue.

“Pinks have turned from a fashion color to a basic core fashion shade,” Pressman said.

Orange is moving into the background and midtown apricot nectar and energetic oranges will add interest, while yellows will add sunshine and light. Classic browns will anchor the palette, purple will come in more mauve shades and white will serve as a counter reaction to the overuse of color.

Black remains a staple, reds will move away from traditional scarlet to the coral side, with copper reds looking exceptional. Blue will continue to play a pivotal role as a combo color and celadon, a blend of blue and green will come in a cooler, grayer hue than in season’s past.

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Neutrals will move toward lighter hues like neutral taupes and beiges, grays will be clearer and bolder, and pastels will serve as “a great shade for bizarre harmonies” according to Pressman. Metallics will take on more matte, burnished looks than their “blingy” former versions, and brights will be high speed and symbols of power.

Here are six color trends for the Autumn/Winter 2017/18 season:


This trend, as Pressman explained, is “A simplified palette of enveloping colors that act as a buffer against the outside world.”

Apricot, amber and a purple shade of elderberry, are key colors, as is a pale gold metallic that adds glimmer to a neutral grey palette.


Cosmeceutical is all about “Coming together to make a palette that is disguised through light and silently obscured from view.” Colors are inspired by beauty creams and relaxing gels that bring a therapeutic feel to daily life.

“Female” pinks blend with “male blues” for a range of mauve and violet grays, and apricot nectar brightens the palette while maple nectar serves as a neutral tan.

Body Language

“We use our bodies as camouflage to broadcast who we are,” Pressman said of the trend.

Colors channel ethnic tribes with rusty shades like Aurora Red and Cadmium Yellow, while browns and tans come in warmer hues.


Anonymous, according to Pressman, is “A palette of shades that ebb and flow out of the black shadows.”

Colors are deep and dark, almost secreted with shades of blue like Maritime Blue and Atlantic Deep, a softer grayish green and a grey tinged taupe.

New Traditions

New traditions is all about dressing up through camouflage. Colors draw on different periods, ethnic groups and cultures that try to “understand the world from shamanism through to today’s pop culture and big data,” Pressman said.

Hues are equal parts vivid and subdued, with a rich lilac purple, a golden yellow, ocean blues and Bordeaux with a more orange tint.


Mask, according to Pressman, is “A punchy group of colors full of action and vitality that speaks to the complexity of our increasingly digitized world and globalized lives.”

Colors are heavier with jolts of vibrancy, like a saturated rose called Love Potion and an earthy orange called Dragon Fire. Chili Oil is the palette’s rusty red, then there’s Split Pea green and the cooler Lilac Grey.