From Tangerine to Cockatoo: Pantone’s Spring 2012 Palette




Rhonda Sargent Chambers takes a look at the fashion color authority’s new lineup.


Spoiler Alert: Our expert’s top pick is not the Color of the Year.



The Pantone Color Institute isn’t a secret society, though some speak of it in similar terms.  The phrase ‘Color of the Year’, in fact, acts as something of a code word in knowledgeable fashion circles.


Pantone is actually a decades-old company, relied upon by professionals in many industries (fashion design, interior design, textile manufacturing) for its color selection and matching technology.


Those of us in the fashion industry respect and rely on Pantone’s color trend information as a valuable tool of our trade. Colors are dictated over a year in advance to textile manufacturers, which in turn, translates to fabric choices for design houses.


Each trend report draws upon expert input from New York Fashion Week designers, as well as a panel of fashion influencers. Among the group featured in Pantone’s Spring 2012 report are Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing and Celebrity Stylist Isabel Dupre, as well as a diverse group of designers including Betsey Johnson, Charlotte Ronson, Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Roy, and Carmen Marc Valvo. Follow this link to view each designer’s inspiration, colors, and more for the coming season.





As for next year’s specific color selections, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute explains, “Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day.”





Many will recall that the color of the year for 2011 was Honeysuckle, a beautiful and cheerful shade of coral. In 2012, it seems we are again being told to ‘cheer up’ with the selection of Tangerine Tango, Pantone 17-1463. (The shade is shown here, accompanied by a sketch by Nanette Lepore.)


Additional colors in the report’s spectrum include yellow-green Margarita, purple Bellflower, and golden Solar Power.














My prediction, however, is that the ocean-inspired color of Cockatoo (shown here with a sketch by Tracy Reese) will be a welcome change, as 2011 and 2012’s colors of the year are very similar. Not to mention, this aquatic tone looks good on everyone.


Click here to explore the full Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2012.



(All images, credit