The color authority releases a list of the colors during the week-long style summit that will define the upcoming season, and this year's batch, which includes six brand new Pantone colors, is so beautiful we're already craving autumn.
According to the color authority, the ten-shade palette was inspired by a "desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism," and it includes several classic fall hues, such as mustard yellow, gray, and taupe.
The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family.
Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colors also appear throughout the collections. Transcending gender, these unexpectedly vivacious colors in our Fall 2016 palette act as playful but structured departures from your more typical fall shades.
Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.
- Cool and calming, strong and stable
- Displays a subtle vibrancy and sophistication
- Borders on exciting, yet
- Maintains a sense of constancy
Riverside is a cool blue hue selected by Pantone as a top color pick for fall 2016.
Pantone predicts that this cool, yet strong hue, will be one of the hottest shades come fall. "This color says 'repose' and 'calmness.' It's not as serious as navy or as bright as cobalt," Eiseman told. “It has a practicality aspect that makes people feel as though it is just like pulling a pair of jeans from their closet. They are thinking of how many things they can wear this blue with.”
Because of that “subtle vibrancy,” there are a lot of different possibilities for accent colors here. I toyed with the idea of pairing it with a hot pink or the darker rose color found in the florals in the mood board above. In the end, I thought a nice teal green color was the way to go!
2. Airy Blue
- Designers seeking weightlessness in a world heavy with conflict
- Blue tones appear in nearly half of the designs
- Airy Blue nods to Serenity
- Pair Airy Blue with Lush Meadow, Taupe or Dusty Cedar for fresh approach
Airy Blue is similar to Serenity, one of Pantone’s Colors of the Year for 2016. We’re huge fans of using cool, tranquil hues like these to create calming spaces in our homes. Try pairing Airy Blue with Lush Meadow, Warm Taupe or Dusty Cedar for a fresh, layered look.
In a time laden with political conflicts and economic uncertainty, Airy Blue offers designers a touch of airiness and weightlessness. Cam Newton and the rest of the Carolina Panthers aren’t the only ones who are partial to this skyline shade. Karl Lagerfeld showed glimpses of a blue sky at last month’s Chanel show in Paris. “Designers really like the serenity and versatility associated with Airy Blue and it can be worn throughout the year. It’s fall’s answer to a lighter blue.”
Eiseman cites the "serenity and versatility" associated with this light shade as being instrumental in its popularity.
- Pair-able with almost any fall color, bright or muted
- A color that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on
- Showcases practicality through a dependable but contemporary lens
While gray is always a popular color choice in the chillier months, Sharkskin has an edge that makes it stand out from other neutrals. "As its name implies, it is meant to help people toughen up," Eiseman said.
Sharkskin lends versatility and adaptability to the Pantone fall color palette. It’s “pair-able with almost any fall color, bright or muted,” Eiseman says, “a color that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on.”
Sharkskin lends itself to a wide variety of applications, and plays well with just about any other color. We like it with the pink pop of Bodacious, or the sophisticated orange undertones of Potter’s Clay.
It is similar to Lilac Gray in Pantone’s spring palette, but it trades Lilac’s hint of purple for a richer, darker tint. Sharkskin is crisp, clean and practical, a great reminder of why gray is heralded as the preferred neutral for interior design.
An edgy stable color, it can be combined with any color scheme to add a contemporary update
- A bold Red that is warm, sensual and immediately pleasing to the eye
- Gets the metaphorical blood of the palette pumping
- Exciting and dynamic, breeds unmistakable confidence
Aurora Red is one of the more vibrant colors that will be popular in fall. Pantone describes it as being "warm, sensual, and immediately pleasing to the eye."
Eiseman said, “This one really gets the adrenaline pumping. You used to only see Aurora Red in a store window, on a grommet for added accent or on a Web site homepage specifically for graphics,” but now designers are using it more in apparel to attract the consumers’ eye. Eiseman said, “If you don’t use some vibrant colors, you bore them.”
- Suggests reassurance and stability
- Trusted, organic and grounded
- Departs slightly from the foundations of the Fall 2016 palette
This earth neutral color will pair very well with the more vibrant colors. It is organic and grounded and will be forever timeless for decorations and furniture .
This trusty fall hue may be the most versatile of the fall colors, as it pairs well with every other shade on the list. And according to Pantone, it's "hearty, pleasing and approachable."
Eiseman said it is so tactile that you want to reach out and touch it to get a feeling of warmth.
- A fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring
- Dustier rose-toned Pink shade with some complexity
- Exudes warmth and welcome
Dusty Cedar is a “dustier, rose-toned pink shade with some complexity,” says Eiseman. This captivating hue adds warm appeal to any space. It’s the color of the last autumn blooms.
With rose undertones and seasonless appeal, Dusty Cedar nods to Pantone’s co-Color of the Year, Rose Quartz. A ruddier pink than most, this color has a complexity that makes it fitting for fall and winter. Men’s wear labels such as Thomas Pink have taken to it beyond neckties and sole stripes in shoes.
The faded blush undertones compliment any fall palette and pair well with similarly calming colors like Airy Blue, Rose Quartz or neutral Sharkskin.
- Rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated
- This shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of color that elevates it from more natural greens
- Elevates the overall elegance woven through this season’s collections
This color screams elegance and elevates the more natural greens. It is bright, vibrant, and sophisticated.
According to Pantone, this elegant shade "displays a brightness, panache and depth of color that elevates it from more natural greens."
Effective on several fronts, first and foremost this Leaves of Grass green is meant to be transpondent in that wearers will feel as though they are bringing the outdoors indoors. Too much office time and not enough free time isn’t the only reason this vibrant green resonates.
Evocative of botanicals and foliage, Lush Meadow speaks to fashion’s increased commitment to sustainability, organic cottons and acknowledgement of many shoppers’ green lifestyle, Eiseman said.
- Adds another splash of uplifting vibrancy
- A spicier, zestier Yellow than previous seasons
- Unexpected and unusual
- Comes through in both the abstract and geometric accents that designers employed
Spicy mustard is one of Pantone‘s Fall 2016 color picks. Pantone describes this color as adding a “splash of uplifting vibrancy” and that it’s “unexpected and unusual.” Although I wouldn’t call it “unusual,” I do think mustard yellow can go overlooked when people are considering a color palette for their next project. That’s a shame, because it’s actually a rather versatile and sophisticated shade!
While Spicy Mustard may sound like a standard ballpark condiment, according to Pantone, it's actually an "exotic," "zesty," "uplifting" shade that's perfect for fall.
There are several possibilities here, but I love the idea of pairing spicy mustard with sage green and a few neutrals. The sage is muted enough so that only one color–yellow–makes a huge impact. This is important so that the color palette doesn’t get away from you and become overwhelming.
- Elements of russet Orange in its undertones, gives a grounded feeling that’s anything but flat
- Neutral earth tone; expected for fall and winter palette
- A shade with real substance; a strong foundation
A deep orange that will add some rustic earth tones to your event. This color is perfect for portraying a grounded feeling this fall and winter.
Consumers have grown to expect this earthy shade, which has a real substance to it, adding a degree of sophistication and inherent layering, Eiseman said. “This seems akin to orange, but not a lollipop orange. Potter’s Clay is a lot more subtle, grounded and rooted,” she said.
- Lends itself to vibrant color combinations
- Unexpected in fall
- Versatile; can be used with Pinks and Reds
- Bright, rich Purple, with hints of a more sophisticated Pink
- Turns fashion accents into fashion statements
Bodacious will add vibrant color to any combination. It can be used with pinks and reds.
No longer just used for piping on ski jackets or in argyle socks, this bold color is becoming more prevalent in apparel for women and men alike
While this bold shade isn't typically associated with fall, it's actually quite versatile thanks to its combination of pink and purple, according to Pantone.
“Bodacious gives designers the opportunity to play with color, ” Eiseman said. “It speaks to the gender fluidity we continue to see with designers’ use of color.”
We hope that you enjoyed our color palette adventure brought to us by Pantone. :)