Before I get started, why does current fashion illustration make women look like Bratz dolls? I don't like it one bit.
Moving right along...
Friends, how much do you know about color forecasting? I don't know much, but you'd have to live on Mars not to have heard that Pantone's official Color of the Year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango, aka orange. (You can read more about it here.) I hate to sound grumpy -- I am still recovering from my weekend cold -- but I was "over" that color ten seconds after seeing it; to me it screams Guantanamo Bay prisoner jumpsuits.
Why should we care about a Color of the Year? Is there a food of the year we eat to the exclusion of others? (2012 -- Year of the Pickle!) The beauty of sewing our own clothes is that we're free of the limitations of what's available at the stores and all this forecasting drivel. We don't have to dig through racks of Tangerine Tango stuff in search of something that's actually flattering or that ten million other people aren't wearing. (Read this in your best robot voice, arms extended like zombie: Must. Wear. Orange. Must. Wear. Orange.)
In this day and age, when every kind of authority is being questioned (with good reason), why does color forecasting still hold sway? My understanding is that many different industries pay big bucks to the companies that do color forecasting. Color choices have to made for all sorts of things: appliances, carpeting, wallpaper, car interiors, makeup -- the list goes on and on -- and nobody wants to be off trend. When I was growing up in the early Seventies, appliances were all avocado and harvest gold, avocado and harvest gold: phones, mixers, refrigerators, kitchen tile, plastic dinnerware, paper napkins, etc. This was not coincidence, but the result of color forecasting.
I had to dig, but I finally located this old Milliken "Fashion Colors for 1971" booklet I found years ago. It presents an evocative theme for the colors Milliken would be producing (in textiles) that year. The overall palette is the American Southwest, with groupings of colored swatches labeled "Grand Canyon," "Indian Brights," "Painted Desert," etc.
It's not so much the individual colors, but rather the color combinations that are remarkable -- I remember them so well from childhood clothes I owned or from TV shows. You find them in old sewing pattern envelope art too. Do any of them feel familiar?
|The Brady Bunch looking very "Sierra Sands" with a hint of "Painted Desert."|
Then, just as now, colors were given provocative new names consistent with the fashion "story" they were meant to tell. Just as orange is now Tangerine Tango, in 1971, Milliken called its vibrant red War Paint. The Native American population was thrilled.
More Milliken color samples pics here.
So I ask you: as sewers, how much attention, if any, do you pay to color forecasts like the one from Pantone? When I saw the men's forecast for Spring 2012, I couldn't relate in the least. The descriptions of the colors themselves are so banal and the color choices....you won't find me in Starfish (aka beige), rest assured. To me this whole forecasting idea seems very played out and Twentieth Century. Do you agree?
In closing, when you hear a color is Color of the Year, does that make you run toward it or away from it -- screaming?
Anybody have additional insights into this industry they wish to share?
Have a great day, everybody!