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Lesson #5: I see your true colours shining through

This one is the fifth post of the Talk about Fashion Shows series. I will be posting them in the following days so you can start talking about what you are gonna be seeing in the Fashion Weeks. I so hope you enjoy and find it useful! <3

Marc Jacobs FW09 NYFW (undetermined photographer)

I see your true colours shining through

 True colours are beautiful like a double rainbow

Think you knew it all, häh? Gone are the days when we used to laugh about the male’s 16-colour-based vision. Remember you used to impress men by mentioning crazy colours like watermelon-seed black, harbour-water green, blond-beer yellow or pinky-salmon orange? Há! I swear on all my furry rodents you are about to change your mind thanks to…

Pantone Palette (undetermined photographer) Pantone System defines a colour by giving it a 6-digit number which indicates the position that colour has in the colour wheel.
I didn’t know what Pantone was until my bosses changed the logo of the company where I was working before. I remember we ALL were super unhappy with the logo in the beginning. All I could see was a multi-coloured caribbean papagayo: green, apple-green, blue, another blue and Mozilla-Firefox orange. But this was not the problem. The problem began when they gave us the user guide to the logo!! I remember reading things I had never seen before like Pantone 304, Pantone 300D, Pantone X&%$… But what the hell was a Pantone? Tuh!
is made to –literally- make our lives more complicated OR make artists and stylists pee in their pants while designing and creating.
As we were saying yesterday, colours will help us define the mood of the collection as well. It is said that people react to color in so many different ways: at an intuitive level, at a physical level and at an emotional level.
But the reactions depend on each and every individual’s culture, status, age and geographical origin. Even though this concept is in constant evolution and designers tend to innovate all the time about it, it is true that some colours are specially related to specific seasons and weather conditions.
Our eyes are capable of recognizing an average of 350.000 different colours, but we obviously can’t name them all. Instead, we try to compare them with things we know (animals, vegetables, flowers, stones, natural environments, …), or at least try to describe them using terms as pale, strong, deep, pastel, and the famous warm and cold.
This is why standardized Colour Systems as Pantone Professional Colour System or Standard Color of Textile Dictionnaire exist, as designers need to give specific names to tonalities in order to let the rest of the people know what they are talking about.
Oh, by the way. When you review a collection, it’s important that you use the word “palette” to refer to the variety of tonalities that you’ll see in the garments.

Let’s collect the colours of the SS12 Season, and then the ones of the FW12 Season. Yes, I hate looking back in time but I think it’s fully necessary that you are familiarized with the crazy names Pantone gave to seasonal colours (we won’t be mentioning the numbers though). I am sure you’ll use them from now on.


Pantone Fashion SS12 (pictures by Fashion SS12 (pictures by Fashion SS12 (pictures by

I personally disagree with some of the colours that Pantone suggested. Like Bellflower for instance (sort of a strong Lila-so-ever), which I can’t seem to find in the whooooole catalogue of collections. Oh, and some others (like the Dazzling Blue, Hawaiian Ocean and Grass Green) actually belong to the “Menswear Colour Palette” but you can still see them again and again in the SS12 collections!


Pantone Fashion FW2012 (pictures by Fashion FW2012 (pictures by Fashion FW2012 (pictures by

Now, really? Olympian Blue? What do you mean exactly by Cockatoo? How are you supposed to determine if one skirt is golden-honey-rubbered-yellow or calypso-margherita-purple?
Well you can do two things (besides visiting Pantone’s site for colour gossip):
1. Wait until top bloggers and online publications declare it first, so you can simply copy/paste and sound absolutely cool and IN.
2. You can try to make a guess by using a colour definer like the one in Windows Paint (I know you know what I am talking about!!! The little icon which looks like a dropper!).
By the way, have a look at what Pantone says it’ll be hot in Spring/Summer 2013. Should we wait until all Fashion Weeks are over to give a proper opinion? What do you think?

See you tomorrow on our last Talk about Fashion Shows session. Sniffs :(

Sources: All the runway pictures are borrowed from the marvellous site. Oh, and the first one is from Marc Jacobs FW 2009 (not sure who to credit though :()!

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