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Color My World

I love color. There’s no mistaking it — I am fascinated and energized by how colors are “born” as well as how they affect me emotionally. Color is an intangible, ever-changing perception — “the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light,” according to Google’s definition. There are a few other properties, such as form, shape and texture, which, when you see them, can elicit emotion and energy, but none as powerful as color, in my opinion. Pick up any fashion or home magazine and somewhere within, there is an article about color.

We use words like ‘artistic,’ ‘quintessentially neutral,’ ‘vibrant,’ ‘scintillating,’ ‘drab,’ ‘modern’ and ‘nostalgic’ to describe how we feel about color.  We like some colors over other colors more at different points in time. Colors define a time in our history — everyone is familiar with the ‘avocado’ kitchen of the mid twentieth century houses most of us grew up in. Or the neon 80’s and the beige 90’s — for every time, there is a color and a feeling to define it. And now, in 2014, we’re going to love all shades of purple. Oh, you didn’t know that?

Pantone, a company that labels itself as “The Global Authority on Color,” surveys designers, and combined with other information on cultural trends, annually announces a “Color of the Year.” Last year, it was ‘Emerald.’ This year, it’s ‘Radiant Orchid.’ Here’s the 2014 introductory quote by Pantone’s Executive Director:

“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

radiant orchid

Although it seems odd that there should be a “Color of the Year,” what happens is undeniable — you begin to see versions of this color everywhere. Designers and trend-makers embrace them and suddenly you’re coveting a pair of green boots or fuchsia flats.

It’s like magic to me — something I must manifest into some part of my life. I, personally, find it exciting, although I missed the green boots last year.  That won’t be the case this year as I have already begun my “Radiant Orchid” search. To some, my behavior may appear as though I am a ‘fashion victim,’ but that is not the case at all.  I “FEEL” color trends before they begin. It often feels that the ‘color authorities’ are just confirming what I’ve felt all along!  I’m not always in sync with Pantone, but I can be borderline “color clairvoyant” at times. Like I said, I love color.

This color, Radiant Orchid, mirrors the public mood — hopeful. We all know that color can make you happy, set a mood, make one feel confident, optimistic or it can reflect an ongoing sense of dullness, pessimism and doom. So it’s only natural to have a beautiful fuchsia-like purple as the color of the year this year. It’s vibrant without being obnoxiously electric; it’s reflective and soothing without being boring and dreary; it’s uplifting and reenergizing without being overpowering. You can wear a lot of it or just a color-pop and it looks good. But most of all — it gives life to those dismal greys and dark neutrals that have had a grip on our psyche as well as our wardrobe.  Welcome to the new color year — things are brightening up.


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