Once upon a time, colors used to be straightforward enough – red, blue, green, yellow. With advances in modern design and printing tech, the color evolution scale came to include the CMYK and RGB color matching schemes, and we thought that was the equivalent of a veritable Big Bang in the world of colors. But by no means is that the end of the subject!

Pantone colors, a staggering mob of 1,761 radiant, titillating shades, have actually been around for decades. What started as a color matching guide for printing, painting and other industries has now become a trendsetter in the world of fashion.

Top 10 Pantone Colors for 2016, including Colors of the Year Serenity & Rose Quartz

Top 10 Pantone Colors for 2016, including Colors of the Year Serenity & Rose Quartz

As Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic at The New York Times writes,

“What’s in a shade? Well, if you are Pantone, the “color authority” and the dominant color trend forecaster, and you get to choose a ‘color of the year’ every year, potentially a lot. It could include determining fashion’s direction, influencing interiors, and even affecting how food appears.”

Simply put, Pantone (meaning ‘all colors’) has a monopoly in universally followed color schemes, and every year they’ve been adept at defining and predicting the trends followed by the fashionable masses.

Let’s take a look at some of the raging color choices off the fashion block for summer 2016, as defined by Pantone. You’ll be sure to find these shades cropping up in everything fashionable this year…from kitchen artifacts to nail color to sneakers!

This year Pantone has actually chosen two instead of just one ‘Color of the Year’- Rose Quartz and Serenity- to mark a world transcending cultural and gender stereotypes. The hues are drawn from natural inspirations to emphasize being at one with our surroundings. And, with a mostly calming and stable palette, these colors are even making a political statement in turbulent times.

1. Rose Quartz

Labelled as one of the two Pantone colors of the year, this warm embracing shade can be seen as a front runner on the fashion bandwagon. With its soft hue, the blush pink tone is a tranquil breezy color, which can be styled with almost any apparel, all thanks to its versatility.

In the words of Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute, “It’s the color of a serene dusk, blushing cheeks, a flower that has just been born.”

2. Serenity

True to its name, this is a color emanating a sense of calmness– a veritable utopia as far as our hectic lives are concerned. Declared as Pantone color of the year along with Rose Quartz, it’s been dog-eared in the pages of fashion guidebooks of the celeb world.

3. Peach Echo

Peach Echo is just a few steps away from orange, long a favorite of designers. It enlivens outfits with fun and dollops of sass. Bright, beautiful and quirky, this peachy coral exudes a celebratory vibe, making it quite the hit at parties and weddings, right from bridesmaid dresses to delectable looking cakes.

4. Snorkel Blue

Snorkel Blue, much like the sport itself, brings to mind vast stretches of water with sun rays dancing on it, veiling a vibrant aquatic life, celebrating travel and escapism. Snorkel Blue is one majestic color, striking in its very essence and providing an energetic shade to the palette.

5. Buttercup

Buttercup yellow can very well be labelled the ‘Color du jour’. This happy color has the exuberance and oomph that anyone needs to make heads turn, offering a lovely contrast to the calmer hues of this season’s palette. Bright and radiant, it will have you reminiscing of sunny fields and Wordsworth’s daffodils.

6. Limpet Shell

Suggestive of clarity and freshness, with aquamarine undertones, Limpet shell is one color which exudes peaceful tranquility. It lends quite a modern air to interiors.

7. Lilac Gray

How to turn a classic neutral into a fashionable Pantone shade? Add a beautiful undertone. That’s what they’ve done to the neutral gray by giving it a subtle edge of lilac. This pastel duo is perfection personified.

8. Fiesta

Fiesta is the strong contrast element in this year’s shade card. With its fiery undertones it’s a blazing streak, enough to set  temperatures skyrocketing as you walk around in this Pantone number. Inciting the rebellious daredevil within, this color’s meant to bring out the adventurer in you!

9. Iced Coffee

This neutral shade this a welcome change…giving an earthy stability in contrast to the season’s pastels and fiery colors, very suitable for transitioning through the seasons. Mellow and comforting, iced coffee is made for laid-back chic attire.

10. Green Flash

Reminiscent of travel diaries where you shed off the mundane moments of daily routine, this flash of green is all about channeling the inner crazy and bouncing back to your capricious self!


So there you are! A gamut of fresh hues to pick from, and a whole lot of shopping ahead of you-  to transform your living space as well as your wardrobe into a swath of calm, happy colors.

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