Pantone has recently announced its new Color of the Year as “Greenery” (15-0343), the brightest green it has highlighted to date. Replacing the soft and comfortable pink and blue colors of 2016, this shade of yellow-green is perky and zesty, practically oozing energy and expectation. After more than nine months of analyzing global color trends in interior design, graphic arts, fashion design, social media, technology and consumer products, the folks at Pantone have concluded that leafy green is ready for center stage, and hence the-colors-name.
Originally, this shade was popular in the ‘20s, when green first debuted on the cover of Vogue. It was also a player in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and to a lesser degree, in the ‘90s. Although not always an easy choice to wear, it remains the most soothing shade to the human eye. Green is also able to complement almost any other color, and as such, makes an ideal backdrop for other combinations. In fact, Pantone has dubbed Greenery “Nature’s neutral.”
For those who are a bit hesitant, this yellow-green can be used in small strategic “pops” of color to awaken an otherwise staid and tired design. For example, Anthropologie sells the Leather Finn Rocker, a vibrant green leather rocker that would be an attention-getter in any living room or den. A painting, decorative art piece, pillows, vase or table centerpiece could also work to enliven a living space or office.
The obvious and easiest way to incorporate this shade into one’s lifestyle is to simply collect some striking plants with lovely foliage. However, expect to see Greenery in many other venues including car dealerships, runways, kitchen appliances, purses, and lip shades. Mercedes is offering a 2018 AMG GT Roadster in AMG Green Hell Magno. Elmira Stove Works has an retro line of appliances that includes green as a color choice. Banggood sells green Women’s Crocodile Leather Crossbody Messenger Bags, and Prada offers green Piped Suede Platform Slide Sandals through Barney’s New York. Even Dior is onboard with the lip-shade Clover Matte (400), an unusual but cool version satin lipstick.
Although Pantone’s approach is to identify and predict trends rather than dictate them, one might wonder why this shade and why at this particular time? As the-colors-name implies, green has several traditional connotations. It represents environmental concerns, ecology, and organic living; and it speaks of hopefulness. To quote Pantone, “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature's greens revive, restore and renew.” Also associated with those first tender spring leaves, words such as “rebirth,” “re-energizing,” and “refreshing” come to mind.
In today’s turbulent and complex society, the appeal of Greenery may be in its return to the peace and safety of nature. The Japanese have a unique expression, “forest-bathing,” which refers to the practice of retreating to a lush forest to regroup and re-energize. Perhaps Greenery is a visual response to the uncertainty and stress felt by so many today. For those who cannot disappear into a forest, bringing green into the work-space and the home may be the next best thing.
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