Even though it has just begun, the year 2021 is already full of expectations, hope, desire for innovation, and especially for a renaissance. At the end of 2020, the Pantone Color Institute, to which millions of artists and people look up, released its color trend forecasting publication for this new year, announcing not one, but two color trends for 2021.
The color of the year is chosen by a team of specialists who meet in a European capital: after a couple of days of meetings and scrupulous analysis of society, trends and global changes, the color trend for the following year is determined. Experts from not only the world of fashion but also from the world of art, design, and new technologies come together.
We all remember very well the iconic scene in “The Devil Wears Prada,” where chief editor Miranda Priestley points out to Andrea that the color of the sweater “is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean.” These may seem insignificant details, but they are not! The color of a garment can completely change the impression we have not only of the garment itself but also, and especially, of the person wearing it.
Think about it: how different is it to see a woman wearing a red or a white coat? Fashion and color have always been linked and intertwined in history, giving voice to generations of artists and designers. Since ancient times, humans have attributed meanings and symbols to colors; they influence our minds, they can attract or repel us, and they’re a “storehouse” of great power.
So which colors were chosen to represent the hopes of 2021?
The Pantone Institute has decided to switch from the Classic Blue of 2020, a color that symbolizes calm and elegance, to two colors, Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Grey.
This is the first year that grey is chosen and the second year for yellow. In 2009, Mimosa Yellow was chosen to coincide with the election of the first black US president, Barack Obama. The choice of the “double color” was proposed and approved for the first time in 2016 when the fights against the discrimination of male and female canons were becoming more and more consistent. For this reason, two colors were selected to celebrate gender difference, Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue.
Grey comes from the fusion of black and white and is complementary to itself: it represents thought and evaluation of emotions, it is robust and stable. It is modern and sophisticated and capable of having a stabilizing effect on other shades by balancing the stronger colors and illuminating the softer ones.
It expresses a discreet but sophisticated elegance and it is therefore used by many fashion houses such as Chanel and Armani, which have established these two features as their distinctive sign.
When we think of grey, we immediately think of the classic work suit, a monotonous and “repetitive” outfit: however, this nuance should be reconsidered, because it can be combined with most of the colors in our wardrobe. For example, grey is perfect with pastel colors, a must for spring and for elegant and formal occasions, but it can also be combined with denim blue, creating a sportswear look, and with bright colors such as red and fuchsia, which can adorn and brighten the silhouette.
Yellow, on the contrary, is a dominant color and it consequently needs to be worn with caution. It represents change, curiosity, and optimism. This shade has the power to brighten up the person wearing it, giving them a radiant and “fresh” look. Yellow matches very well with black, white and its complementary color, purple; it can be combined with sportswear looks, like those proposed by Balenciaga, but also with minimal or elegant outfits like the Valentino ones.
It is often thought that this color can only be worn successfully by a few people, but yellow, if correctly mixed, can suit everyone. Instead of wearing it as the main garment, it can accompany us through accessories such as shoes and bags, small but great tricks that complete the look. Some classic and timeless colors to match are black and denim blue, but white and grey can also work. The less recommended colors are the similarly bright ones, which share the same nature as yellow.
Yellow and Grey.
Two colors that are opposites, but indispensable for each other. To represent a restart, nothing is better than a bright color like the first one, the color of the sun, which gives joy, light-heartedness, and desire for new things; but, if you want to take flight, you need solid notions, so here comes grey, which gives security and stability, becoming the perfect base to restart from.