The Wonderful World of Color
Neutrals are also holding court.
“Musings about neutrals rarely end in exclamation points. They’re too safe, too recessive, too conventional. Not to worry. This season, it’s all about beautiful mid-tones and deep shades. Think cinnamon, gourmet chocolate, Turkish coffee. Think skin tones from ports around the world” [www.sherwin-williams.com].
Bredenfoerder pointed out color trends in apparel are vastly different from those in other industries, primarily because they change so rapidly. “This is often why we hear the words, ‘hot new colors,’” he explained. “If other manufacturers tried to follow ‘hot new colors,’ they will always be playing a catch-up game they can never win.”
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? The same can be asked of fashion and color. Which influences the other? In fact, Bredenfoerder said the two work in tandem. “It’s like an inter-industry exchange grid, but the driving forces are the issues that are important in the world,” he reiterated. “Even the most secretive collections developed by the high-fashion houses are driven by the major influences that are important in the world. To quote trend guru, Robin Waters: ‘Trend is not driven by what’s next, but by what is important.’”
Some issues that have been of grave importance in recent decades include awareness for illnesses such as cancer and AIDS/HIV. When asked to explain how specific colors are chosen to represent important causes like these, Bredenfoerder said the decisions are usually made by the cause leaders themselves. However, he noted the color selections can have far greater impact beyond their intended purpose. “Pink was picked for breast cancer awareness simply because the founders thought it was feminine,” he explained. “But this choice has had a major impact to change the position of pink. Pink is now a pride color for all women—it now represents strength and solidarity. It’s not just for Barbie anymore.”