Feb 13, 2020
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Pantone's LFW colour forecast chooses warmth over power brights

Feb 13, 2020

Pantone has released a new colour forecast for AW20/21 linked to the opening of London Fashion Week and the colour specialist is predicting “creatively conscious" tones that are all about an “optimistic sense of purpose”.


The Pantone Color Institute’s colour experts said the shades “reflect our desire for a substantial palette of meaningful colour. Colours expressive of a classic British sensibility that offer longevity, durability and can endure. At the same time, colours that exhibit uplift, convey an optimistic sense of fun and purpose and whose intrinsic versatility encourages creativity and instills confidence”.

In practice that means a “robust palette” of 10 colours including 17-1562 Mandarin Red, a “dynamic, amplified and provocative orange-infused red tone”, and 19-1662 Samba, a “voluptuous sultry red [that] introduces an upbeat energy”. Also powerful is 17-1349 Exuberance, “a good natured and expansive orange shade [that] conveys a message of spontaneity and happiness”.

Along with 19-1540 Burnt Henna, a robust red but with a more “sophisticated earthiness”, it suggests a strong season for reds of all kinds and one in which brands’ (and consumers’) tastes continue to run to powerful colour stories. But among the reds, and the rest of the shades in the palette, there's a new warmth in the tones and it’s interesting that there’s a distinct absence of the power brights.

There are blues too, including the virtually neutral 19-4024 Dress Blues, plus 19-4057 True Blue and 18-4051 Strong Blue, the latter’s red undertone “injecting vibrancy into this confident shade” and seeing blue move out from the classics category into more fashion-focused palettes.


And greens continue to take their place in the sun with 19-0622 Military Olive, 14-0647 Celery (“a vital yellow green that reflects the natural freshness of nature”) and 18-5338 Ultramarine Green (a deep cooling blue-green) all highlighting the versatility of the green story overall.

It’s all anchored by softer neutrals such as the rustic and rugged tan of 17-1225 Tawny Birch, the rawness of off-white 11-0605 Jet Stream, the rich camel of 14-1122 Sheepskin, and that must-have of all current palettes, a grey. This time it's 16-3916 Sleet.

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