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Appetizing shades of butter, olive oil and mango sorbet are probably not the first visuals that come to mind when dreaming up spring fashion trends. But according to trend forecasting firm WGSN and color system company Coloro, a sister brand of WGSN, spring 2022 colors are fittingly inspired by life’s “simple and sartorial pleasures.”

And that leitmotif takes form in a buoyant, saturated magenta called “Orchid Flower,” which leads the season; “Olive Oil,” a rich and trans-seasonal plant-based greenish hue; “Butter,” a soft, creamy, pale yellow that looks as good as it sounds and is touted for its genderless appeal; “Mango Sorbet,” a tropical hue of a juicy, energizing sunny yellow; and “Atlantic Blue,” which “echoes the hues of organic indigo dyes and the ocean,” the companies said, adding that the color is a favorite of slow-fashion brands.

Sharp awareness of consumers’ collective consciousness was a key part of the firms’ forecasting, which involved going a bit deeper into our shared senses at a time of panic and uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Olive Oil” will be a key part of the color palette for spring 2022, according to WGSN and Coloro. Photo courtesy of WGSN. 

Joanne Thomas, head of content at Coloro, explained the emotive blend of strategy and creativity behind its color selection process. “Looking at our key colors, take Butter, for example; a warming, positive, uplifting yet tender tone that is a staple in everyone’s kitchen. Or reassuring Olive Oil, another pantry essential. With our homes quickly becoming one of the places we feel safest and reassured, we will grow more accustomed to spending more time here, even as the world slowly returns back to normal. Home-cooked meals will bring family and friends together where they once used to go out. Cherished time in nature will revitalize and invigorate people as they will no longer take freedom for granted.”

And Jenny Clark, head of color at WGSN, told WWD that the firms have watched consumers’ attitudes and behaviors completely shift over the last couple of months. “There is a real heightened sense of emotion, a lot of fear and anxiety, which feels like the new normal at the moment. But amongst all the despair there have been displays of great compassion and positivity by many. Uncertainty is definitely driving the consumers mindset at present, but looking forward to spring 2022, we believe a sense of optimism will be more prevalent.”

Shades of Butter offer a muted and warm aspect to the spring 2022 season. Photo courtesy of WGSN. 

Clark emphasized that the firms were particularly mindful of consumers’ emotional state and the challenging economic outlook while selecting the spring season colors. “We believe there will be a need for stimulating colors like Orchid Flower, which feel uplifting and energy-boosting. But there will also be the need for more reassuring, dependable colors such as Atlantic Blue and Olive Oil. These will feel familiar and reliable to the more cautious consumer.”

“The desire for greater simplicity and reconnection with our senses was something fundamental to our concept this season,” Clark explained. “We placed great importance on slowing down the pace and taking in the surrounding world mindfully. Being locked down in our homes for weeks has pushed many people into a slower pace, where pleasure can be found in the simple things such as food, family and nature. It’s this simpler approach that drove us to select colors based around an elemental theme.”

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Invigorating hues such as “Orchid Flower” add vigor to its spring palette. Photo courtesy of WGSN. 

Thomas told WWD that the firms recognized the human need for reinvigoration — and so it follows that its spring palette offers a healthy dose of optimism. “With prolonged periods of isolation, nature and its vitality will have a reinvigorated appeal. This season’s colors are inspired by simple and sensorial pleasures, as consumers gravitate towards mood-boosting products and experiences. The smell of a favorite book, the first forkful of a home-cooked meal, or the feel of freshly cut grass under the feet can all ignite feelings of joy, and our colors embody these treasured moments with an almost tangible sense of depth, texture and saturation.”

“This will spark a growing desire within consumers to surround themselves with colors, objects and experiences that bring comfort — and spark joy within them.”

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