SEA-WORTHY WIN: Pantone has gone with a look-on-the-bright-side shade — Living Coral — for its 2019 color of the year.
In revealing the news Thursday, Pantone indicated that the choice is more than a culmination of recent color trends and is more of an indicator of a concerted cultural moment. The ever-ubiquitous immersive experiences — a favorite talking point with brand marketers and retailers alike — also holds true in the color department, according to Pantone. Consumers are in search of genuine connection and Living Coral symbolizes “our innate need for optimism and joyful, lighthearted pursuits.”
The bright hue lends itself to “playful expression and experimentation in women’s wear and men’s wear,” according to Pantone’s press material about this year’s win. “Living Coral evokes comfort and positivity in simpler color stories, and effervescence in patterned, textural and monochrome looks.” Scuba divers and snorkelers would be right to associate its name with marine invertebrates found beneath the sea. Saving dying coral reefs is an ongoing news topic, and on a different level, Living Coral — like actual coral reefs — can relay a sense of comfort and buoyancy in our shifting environment. As an accent shade for accessories, apparel or home decor, Living Coral offers a wide range of contrasting options with neutrals and basics like slate gray and navy. Just last month for an event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Mary-Kate Olsen went with coral earrings to brighten up her all-black ensemble.
Attention-grabbing red-related and orange-y tones dominated the season’s leading five colors, with Fiesta, Jester Red, Turmeric, Living Coral and Pink Peacock ranking first through fifth, respectively. An affable hue with a proper edge, Living Coral has a warm, golden undertone but still grabs attention. Prada and Vilshenko are fans of the shade, as is Zac Posen, whose spring collection dabbled in it, as has his more recent pre-fall collection. Posen’s spring collection includes an off-the-shoulder Living Coral dress, as seen on Maya Thurman Hawke in the short film Gia Coppola shot for the designer. Flattering to many skin tones, Living Coral and other shades of the orange family continued to move to the forefront for spring. Omnipresent Instagrammers Kourtney Kardashian and Sofia Richie got a jump on the trend last summer in what the Daily Mail described as “the battle of the coral bikini.” There were hints of Living Coral in pre-fall collections like 10 Crosby Derek Lam and Lorod.