Fashion designers’ affinity for the Seventies will still be going strong this fall, given the earthy tones that rank in Pantone’s Top 10 fall color list for women and men.

Far from being trapped in a time machine, designers are to some degree tapping into similarities between that decade and the present, namely financial unrest, international strife and climate change, according to Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

“Even though the economy seems to be on the upswing, still there are those who are feeling insecure about significant world events, both politically and ecologically,” Eiseman said. “The Seventies were also a time when the public was emerging from a recession [in the early part of the decade]. There also was a growing interest in the preservation of nature. Utilizing earth tones gives people a sense of rootedness and grounding, similar to what people were feeling the need for in the Seventies.”

The way she tells it, consumers’ longing for some sense of solid ground makes sense given their always-connected, overscheduled lives. If only visually, fall’s earthy neutrals offer a breather from the 24/7 grind. “The whole idea is that people are seeking some sense of balance. This palette is not pastels-heavy or brights-heavy, but it’s reaching out and being a bit more experimental. You can see a certain amount of poise and confidence from these colors,” Eiseman said. “The consumer wants to feel comfortable, more balanced and not so abstract. It is an evolving color landscape, but it is a subtle evolution.”

Along with the Seventies, the staying power of all things androgynous has permeated the fall palette for women and men, which is an assortment of the same top 10 colors. “Aside from the fact that these colors are truly unisex, we’ve got these colors that are kind of earthy but they are just enough different to get a nice balance,” Eiseman said.

Here, Pantone’s key women’s colors for fall.

NEXT: Pantone’s Top Men’s Colors for Fall >>


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