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It’s hard to believe, but the Pantone 2021 colors are here. The release of a new color forecast from Pantone is the sign of a new season, and this time around, it feels extremely significant. Suffice it to say that we’ve all gone through quite the year.
Last season, the Pantone institute identified colors that we interpreted as sober and down to earth. It was all about staple colors that can last in a wardrobe for decades. The colors made a serious statement for sustainability and against frivolity.
Nature is represented directly in the new spring/ summer 2021 color trends. Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, described them as “a range of floral hues reflective of gardens in springtime awakens our spirit, reinvigorating our interest in color that inspires feelings of much-needed optimism.”
When discussing the colors presented in New York, she also remarked on how the colors make the wearer feel in practice. “Infused with a genuine authenticity that continues to be increasingly important, colors for Spring/Summer 2021 combine a level of comfort and relaxation with sparks of energy that encourage and uplift our moods,” she said.
Uplifting? Comforting? Energizing? Natural? Sign us up!
Once again, the Pantone Color Institute captured and identified exactly what we need for the spring/ summer 2021 color trends. Now, let’s have a look at those stunning colors!
Pantone’s Spring/ Summer 2021 Colors from NYFW & LFW
#1. Pantone 16-1529 Burnt Coral
Pantone describes Burnt Coral as a convivial shade, which means that it is friendly, lively, and inviting. It’s a joyful pastel that absolutely begs to socialize, even distantly! Its inclusion in the spring 2021 color trends reminds us of the importance of cultivating friendships.
It’s also a truly pretty callback to the Living Coral garments many of us still have in our closet from 2019, albeit with a more pastel twist. Ulla Johnson made perfect use of the shade with a voluminous, pleated dress with a paper-bag waist.
#2. Pantone 14-3205 Pirouette
Pirouette is our first pastel from London Fashion Week. According to Pantone, this delicate and nearly-translucent shade adds a tender touch to any color palette. It was a lovely accent shade in spring 2021 prints, but it was also utilized well as an all-over shade for soft dresses. A collared Pirouette-pink dress with a flowy skirt felt particularly demure and romantic within the Emilia Wickstead collection.
#3. Pantone 15-3716 Purple Rose
Purples always have a magical touch about them, and the same is true for this pastel. According to Pantone, this color “conveys a message of enchantment.” We do find it enchanting but also ethereal and dreamy. One of the prettiest dresses presented by Victoria Beckham this season was a Purple Rose number, with a narrow waist, a long, draped skirt, and black lace halter detailing decorating the top.
#4. Pantone 13-5412 Beach Glass
The Pantone Color Institute gives Beach Glass a very poetic description: “A watery aqua tumbled smooth by the waves and currents.” It evokes the ocean but in a way that puts out as much as serenity as the other pastels in the spring 2021 color trends. It was actually LaQuan Smith who presented our favorite Beach Glass garments at NYFW. Those included a silky pair of high-waisted trousers worn over a matching corset top.
#5. Pantone 13-0117 Green Ash
Green Ash showed up in New York, and it’s unmistakably similar to London’s Beach Glass. However, it’s a touch warmer and greener, with a soothing mint feel.
#6. Pantone 15-4020 Cerulean
Out of all of the Pantone spring 2021 colors, Cerulean is by far the most serene. This delicate, pastel blue is like the sky on a clear, sunny day. It’s the kind of shade that brings both joy and comfort with its delicate touch. Naeem Khan presented a stunning, draped dress in Cerulean that hugged the body gently and was fitted with a fluttering cape.
#7. Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating
With a name like Illuminating, it’s clear that this bright yellow is meant to put a smile on your face! This pretty yellow (described by Pantone as optimistic, friendly, and joyful) made its presence felt on the runways of both London and New York – two cities with a slight reputation for dreariness. At Zimmermann, we were particularly taken with a sundress with a voluminous empire waist and subtle cutouts just below the bust.
#8. Pantone 18-4250 Indigo Bunting
Classic Blue might have been 2020’s It Color, but for the spring/ summer 2021 colors, blues have taken a bit of a back seat. However, they’re not totally gone. This time around, we’re seeing blues that remind us of nature. To start, we have Indigo Bunting, which is named after a festively-colored bird. As such, it’s a dynamic and cheerful color! It was particularly striking as a shiny raincoat over at Burberry.
#9. Pantone 18-4140 French Blue
With French Blue, New York Fashion Week took us all the way to Paris! Pantone described this color as “stirring,” although compared to all of the other spring 2021 color trends, we actually found it to be very practical and relaxed. With that in mind, we loved LaQuan Smith’s sexy, revealing, and a little outrageous French Blue bodycon dress that took the cutouts we saw a lot of last season up to a whole new level.
#10. Pantone 16-4535 Blue Atoll
Blue Atoll is a color that supports fantasy! Pantone brought to mind a truly fantastic vision by describing it as “suggestive of a tropical island in the sea.” By the time the spring 2021 season actually rolls around, we hope that such fantasies can truly come to life, but even if they don’t, we look forward to showcasing them with our wardrobe.
Warm Reds & Oranges
#11. Pantone 18-1552 Lava Falls
Reds were fairly sparse in the spring 2021 Pantone colors, so Lava Falls really stood out. “This hot molten red erupts with a flowing energy,” says Pantone Color Institute when describing this color. Despite its darkness, this shade is warm and energetic, helping to offset the cool pastels that ruled the season.
#12. Pantone 18-1248 Rust
We always love it with an autumnal shade like Rust weave its way into a spring/ summer season. Even Pantone admits that this earthy shade from NYFW is “emblematic of Autumn leaves uncharacteristic of a spring palette.” Rust verges on neutrality, which makes it a nice complement to any color palette. However, it’s particularly fitting in combination with soft pinks and corals.
#13. Pantone 16-1253 Orange Ochre
Orange Ochre was presented in London. Pantone explains that this orange shade transcends seasons, perhaps thanks to its grounded earthiness. Oranges are often very loud, but Orange Ochre is actually quite restrained in comparison, making it a fitting addition to this comforting collection of Pantone 2021 colors.
#14. Pantone 14-1050 Marigold
Marigold was everywhere both on the New York and London runways. This golden-orange is described by Pantone as a warming shade with a comforting presence. It’s just a little too vibrant to count as a pastel, but it still has the same gentleness and softness. Our favorite example of it was at the Jason Wu show, which Indya Moore opened in a vacation-perfect maxi Marigold dress.
Lively Purples & Pinks
#15. Pantone 17-3628 Amethyst Orchid
Amethyst Orchid is a purple inspired by nature’s most outrageous flower. It’s a unique color imbued with both energy and eccentricity. It would take a bold character to wear it from head-to-toe, but anyone can benefit from Amethyst Orchid accents. Tom Ford went in both directions, using Amethyst Orchid in a variety of psychedelic floral prints as well as in a loose lounge-meets-office suit that seemed perfect for working from home.
#16. Pantone 18-2043 Raspberry Sorbet
Raspberry Sorbet stands out as one of the most dramatic Pantone spring 2021 color trends. This electrifying pink has a ton of energy! The Color Institute describes it with verbs like “vivifying” and “tantalizing.” Such a vibrant color will certainly turn heads, especially when worn from head to toe, like in one of the column dresses presented by Naeem Khan.
#17. Pantone 16-0436 Pickled Pepper
There is a tanginess to Pickled Pepper that comes from its warm undertones. However, despite the warm, briny leanings, it’s still a very fresh color. Pantone calls it a “garden variety green, both mildly sweet and pleasantly tangy.” At London Fashion Week, Halpern did a remarkable job of glamming up this shade, with a dramatically shiny dress fitted with a large, fan-like embellishment that partially obscured the face.
#18. Pantone 16-5938 Mint
Mint is another fresh addition to the Pantone spring 2021 color trends. It’s a lovely complement to the two aqua colors featured in the spring pastels. Much like the herb, after which it is named, Mint is a shade that cools yet invigorates. The Alice + Olivia collection included a few outfits that themselves felt as invigorating as the shade itself, including a gorgeous flared trousers and sleeveless blouse set with a ‘70s feel.
Pantone Spring 2021 Classic Neutrals
#19. Pantone 18-0529 Sphagnum
So many of the spring/ summer 2021 color trends were inspired by nature, so it only makes sense that one of the key neutrals is a mossy green. Sphagnum (which is also the scientific name for peat moss) is an earthy green that has a slight brown undercurrent that cements its usefulness as a neutral. Erdem’s collection this season (inspired by Susan Sontag’s novel The Volcano Lover) showed how to pair Sphagnum-colored jackets and cardigans with his signature delicate dresses in floral prints.
#20. Pantone 19-4016 Inkwell
Though Inkwell is described by Pantone as a “deep and intense blackened blue,” we can’t see much beyond the black in this shade. It was a particularly fitting neutral for a city like New York, and it felt to us like quite a change of pace from all of the deep navies of previous seasons.
You can’t get darker than black, a colorless color that acts as an intense counterpoint to the pastels and vivids of the season. We glimpsed this shade on every runway, of course, but we were most taken with the statement-making Inkwell looks at Christian Siriano, which included sexy mini dresses, voluminous skirts, and our favorite: a long-sleeved figure-hugging dress that urged the viewers to go out and VOTE.
#21. Pantone 19-4105 Polar Night
The deepest neutral Pantone 2021 color at LFW was a twilight blue, which Pantone described as “profoundly deep and restful.” This was one of the few colors this season that reminded us of the sober need for practicality that was represented in the previous season’s shades. This color certainly added a serious yet soothing touch to the Simone Rocha collection, where it showed up in the form of voluminous coats and silky dresses.
#22. Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray
It’s not surprising that this fundamental gray made an appearance both on the London and New York color reports. Pantone describes Ultimate Gray as assuring and reliable, saying that “Ultimate Gray encourages composure.” It’s calm and comforting, but it’s also a serious shade that can elevate an outfit replete with pastels or florals. It was a fitting choice for work-appropriate dresses and jackets at Chocheng.
#23. Pantone 16-0632 Willow
Willow is an intriguing neutral shade. Pantone cryptically describes it as a “canopy of green that reveals and conceals.” This woodsy shade reminds us more so of tree bark, although it does have a certain green undertone that adds some interest.
#24. Pantone 17-1221 Macchiato
Macchiato is more than just our favorite coffee shop order. This creamy, caffeinated shade is “imbued with warmth,” which presents itself as a slight caramel touch that’ll pair particularly well with the warm shades presented this season.
#25. Pantone 14-1127 Desert Mist
The pale brown Desert Mist is aptly named. Once again, Pantone gets poetic, explaining that it invokes “images of shifting powdery sands.” Going into summer, it’s a different take on exotic colors, and it fits well with other vacation fantasy colors like Blue Atoll. It was a fitting color for a summer-perfect casual button-up dress presented in the Veronica Beard stream.
#26. Pantone 11-0110 Buttercream
A creamy off-white is the type of neutral color that harmonizes beautifully with pastel shades. This color is described by Pantone as smooth, effortless, and delicious – a color more forgiving than pure white, with an inherent softness. The Anna Sui collection definitely showcased a lot of softness and serenity, so it made sense that it closed with a series of ruffled Buttercream dresses.
#27. Pantone 11-0202 Baby’s Breath
Baby’s Breath was the off-white neutral presented at London Fashion Week. It’s a slightly clearer counter to NYFW’s Buttercream, described by Pantone as being “lighter than air.” There is also a crispness and added sophistication to Baby’s Breath, which was particularly felt in Emilia Wickstead’s collection. The collection featured the shade heavily in dresses with pleated, volumized A-lines and cinched waists.