Each year the Pantone Color Institute releases a list of colors based off of the runway shows for the upcoming season, and now is the time to explore the spring/summer 2022 Pantone color trends from New York and London Fashion Weeks. These colors are the ones that will eventually coat everything, from your clothes to the tools in your kitchen during that year. Miranda Priestly may have been rude in her delivery of the message, but she was right in the fact that color trends pass from designer to designer until they reach the public overall – an example of trickle-down fashion if there ever was one.
Executive director of Pantone, Leatrice Eiseman, summed up the list of the spring 2022 colors as follows: “Our use of color is connected to the cultural mood. As we explore a new future, we are looking for opportunities to do something completely different. Colors that celebrate our desire to break the boundaries satisfy our fervent need for the playful creativity and unconstrained visual expression we are seeking as we enter into this time.”
She then added: “Colors for Spring 2022 bring together our competing desires for comforting familiarity and joyful adventure through a range of soothing and timeless colors, along with joyous hues that celebrate playfulness. As we enter this new landscape, one where fashion rules no longer apply, hues for Spring 2022 allow us to mix and marry as we please, encouraging the exploration of new chromatic realities, opening the door for personalized style and spontaneous color statements.”
This need and importance for softness and security clearly come as no shock to anyone. The many pale pinks, baby blues, and soft neutrals that floated down the runways and into Pantone’s spring 2022 color guide are reminiscent of the soft tones found in a child’s playroom.
Of course, not all designers gravitated as quickly to the calmer tones that seemed expected of them. Jeremy Scott of Moschino may have worked the blue tone of Spun Sugar into many parts of his playful collection, but the bright yellow of Daffodil also played a key role in creating contrasting tones. While most of next season’s colors will remain softer, the bright and playful colors that are often best known during the spring and summer months will undoubtedly still play a role in the color trends.
#1. PANTONE 18-1564: Poinciana
The only truly bright red that Pantone released this year, Poinciana is a red-hot color that easily dramatizes any outfit. It may not have played a key role at NYFW, but a few choice designers did reach for the dramatic color, chief among those being Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Carolina Herrera, and Nicole Miller, who played up the color in a 2000s-style mini dress accented with a Daffodil chain belt.
#2. PANTONE 16-1349 Coral Rose
Both uplifting and energizing, Coral Rose is a light, floral red that proves to be entirely optimistic. Perhaps because of its soothing focus on nature and resemblance to flowers, many designers gravitated to the color, from flowing dresses at Lela Rose to tighter options at Nicole Miller. With swimsuits at Nensi Dojka, this coral is clearly here to stay into the summer months!
#3. PANTONE 12-0825 Popcorn
Like any buttery yellow, Popcorn holds a certain captivating warmth that drew designers to it this year. This yellow might be pale, but it still retains the traditional cheerfulness of brighter yellows, making it perfect for those who don’t often find themselves wearing the lively tone. While Gabriela Hearst of Chloe only lightly played with the color, Dawei went straight in and didn’t hold back, creating a stunning monochromatic ensemble.
#4. PANTONE 14-0850 Daffodil
“Joyful Daffodil connects us to the spontaneity of a spring garden,” is the description of this hue according to the Pantone website. Reminiscent of one of 2021’s ‘it’ colors, Illuminating, Daffodil most certainly is a bright and vivacious yellow. Embraced by the likes of Ulla Johnson, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Sergio Hudson, the look was used in many different pieces of clothing, from knit sets to shapely suits.
#5. PANTONE 15-0549 Fragile Sprout
Fragile Sprout is a shade I certainly questioned which category to put in. Was it a yellow? A green? In the end, I chose yellow (clearly) due to its tangy color that certainly makes the viewer do a double take. If you really want to create an outfit that will lead to this impression, follow Eudon Choi’s lead by pairing the hue with orange pants. However, it also fits right at home among grays, as Blumarine proved. It might not be a color that looks good on everyone, but if you’re lucky enough to be one of the few that can pull it off, then you certainly should try.
#6. PANTONE 16-6216 Basil
From Cinq à Sept to Peter Do, this sweet and savory color was promoted across the runways for its way of highlighting good health. Cinq à Sept naturally walked slightly further away from the conservatism of Peter Do’s suit by using the spring 2022 color in a silk mini dress with black lace. Still, the color continued to work all the same, with its soft tints of blue shining through to create a fun and flirtatious tone.
#7. PANTONE 15-6316 Fair Green
Quite similar to Basil, yet slightly lighter and more cheerful, this green hue is designed to be both “calming and restorative,” as Pantone states, and it most certainly succeeds in its mission. From creative director Lily Wendel at Ulla Johnson using the color to create a ruffled summer dress to a knit set at Alejandra Alonso Rojas, the light green of this Pantone color proved to be infinitely popular.
#8. PANTONE 12-4401 Spun Sugar
When hearing the name of this cool blue, one’s mind might evoke images of airy cotton candy and flowing chiffon dresses. This imagery is not far from the truth either. As the Pantone Institute explains, “Spun Sugar is a sweetened pastel with an airy nature.” This nature drew in the ever-fun-loving brands of Herve Leger and Moschino to incorporate it into their spring/summer 2022 collections. Still, the light tone didn’t always appear on loose dresses and skirts: Hellessy’s RTW show presented the hue on a heavy cowl-neck sweater with added fringe that will surely keep you warm on the colder days this spring!
#9. PANTONE 16-4118 Glacier Lake
When winter ends and the warmer months come with busy social calendars, the need for a bit of relaxation can find its way to us. When you feel in desperate need of a bit of calm, Glacier Lake is the perfect blue to reach for. Perhaps because of its tranquil appearance, many designers seemingly worked it into business attire, from a tweed suit at Cinq à Sept to everyday workwear at Prabal Gurung.
#10. PANTONE 14-5713 Cascade
Before you jump to the conclusion that Cascade is a reference to the dishwashing soap of the same name, please stop, there’s no need to revert back to 2019 and eating dish detergent. Instead, please take this beautiful blue for the lovely color it is. Similar to an emerald green and an Ibiza Blue (a Pantone color from this past fall), the light color is clearly in reference to cascading waterfalls that easily catch the eye. For this reason, designers sought to bring the soft color to the spring and summer from all (cat)walk of life – think Dolce & Gabbana, Antonio Marras, and Auralee.
#11. PANTONE 18-4143 Super Sonic
The vibrant color of Super Sonic is electric in intensity. The color can easily take you to the beach, particularly when paired with Pantone’s sandy beige hue of Perfectly Pale. Naturally, wearing the color in a monochromatic look seemed to be particularly chic on the runways this season since both the ‘King of Cling’ Azzedine Alaïa and Acne Studios sought to use the brilliant blue in a single-tone look. But don’t let that particular inspiration fool you – this blue will look good any way you wear it.
#12. PANTONE 19-4151 Skydiver
Bright and animated, Skydiver “inspires us to new heights.” The concentrated blue tone wasn’t only used for jumpsuits and dresses, like at Badgley Mischka or Alejandra Alonso Rojas, but Gabriela Hearst certainly allowed the tone to reach new heights by placing it as the top stripes in a floor-length poncho. And don’t worry, no sky diving is required for wearing this saturated blue!
#13. PANTONE 18-4728 Harbor Blue
When relaxing in the harbor this summer, perhaps consider slipping on something in this calm, warm blue that is designed to show our search for a safe space. From Ulla Johnson’s empire-waist dress to Bottega Venetta focusing on the effortless ‘60s cool-girl appeal by creating a checkered shift dress and matching hat in Harbor Blue, the color is available in many styles so that it will always fit your aesthetic.
#14. PANTONE 14-3612 Orchid Bloom
Spring might remind us of many things, but for most people, it’s the bright bloom of new flowers. So, whether or not climate change has impacted the wildflowers around your house or not, Orchid Bloom is the perfect color to reflect everyone’s love of spring florals. The warm purple provided a much-needed escape into the future for designers who enjoyed the saturated hue, from Carolina Herrera to Issey Miyake, Marco Rambaldi, and Dewei, who all used the color in many different items of their collections. The effect created a playful dream that took us right to a greenhouse.
#15. PANTONE 18-3324 Dahlia
Each purple this season was lovingly named after a flower, and while Orchid Bloom is a lighter and more relaxing color, Dahlia is the 2022 Pantone purple that is easily versatile in its garment uses. Wolk Morais made the color even more elaborate by using the tone in neck scarves, floor-length dresses, and suits. Of course, Sergio Hudson couldn’t have been outdone and worked Dahlia into his collection with shoes, jackets, and a jumpsuit for anyone who has a party coming up this spring.
#16. PANTONE 13-2004 Potpourri
The name Potpourri might remind you of the bowl of wood chips and lavender on your mother’s table when you were little, but this color isn’t a dull brown or dying purple. Rather, it’s a soft pastel that would perfectly fit into a child’s nursery just as quickly as the 2022 ‘it’ colors. From Elisabetta Franchi to Dawei and Brandon Maxwell, the color certainly got its exercise running from gingham prints to floating dresses on the spring 2022 runways.
#17. PANTONE 13-1513 Gossamer Pink
Light as the gossamer thread this pink is named for, the powdery hue provides “a light and tender touch.” This statement truly shines through as it floats its way down New York runways from the likes of Carolina Herrera, Cinq à Sept, and Moschino, who all incorporated the playful pink into both dresses and other tiny details throughout their collections.
#18. PANTONE 17-1928 Bubblegum
This spring and summer, play with Pantone’s “eye-catching Bubblegum to send a message of playfulness and positivity.” The dark pink has an innate childlike appeal to it, making the shade something simple and fun to reach for. This caused many fashion houses to play up the color, from Bottega Veneta using it in velvet pants to classic skirt suits at Chanel or checkered dresses at Prabal Gurung.
#19. PANTONE 18-2042 Innuendo
Innuendos, those double-edged hints to our true feelings, are often embraced more closely in the spring and summer months when sangrias pour more freely, and our tongue becomes loose. But this spring and summer, hidden flirtations won’t be the only form of an innuendo you’re sporting. This hot, sexy pink will send a message of your readiness to not only show some more skin like in Patbo’s cutout dress but also your willingness to embrace the feminine color. Naturally, Innuendo popped up on other runways as well, from Hellesey using it in a high-low jumpsuit to Proenza Schouler and Prabal Gurung in dresses and accent pieces.
#20. PANTONE 11-0602 Snow White
Similar to the sweet Disney Princess, Pantone’s color of Snow White is ‘pure’ and ‘simplistic,’ as the Pantone Institute described the summer 2022 color. It proved to be a smooth and clean white that allowed many designers to incorporate it into their collections as a simple base color, from Adeam, Christian Siriano, Gabriella Hearst to Patbo. So, if you happen to be on the hunt for a white that has neither gray nor blue tints to it, this would be the best option for you.
#21. PANTONE 11-1001 White Alyssum
There is nothing like a clean white when the days get warmer, and, naturally, White Alyssum is the perfect lightweight white. Of course, both Perfectly Pale and Snow White are lovely options as well, but White Alyssum is the 2022 Pantone white with soft blue undertones. For this reason, the color was a staple for Prabal Gurung, who filled the collection with White Alyssum basics and accessories. Meanwhile, at Chanel, Virginie Viard incorporated the color into a preppy blazer-styled dress.
#22. PANTONE 13-0003 Perfectly Pale
Described as a subtle beige, Perfectly Pale will take you right to the summer beaches with soft sand and sunbathing. Perhaps, for this reason, the color seemed to have particularly enamored designers more well known for their bohemian aesthetic. Ulla Johnson incorporated the color mainly into dresses, along with Alejandra Alonso using it for pantsuits and oversized button-downs.
#23. PANTONE 15-1304 Humus
Similar in coloration to the perennially popular camel-beige that is often used in trench coats, this spring 2022 color is surely timeless. The soft beige worked its way into the Dior collection in the form of safari-style blazers and the Givenchy collection in easy-to-layer basics.
#24. PANTONE 18-1160 Sudan Brown
This rich brown brings one automatically out into nature, making it the perfect tone for Elisabetta Franchi to have the spring/summer collection center around due to the elegant, close-to-nature equestrian aesthetic of the brand. But if you are aching to use Sudan Brown in a city-style outfit, Matthew Williams at Givenchy will surely be able to provide you with some ideas.
#25. PANTONE 18-1019 Coca Mocha
A good mocha truly warms the heart and body on colder days in spring, but if you fail to make a run to either your local coffee shop or a nearby Starbucks, Pantone’s soft brown of Coca Mocha might do just the trick. Used on runways from Gabriella Hearst to Veronica Beard and Maryam Nassir Zadeh in neutral plaids, the warm color takes you forward into the summer without forgetting the coziness of spring.
#26. PANTONE 18-1307 Coffee Quartz
If you know me well, then you’re aware that I have a slight obsession with coffee, but this summer, the obsession might extend away from the physical drink into this polished brown. Featured closely alongside the many blues of the upcoming season, the aromatic brown pops just as well by itself, something that Azzedine Alaïa proved wonderfully. However, if you want to mix in other tones into the outfit, inspiration can easily be found at the Lower East Side fashion house of Maryam Nassir Zadeh.
#27. PANTONE 14-4104 Northern Droplet
The calm and serene gray of Northern Droplet was chosen by Pantone to emphasize feelings of tranquility. This emphasis on the calming effects of the cool gray most certainly impacted designers, as this was a key tone at both NYFW and LFW, with many designers from Maryam Nassir Zadeh to Prabal Gurung playing up the tone in their collections.
#28. PANTONE 18-4004 Poppy Seed
Like Northern Droplet, this spring color was featured at both LFW and NYFW. Adam Lippes and Peter Do stuck to the timelessness of the tone in their collections without heavily modernizing the clothing the color was on, while Prabal Gurung found comfort playing outside the box. But, after all, who isn’t itching for a mini dress with sequined sleeves for the upcoming season?