By THE NATION
IT’S OUT and it’s official – Living Coral is the 2019 colour of the year. That’s according to the team at the Pantone Colour Institute responsible for creating the Pantone Fashion Colour Trend Report, an overview that highlights the top colours designers will show during fashion weeks all around the world. And they will probably be right: for 20 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product, packaging, and graphic design.
Leaving last year’s Ultra Violet behind, Pantone notes “Living Coral” – or Pantone16-1546 to give it its technical name – “reflects the desire to face the future with confidence and optimism”, and describes the colour as “vibrant, yet mellow.
“Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment. In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy,” the press release continues.
And the fashion industry is taking note, as evidenced by early glimpses of many brand’s collections for spring-summer 2019.
The luxury fashion house’s vision for the warmer weather this year combines pure, hot blocks of colour, a coral shade included, with the lightest summer cashmere, the softest, most supple leathers and cotton as glossy as the leather for a new fluidity of style.
Bao Bao by Issey Miyake
A favourite with Thai fashionistas. Bao Bao by Issey Miyake presents its new Glacier bags, which play with colour gradation to reflect how a glacier constantly changes hues according to the weather. Fans will find the coral shade in the Orange mix, which brings to mind a glacier as the sun sets, although the Grey mix and Blue mix will no doubt prove equally as popular.
The luxury fashion house’s spring ’19 collection sees an integration of the creative direction of Balenciaga Women and Men. The translations of high concept silhouettes –from high-tech 3D moulded tailoring to multi-fused garments – suggest new ways of contrasting formal jackets and coats with open-necked shrunk-cut shirts, bootcut jeans and chiselled black leather shoes for men and tweed checked coats worn with knitted thigh-high boots, like the ones Michelle Obama recently wore. for women. Coral makes is appearance in the all-over print dress that includes the LGBTQ rainbow, and a shopping bag bearing the international sign for gender equality.
The British brand’s creative director Johnny Coca, takes inspiration from not only the aesthetic of the 1960s but also the mood – optimism, positivity and energetic spirit. Colours are joyous, combining vibrant shades of pillar-box red, teal and royal blue with classic navies, camels and greys. There are also sugared-almond pastels – mint julep, lemon and soft pinks, mixed with fresh white. Geometric shapes inspire new clutches aptly titled the Roundabout and the Square – named after British street suffixes, one of which spells out optimism with its attractive coral shade.
Pleats Please by Issey Miyake
“Childhood Feelings”, which launches in Japan on Saturday, is the latest creation in the Pleats Please by Issey Miyake line and is richly overlapped with the origins of the brand. The “Aurora Mist” series comes in gradational colours inspired by the clarity of glass with a cool blue and a summery orange that passes through coral on its way to pink making the strongest impression.
A rabbit symbol was first introduced more than a decade ago as a detail on the Marni shoes line. For spring and summer 2019, creative director Francesco Risso decided to reinterpret this iconic symbol and present it in a new and playful way. With additional supporting graphics inspired by Japanese streetwear, the style comes with variations of the Dance Bunny as an all-over or placed print, intarsia, or applique patch to embellish strong, image-driven products such as knitwear, shirts, sweatshirts, t-shirts and polos, outerwear, and sport pants, as well as an assortment of streetwear-inspired accessories – and yes, coral is in there too.
Nearer to home, the Jim Thompson spring and summer collection, “Wonder Silk – a Mysterious Journey” is captured in three chapters. An “Epic and Mysterious” journey, starts with blue hues and elegant patterns and is inspired by “Carte du Royaume of Siam”, a 16th century itinerary trade map, discovered in the James HW. Thompson Founda- tion’s archive. The second, “Tracing Jim Thompson’s Emblematic Jour- ney” boasts warm hues, coral among them, while the third, “Journey as Traveller”, presents a rich hues and patterns from lavish leaves to tropical flower designs.
Chanel, meanwhile, puts attitude into its new Chanel 31 bag, pairing distinctive colours for an eye-catching contrast. The name is not only a nod to Chanel’s famous address on the rue Cambon, but also a play on the equally famous French expression “se mettre sur son 31”, translating in English as “dressed to the nines”. A tote with built-in handles, it can be held in the hand or folded in half to become an oversized clutch. Knotted inside is a double strap in two-tone leather that offers a third way of being carried, over the shoulder. Surprisingly light and supple, it exists as a two-tone lambskin version, beige and black in the purest Chanel tradition, plus an array of dynamic colour combinations: pink/ red, red/orange, royal blue/hot pink, green/pink beige and pink/pink beige. No coral though but the orange comes surprisingly close.