The color wheel for fall fashion isn't spinning around to the traditional dark shades anymore.
"This is a season of untypical colors," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which releases color forecasts every season for fashion and home. "More reflective of the imagination and ingenuity, which makes for an artful collection of colors and combinations not bound by the usual hues for fall."
While Pantone predicts there are still traditional colors like rich burgundy sangria and full-bodied cognac and cypress green turning up in many designer collections, more vivid colors such as bright cobalt and royal blue are competing against last season's radiant orchid for first place among the hottest new hues consumers will be adding to their closets this fall.
Just ask the fashion experts: "Our fall 2014 color story, My Blues, was established over a year ago with a presentation to our merchants and key industry partners," reveals Macy's fashion director, Nicole Fischelis, in this season's Pantone's Fashion Color Report. The Macy's staff felt blue was the "it" color of fall 2014 "due to its strong multicultural and spiritual energy, as well as its symbolism for beauty of nature." Watch for all things blue to turn up in a store window near you. "We strongly believe that our customer will be seduced by blue this fall," adds Fischelis.
"With its slightly green undertone, bright cobalt offers a subtle twist on the traditional cobalt blue," says Eiseman. "Likewise royal blue, which is both evocative and dignified, provides more complexity and excitement than the average navy, while still remaining versatile."
Eiseman suggests pairing bright cobalt with fall's other popular colors, sangria and cypress, or royal blue with mauve mist and aluminum, a futuristic stainless steel shade that serves as one of the season's best neutrals. Bright cobalt blue is a favorite of designer of Carolina Herrera, who pops the color with accents of red in her fall collection.
Royal blue is a favorite of designer Rebecca Minkoff, who was inspired by "the modern day bohemian." She likes pairing her royal blue tailored, leather moto jacket with a midi-skirt or bohemian dress to make a bohemian statement this fall.
Cooler blues are the focus at BCBG Max Azria. "We were inspired by the landscapes and scenery of Louisiana and the bayou," says Lubov Azria, chief creative officer. "The juxtaposition of reflections, water and sky inspired the blues and natural tones in our collection."
And blue gets glamorous this fall in dark navy. "Navy blends beautifully with other colors and is a very rich option for day or evening," says designer Pamella Roland. "My personal favorite must-have item for fall is our navy sequin parka coat lined in fur, which is perfect for a chilly winter night."
Another cozy blue? A deep navy, cashmere cable-knit sweater designed by Lela Rose who embeds crystals into the knit. And who wouldn't like to wrap up in a chubby blue fur coat a la Gucci's fall collection?
Rachel Roy calls her dark blue, Japanese ink, a blue-tinted black color. "I think it's a great alternative to black," she says. "It works so well as the base color in a rose floral jacquard that it is the base of our fall collection."
And of course, there are always those denim blues; now that's a year-round trend.
Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at creators.com.