Fashion's Passion for Purple

By Sharon Mosley

December 10, 2013 4 min read

It's official. Purple is the new emerald green. And it's blooming with a new radiance. Pantone, the global color authority, has announced that "Radiant Orchid — a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple" is the color of the year for 2014.

"While the 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It's an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones. Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health."

Now who wouldn't want to wear a dose of that? Naturally, fashion designers have developed a passion for purple this spring. Expect to see a whole range of purples heating up the months ahead. But you don't have to wait until next year to perk up your wardrobe with purple.

"Radiant Orchid is the perfect color to chase away the harsh winter blues," says Don O'Neill, creative director of Theia. The pink-toned purple shows up with a passion in Theia's spring runway collection. "This color is the color of love, nurturing, kindness and empathy. It's bathed in positivity."

How could this new hue NOT make you feel good? O'Neill suggests incorporating the new purples into your life a little at a time, starting with accessories. "Look for silk scarves, cute sweaters and jewelry with purple accents," he says. "This color works great with the basic neutrals that are staples in most everyone's wardrobes — black, navy blue, denim and white."

Purple accessories are turning up everywhere, from sexy suede heels at Piperlime to bright flip-flops at Havaianas. Handbags, clutches, earrings and bracelets ... you can add a touch of purple to energize all your clothes.

O'Neill encourages us to make a bold move and experiment with wearing Radiant Orchid from head to toe for festive occasions and special events. How about stepping out in the new hue in a colorful cocktail dress on New Year's Eve?

Theia features glowing party dresses and evening gowns in duchess satins and printed silk organza in its 2014 resort and spring collections. Purple with pizzazz!

But you can get ahead of fashion's passion for purple by tweaking a few things in your beauty routine. Think a new shade of eye shadow, blush or nail polish. Lips are even getting a hit of the new pinky-purple color, which complements a variety of skin tones. Now purple hair? Hmmmm ... think we will leave that one up to Kelly Osbourne. She does it so well.

 Pantone's color of the year, Radiant Orchid, blooms in resort and spring collections. Featured: Theia's printed silk organza cocktail dress.
Pantone's color of the year, Radiant Orchid, blooms in resort and spring collections. Featured: Theia's printed silk organza cocktail dress.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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