We're very ready to bid adieu to 2016. We didn't really need any more reasons to get excited for next year — but Pantone is bestowing upon us its Color of the Year for 2017. Drumroll, please. Next year's shade of choice is one that already existed within the Pantone universe: Greenery has been tapped as the color-centric company's pick for Color of the Year.
Pantone characterizes it as "a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew." In a statement, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said that "Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the hope we collectively yearn for amid a complex social and political landscape,"adding that it satisfies a new desire to reconnect with nature. To determine which shade will stand out as the defining color each year, Pantone conducts a trend analysis across various fields of design, in addition to examining socio-economic trends and shifts across the globe. The political climate is just one of many factors Pantone looks at when determining the Color of the Year — but it's a factor that feels particularly relevant given the general vibe of uncertainty about our political future. "The impact of political environment on a global scale is one that certainly plays into the choice," Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told Refinery29.
The chosen hue of the year is meant to be a "color snapshot of a particular moment in time" — so, the hue in question becomes a sort of microcosm for the current state of the world, Pressman said. For 2017, Pantone sees a "yearning for community, unity, and reassurance," according to Pressman. Greenery's connections to vegetation can be interpreted as symbolic, since plants regrow and regenerate every year after the winter. This messaging is similar to that of 2016's two winners, Rose Quartz and Serenity. "We see the 2017 selection of Greenery as a natural evolution from the Pantone Color of the Year 2016," she told us. While Rose Quartz and Serenity signaled a need for harmony within chaos, she says, Greenery points to a desire to connect with our roots in nature, in an effort to reinvent ourselves — almost like we've become a bit more optimistic since last year, perhaps.
The Color of the Year is not only based on what's gaining traction across various fields (like fashion, beauty, tech, architecture, and so on), it's also based on a more nebulous temperature-check of whatever's happening in the world, and what will be trending next. However, this particularly vibrant shade of green didn't exactly jump out at us on recent runways. "Typically when we see high-spirited, yellow-based green shades like Greenery come into play, it has been in times of rebellion, when people were making bold moves and looking to have the voices heard," Pressman noted. When the hue crops up in a fashion context, it's typically as a statement-making accent color. However, since "greens are nature’s neutrals," as Pressman puts it, this palette has seen a resurgence lately in flora-inspired collections — namely those of Kenzo, Gucci, and Cynthia Rowley.
There is one unexpected connection between Greenery and fashion trends, though. A desire to spend more time outside, to go out, and to be surrounded by nature — if you look at our athleisure-filled closets, you'd get more or less the same impression. "Greenery is a perfect example of how athleisure continues to further influence the affinity gap between fashion and athletic wear," Pressman said. Yellow-based greens do show up in activewear, footwear, and swimwear more frequently than in ready-to-wear. Come February, we'll be keeping an eye out for how many fashion brands got the Pantone memo for fall '17. Related: