Fall/ Winter 2016-2017 Color Trends
We are done with the fall 2016 fashion weeks moving from New York to London, Milan to Paris, each one of the fashion cities working like a charm and pushing forward its own vision over feminine allure and charisma. And now time is ripe to go through all the runway shows unveiled with a fine-tooth comb to identify the major shades calling the tune and to bring to your attention the fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends, using Pantone Color Institute’s fashion color report as the base, but also all the other colors utilized by the fashion houses and designers.
Update: Check out the new Spring/ Summer 2017 Color Trends!
According to Pantone, fall 2016 color palette is a unity of strength, confidence and complexity led by the Blue family and followed by earth tones and exuberant pops of vibrant colors, all of them working well to struggle against the contemporary turbulent life and to bring about a tad more tranquility and optimism around. Here are top 10 fashion colors for fall 2016 with their official appellations cherry-picked by Pantone’s leading experts and making an encouraging vast palette together with other oft-appearing shades spotted by us on the runway shows:
• Riverside – Pantone 17-4028
• Airy Blue – Pantone 14-4122
• Sharkskin – Pantone 17-3914
• Aurora Red – Pantone 18-1550
• Warm Taupe – Pantone 16-1318
• Dusty Cedar – Pantone 18-1630
• Lush Meadow – Pantone 18-5845
• Spicy Mustard – Pantone 14-0952
• Potter’s Clay – Pantone 18-1340
• Bodacious – Pantone 17-3240
The roster of the fall/ winter 2016 color trends is led by Riverside, a cool and calming blue that is literally stuck between serious navy blue and vibrant cobalt blue. It has some sense of confidence and tenacity to it, yet raising utmost excitement, sophistication and a dose of mystery within us. To be more exact in the description, just take any navy or cobalt blue, blow some cigarette smoke on it and you will get what the Pantone Color Institute has contrived to call Riverside. It might be its confidence-begetting property or the feature to work perfectly well with nigh any other shade that has greatly stimulated the majority of fashion designers to include this cool shade in their fall/winter 2016 collections.
Whether this shade is effectuated on monochromatic versions or used to dream up crazy colorblocks or maybe serving as the perfect shade for prints and embellishments we love it across the board. But it is beyond doubt that Riverside might put more bums on seats when worked out on shimmering velvet or when perfused with some sparkles and twinkles, while Riverside leather is just zero cool.
We see Lacoste offering us many Riverside bounties under the guise of a velvet sportive tracksuit, a velvet laid-back dress or a noir trench coat looking vertiginous with Aurora Red knee-high boots to just once more manifest this color’s versatility. At Rebecca Minkoff and Zadig & Voltaire we see leather jackets in this shade all wrapped with streetwise twist, while the leather trench coat spotted at Céline paired with an Airy Blue turtleneck is a Riverside version on the background of flickering lights in the streets.
Want more of this color? Make a beeline for H&M, Ellery, Issey Miyake, Rag & Bone, Trussardi, Sonia Rykiel and Michael Kors for other chic everyday options. Check out Chanel as well to find some denim accents on pink-purple pieces with some Peter Pan syndrome to them. And if you are aching for some luxurious Riverside eveningwear, think no further but Jenny Packham and Luisa Beccaria for more gee-whiz looks.
#2: Airy Blue
The Blue dynasty was indubitably rocking throughout all the four 2016 fashion weeks playing with all its possible shades and exploring all the avenues ranging from icy blue to cobalt and navy blues. But it is Riverside together with Airy Blue destined to govern over other blue members. If Riverside is more angled at stability and confidence, Airy Blue, the fall version of Serenity (the winning color of spring 2016 together with Rose Quartz) is to take anyone to a xanadu of freedom, tranquility and weightlessness. What’s more, it makes perfect combos with Riverside and unique, fresh approaches with Lush Meadow, Taupe or Dusty Cedar on the list.
Michael Kors seems to be head over heels in love with blue shades. He has come up with mixing these two winner blue shades, with Airy Blue taking more space though. Monochromatic outerwear or some versions with botanical motifs mingled with knitted sweaters immediately drive us at preppy style but leave it to those fur pieces and handbags in Airy Blue to set the tone around.
Oscar de La Renta’s interpretation of Airy Blue is, however, more enlivening and with more powerful potential to blow away the cobwebs whether you look at the goat fur vest, the mind-blowing evening gown showing pictorially the Riverside-Airy Blue compatibility, the cocktail dress with blue sparkles or at those romantic detachable furry collars. We see this eye-soothing shade at Versace as well but a little bit lighted from within and also at Fendi, MSGM, Sonia Rykiel and Celine peeping out here and there. Dolce & Gabbana’s Cinderella dress was surely painted in this angelic blue shade, while at Elie Saab and Stella McCartney things take more sensual spin through Airy Blue intimate lace.
Grey palette has always been in attendance at fall/winter runway shows year in year out, but it came as an aha moment for us this time that it is Sharkskin to work triumphantly all over the map whether with bright or muted shades, whether in everyday life or on special occasions. Through fashion houses using this stable shade in abundance we are now bumping into another grand fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trend to embrace our wardrobes soon enough.
We see Sharkskin brought forefront through fall outerwear at Marissa Webb, while at Nicholas K. head-to-toe Sharkskin outfits with shimmering silk in between have it made in the shade to create futuristic and struggling milieu around. At Stella McCartney we can see some monochromatic grey numbers, but also a grey-scarlet red combination to dictate a cool colorblock worth to follow come the cold days.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have also touched on this pair-able shade and as a result we see a couple of featherweight dresses and turtlenecks worn beneath ballerina shimmering tutus at Valentino. For classic and timeless trousers head to Zac Posen or else check Demna Gvasalia’s debut collection for Balenciaga.
And to get a wee bit sophistication and splendor hotfoot it right to Christopher Kane and Creatures of the Wind to seize Sharkskin caressing or to Acne Studio to feast eyes on lacquered grey pieces. But if you have already caught those royal Sharkskin pieces at Balmain, you have crossed the Rubicon; you are spellbound forever and ever.
#4: Aurora Red
The fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends also offer up oceans of red shades ranging from burgundy and carmine to crimson and scarlet. But chalk it up to Aurora Red to let no grass grow under feet coming as the fourth trendy color of the upcoming fall/winter seasons. This is bold Red with some sensual and warm undertones, not so bold as burgundy and not so vibrant as crimson, but wrapped with some mysterious dust. According to Pantone’s Institute, this gets the metaphorical blood of the palette pumping.
We see the blood in its most vigorous and zealous pumping at Christian Siriano through a range of outfits painted in Aurora Red from alpha to omega starting from models’ lips to their footwear. There is no room for doubt any more that delicate, shimmering velvet is one of the grandest fashion trends this fall, a fabric type to lend extra chic to Aurora Red. Need some manifestation? Haider Ackermann, Akris and Derek Lam come up with this ravishing decision. We see subtle lace pieces in Aurora Red for everyday life at Louis Vuitton, DKNY, Alberta Ferretti and at Moschino’s semi-burnt and tattered runway show.
Aurora Red-Sharkskin combination seems to be second to none but if you run an eye over Alexis Mabille’s off-the-wall decision to match this shade with coral you will be agreeably surprised, for sure. Bibhu Mohapatra has also included many red monochromatic gowns or other pieces with red accents in his collection up to appearing at the end of the show with an Aurora Red scarf to greet everyone heartily, while at Blumarine, Gucci and Saint Laurent we can get a soupcon of soft fur in this sensual shade. To take your look to a more sensual level, stop at Marchesa or Elie Saab for some lofty splendid evening gowns.
#5: Warm Taupe
The next stability and reassurance-emanating color that has embraced the fall/winter runway shows many a time and oft is neutral Warm Taupe, characterized by Pantone as trusted, organic and grounded and approachable enough to be matched with each of the 9 colors on the list. If it is about the fall season, then it comes as no surprise to see timeless trench coats in spades down the streets and if it is about trench coats, then Warm Taupe is sure to be up hill and down dale.
We see many trench coats in this neutral shade at Chanel, Derek Lam, Max Mara and Nina Ricci whether cinched tightly with a belt or unbuttoned nonchalantly, but to look and feel more eccentric, Balenciaga has an offer to intentionally pull down the shoulders of your trench. At Celine we witness a couple of long vests, Karen Walker goes all leather in Warm Taupe, while at Loewe we see this shade materialized on maxi skirts with asymmetrical hemlines.
At Ralph Lauren, Warm Taupe is mixed and matched with other taupe shades, a tone darker or lighter, while at Valentino a real festival of Warm Taupe is taking place ranging from long coats and knitted pieces to some ethereal, splendid tulle gowns to throw anyone into equilibrium.
#6: Dusty Cedar
We might get carried away by this warm and welcoming shade of muted pink that the Pantone Color Institute has called Dusty Cedar and which comes as one of the best fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends to warm the cockles of our hearts. Many of us might still be under the relaxing impression of Rose Quartz embracing spring 2016 that is going to be dusted a little bit come the fall season and come out as another chill-out shade of Dusty Cedar that many fashion designers have got enamored with.
Among them are Costume National, Paul Smith and Ermanno Scervino with fall-worthy outerwear pieces and the ethnic Etro to use this delicious shade on a velvet bomber jacket or else mix it with labyrinthine prints. At Fausto Puglisi this nectarous shade is running the gamut appearing either on a blazer fragment, covering a geometrical shape on a knitted sweater or else teaming with purple and Persian green to shape a vertiginous gown.
Dusty Cedar has also been spotted at Issey Miyake and Luisa Beccaria, while at Miu Miu it is just what those denim pieces are screaming to match with. At Chanel, where warm shades are playing with full blast, we see a lovely tweed skirt suit in Dusty Cedar but slightly brightened up from within a la Karl Lagerfeld.
#7: Lush Meadow
The appellation of the next fall 2016 color trend speaks for itself being suggestive of some rich foliage and bringing about utmost elegance, sophistication and swagger. Whether it is used on garment pieces or just on some accessories, come-hither looks are assured. Many fashion designers take a gamble to include this rich shade in their fall/winter 2016 collections that seems to be not so easily approachable at first blush, but then we catch Karl Lagerfeld’s wavy ruffled collection for Fendi impregnated with Lush Meadow and at times triumphantly matched with navy blue. At Marni Lush Meadow pants look more than harmonious with Warm Taupe shirts.
But leave it to Barbara Bui to create streetwise chic through a bevy of leather dresses, pants, blazers and even knee-high boots in this shade and to appear on the stage herself decked out into a Lush Meadow silk shirt. Iceberg, Tory Burch, Martin Grant, Roland Mouret and Monique Lhuillier are also among those fashion houses chipped in this color trend formation. And if you are still mulling over its swagger twist, there is no better incarnation of it than Gucci’s numbers in the guise of a scintillating tube dress and a warm green-orange outerwear to struggle against the brass monkey weather soon.
#8: Spicy Mustard
Spicy Mustard comes as one of the most vibrant fall/ winter 2016 color trends that will add some exotic and zesty touches to any outfit, speaking about its carrier’s living in clover. As it would be expected, it’s not spring-worthy sunny yellow, bereft of any shimmering rays, but instead squirted with some spices to become a little bit muted and out-and-out fall-worthy.
The fall/winter 2016 fashion weeks find many a designer embracing this spicy shade, some of them dreaming up head-to-toe Spicy Mustard outfits, while others inserting some prints, embellishments or accessories in this shade. We see Chloe going for all the marbles and rendering out an incorporeal tulle dress, while those leather boots in mustard shade happening at high frequency are synched up to the overall adventurous spirit of the Chloe fall/winter 2016 runway show. But it looks equally spicy against the semi-burnt and dilapidated background of the Moschino show as well appearing either on a gown or on a bow-top.
Valentino touches upon the more delicate and tender side of Spicy Mustard materializing it on a couple of velvet dresses or else using it for some lovely embellishments on taupe tulle dresses. We see a smattering of velvet pieces in this spicy shade at Arthur Arbesser, Emilio Pucci and 3.1 Phillip Lim as well, the latter also giving birth to a range of ankle boots in mustard velvet. At Roberto Cavalli and Jenny Packham things take a more haute couture spin catering us to a couple of layered gowns all wrapped in ruffles or undulations, while at Rodarte, Sportmax, Acne Studios and Creatures of the Wind Spicy Mustard starts playing with all its glory through fall-worthy outerwear pieces.
Gucci’s interpretation of Spicy Mustard is furry but also sailing right through exotic eyeglasses and turbans, while at Fendi, Balenciaga and Max Mara we detect some very cool handbags in this shade. And if you still need some more manifestation of this color’s brightening and enlivening potential look to that gothic collection by Marc Jacobs with a number impregnated with Spicy Mustard fur and other accents instantly throwing a piece of light on the runway.
#9: Potter’s Clay
For those having a soft spot for earthy shades, Potter’s Clay comes as the best one among them all through its strong foundation and lovely hybrid of brown and Russet orange, evocative of fall rustling foliage. So it comes as no surprise to see this pleasant shade gilding many fall/winter runway shows this year and taking its stand among the fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends.
At Anna Sui’s psychedelic runway show we see a couple of laid-back dresses in Potter’s Clay mixed with some paisleys or floral prints but also an amazing goat fur cropped jacket and velvet knee-high boots to catch general attention instantly. At Isabel Marant we bump into a smattering of knitted pieces in this shade, while at Tibi and Trussardi Potter’s Clay feels completely at ease beaming over on a range of suede, silk and leather pieces.
At Trussardi and Akris we also observe many knee-high boots so easily and versatile to mix and match with any possible shade while at Prada and Vanessa Seward some cool coats in Potter’s Clay come into view. You are off the track thinking that Potter’s Clay functions the best for outerwear or footwear.
It works perfectly for dresses as well like we see at DKNY, Tibi, Trussardi and Givenchy, the latter using this shade in a psychedelic illusion print taking reins throughout the whole runway show. And if you are after some unique colorblock solutions you would probably appreciate the Potter’s Clay-dark purple combination appearing at Trussardi.
Among all the pink-purple shades it is Bodacious that has mostly enchanted fashion designers thus shaping up one of the fall/ winter 2016 fashion color trends. This bright, rich purple with some pink undertones to it is wrapped with coquettish milieu, simultaneously functioning effectively for versatile color combinations. Seeing this shade vagabonding through cold seasons is somewhat bizarre, but spreading tranquility and composure around is on the agenda at this juncture, which is handled by contemporary fashion designers, as well.
Among them is Oscar de la Renta with the exceptional gusto for evening gowns that has given birth to a couple of spellbinding frocks either with some froufrou surface or with undulating hems. At Topshop Unique the delicacy of Bodacious is reduplicated when materialized on lace bringing forth an exquisite mini dress and a midi skirt both of them radiating utmost intimacy and sensuality.
A tweed skirt suit at Chanel instantly mollifies, while at Gucci a fur coat in a more bleached version of Bodacious with a tonal rose at the collar is endlessly caressing. We see this bright purple at Karen Walker as well under the guise of some stripes and geometrical shapes, while at Kenzo it comes to life via animal prints on skirts, tops and coats.
We see the whole richness of Bodacious at Lacoste whether we cast an eye on a hooded sporty dress or on a lacquered coat. But its romantic side is best revealed at Dolce & Gabbana on tons of 3D flowers scattered all over the map up to shaping lovely headbands and other hair accessories.
#11: Navy Blue & Cobalt Blue
If there is one color to play with all its shades possible throughout fall/winter 2016 runway shows, it is the powerful blue that is surely getting ahead of other colors. Apart from Riverside and Airy Blue leading Pantone’s list of fall 2016 top 10 colors, navy blue and cobalt blue have also been frequenters from New York to London, Milan to Paris. Myriads of designers have given their preference to these blue shades to embrace their collections, at times appearing on a couple of numbers, but at times occurring so frequently as to overshadow other colors on the runways.
The nautical tableaux at Tommy Hilfiger could not but render out a range of naval officer coats and also silk baby doll dresses in the navy blue shade. We see the same style navy blue coats at John Galliano as well, but we particularly love those sheer navy blue slip dresses as if to be a fragment of wind and adventurous sporty shoes and newsboy hats. We meet a pretty navy blue-cobalt blue juxtaposition at Balenciaga and Stella Jean and another lovely overlapping of cobalt blue with teal at Altuzarra’s fall 2016 runway show running over with unique colorblocks.
These blue shades look vertiginous on cocktail dresses in particular. Cases in point are a cobalt blue dress with wasp waist and wavy hemlines at Esteban Cortazar, another stunner with turtleneck at David Koma, a sequined maxi dress at Dior or a silk lingerie-style dress at Gareth Pugh. But to savor more sophistication there is Trussardi with its navy blue tulle skirts and Emanuel Ungaro with the cobalt blue delicate fur around.
#12: Khaki & Olive Green
The safari style has been all over the board at the recent fall/winter runway shows and it can’t be helped to revel in khaki and olive green shades circulating all the while with all their earth-gravitating spirit. We see the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection at New York Fashion Week all saturated with a khaki and olive green mishmash with some Spicy Yellow accents in between – many slouchy pants, puffed jackets and tops with a lot of ropes swinging to and fro, the whole shooting match screaming an adventuresome journey. Ports 1961 also jumps at this safari bandwagon, while at Topshop Unique we greet heartily those khaki outerwear designs with some military dashes to them.
We are carried away by that khaki amazon girl outfit at Vera Wang and those business-world-worthy olive green dresses at Boss. But to catch some A-1 and out-of-sight khaki pieces Nina Ricci pops up with its fur outerwear and delectable skirts and dresses with sparkles and twinkles all over. Some khaki and olive green pieces have also been spotted at Sportmax, Dior and Valentino.
#13: Metallic Touches
Metallic silver, gold, bronze and at times even some pink and blue can assuredly be included in the best fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends with frosted dashes to them. At Zimmermann metallic bronze, grey and baby blue dresses with poetic sleeves look gorgeous as all get-out, while at Jil Sander metallic dresses can easily pass off as tin plates. We observe a metallic skirt suit and a dress at Chanel, a glamorous pantsuit derived from the swinging ‘60s at Roberto Cavalli, a mirror-like sensual slip dress at Cushnie et Ochs and a range of metallic golden stunners at Off-White effectively matched with Aurora Red.
At Ellery we run across blue and red dresses with puffed sleeves, while Vivienne Westwood takes the metallic golden shade to a sportive level through a puffed coat. You will be undeniably beguiled by a sophisticated metallic grey gown at Reem Acra or by a panache frock at Marc Jacobs, but the inimitably marvelous prize goes to a bleached yellow metallic gown with reflecting effect we have spotted at Ralph Lauren.
#14: Tangerine & Coral
Tangerine and coral have high potential to impart physical energy, jubilation and felicity, exactly what we need in the 21st century full of stresses. Dreaming up their fall/winter 2016 collections with this statement in mind, contemporary fashion designers have taken the plunge to wine and dine us with a great deal of tangerine and coral garment pieces and accessories thus forming another grand color trend for the upcoming fall season.
It is undeniably Akris to have thrown a tangerine light unto its runway show that is literally knee-deep in this enlivening color whether on dresses, pants and sweaters or leather knee-high boots and handbags. The ruffled coral tops at Fendi look super eye-soothing in combination with navy blue, while the coral trench coats at Boss come as very lucrative investments in the fall season and more.
At Alexis Mabille coral trenches, a lingerie-style skirt or a pajama-resembling outfit have some mollifying twist to them and the coral combination with pink is really encouraging at Chanel. For more sophistication switch to Jenny Packham to get hands on tangerine lace pieces or to Giambattista Valli to revel in a coral halter-neck gown all wrapped with loveliness.
#15: Electric Fuchsia & Pink
Electric fuchsia and pink able to instantly brighten up any murky atmosphere have also made to the fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends list, appearing either on monochromatic pieces or as statement accessories. Number one aficionado of bright pinks might become Karl Lagerfeld to design a series of fuchsia or pink tweed skirt suits for Chanel and to make them even more finger-licking good in combination with tonal boots and pork hats.
We see lovely bright pink pieces with some sugar feeling to them at Jenny Packham and Boss, while at Just Cavalli pink is more coquettish and flirting. We spot bright fuchsia shimmering gloriously on delicate silk at Oscar de la Renta and Moschino, while the deepest deep fuchsia can be caught at Gucci on a pantsuit unexpectedly teamed with an Aurora Red furry coat. But fuchsia can also reveal its futuristic side – cases in point are those geometrical pieces spotted at Junya Watanabe.
#16: Blackest Black
Black is always in style and will be forever and ever, for sure. Whether it is spring or fall, nigh every fashion designer includes this color in his/her collection and it never throws in its towel to function perfectly for any life occasion. But the upcoming cold seasons seem to be in a closer association with black finding many designers to dedicate a chapter of their collections to black, while others entirely blackening their fall 2016 runway shows.
We see black occupying a great space at creative designer-less Dior up to painting the models’ lips with black; at Zuhair Murad black lace and velvet are in abundance; black is the main color at Givenchy fall 2016 runway show as well with some brown and taupe in between and with a smattering of red to bring vibrancy around, while at Alexander McQueen black oversized coats are embellished with fuchsia embroidery for pretty contrast.
One of the most practical fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends, black together with different grey shades appears at Marc Jacobs as well and those black smudged eyes of the models are to scare the bejesus out of us. And if you cannot get enough of black, no sweat! There is still Anthony Vaccarello, Nicholas K., Rodarte and Vera Wang around.
#17: Sweet Lilac
So bright, feminine and uplifting, lilac forms one of the most difficult fall/ winter 2016-2017 color trends, since pulling it off during all those rainy, cloudy and frosty days is somehow impossible, unless you live in such sun-kissed cities as LA. It, however, makes a perfect color even for the colder seasons for special occasions, when you want to stand out of the crowd with your statement-making outfit. You can try an accent of lilac or wear it from head to toe, like the models did it on the runway at Kenzo, Miu Miu, Michael Kors, Roberto Cavalli and Tod’s.
#18: Powdery Pastel Colors
Who said pastels are only for the warmer seasons? At least, you can easily wear them during the first months of fall, when the sun is still shining and you don’t want to give in to the gloomy shades so easily. Definitely one of the most delicate fall 2016 color trends, pastel blues, pinks, mints and touches of peach appeared on the runways in abundance, but we especially liked the way those were brought to the cold months by Versace, Balmain, Carven, Givenchy, Kenzo, Alexander Mcqueen and Michael Kors.
Photos courtesy of Vogue