Spring Color Forecast 2009

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By Cathy Rae Smith
Founder of Culture Magazine

Pull back the blinds and let the light rush in. Daffodils bloom early to signal the promise of milder days. Yellow is a color of optimism and hope, and that is a color forecasted as an accent for spring. Pantone, a global color authority, identifies a tangy super lemon yellow. Other choices called out for the bloom of color to take us out of the drab winter doldrums are fuchsia red (strong red accent with blue undertones – seen in clothes, lipsticks, and nail polish), salmon rose (great for most complexions), soft lavender (lighter and fresher than last season’s purple), dark citron (calmer citrus-inspired green), Lucite green (clean, clear hue with subtle shimmer), and vibrant green (verdant spring hue).

Colors are paired with a neutral palate, such as slate gray (bluish-green undertones), palace blue (navy-like color) or rose dust (more blush than the typical beige), to temper the vibrancy with a subdued, deeper or translucent base for stability and sophistication.

As we live in a visual world, color speaks of emotion. In an economic era where stability and optimism are desired, the color forecast reflects just this emotional climate. Patterns, whether floral or geometric, are also going to sweep the scene. Fashion styles range from a revamp of vintage with a grace of ephemeral to rediscovered youthful freshness to inventing modern techno romanticism. Skirts range from frilly petticoat to seamed pencil.

As the President and First Lady recently made their splash across the big pond, the British subjects turned out in droves. Such popular response had not been seen since the days of the Kennedy administration. On the topic of fashion, comparisons have been drawn to the clean, classic style of Jacqueline and Michelle.

Bottom line, however, is to look at the line of an outfit and color tones that work best for you. If lemon yellow doesn’t suit you, try butter yellow. Or simply go with another accent color altogether that goes well with your complexion. I love a variety of colors, however, I won’t wear something that doesn’t feel right for me. I often wear monochromatic outfits with a specific accent. However, I have some wonderful prints that bring a spring to the step. Wear colors that look good on you and make you feel wonderful. There are colors that make me feel powerful and colors that render me powerless. It may sound ridiculous, but you can gaze at your reflection and see a sparkle of health and vitality or a look of peevish pallor, (looking jaundiced or sallow). Select what suits your shape, fits you well, and complements your complexion – regardless of what may be forecast as an “it” choice of the moment. Great style is timeless.