A new hue for the New Year

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World-renowned colour authority Pantone Inc. has just declared Honeysuckle Pink colour of the year for 2011. Described as “a brave new colour for a brave new world,” watch for this vibrant, blushing pink to make its mark on everything from fashion and makeup to interior design. Although Pantone began as a printing company, its reputation was built on ink colour technology used for printing specifications. Today, the Pantone Colour Matching System provides standardized palettes for many industries from graphic design to paint and textiles.

Since 2007, when their Colour of the Year concept was introduced, Pantone Colour Institute has gathered information from various influential sources, including the Milan furniture fair and international clothing designers, to get an indication of pivotal, new colour directions. The Pantone team interprets the various results before the final announcement is made:

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute

I couldn’t agree more. Psychologically, pink is such a positive colour. Take la vie en rose. We’re tickled pink and in the pink of health; we look at the world through rose coloured glasses. Part of the fun and magic of following colour trends is the curious coincidences that occur. I’m thinking of iconic fashion legend Diana Vreeland and her famous proclamation in the 1960s; “Pink is the navy blue of India.” Vreeland was famously known for her championing of pink. In the film musical, Funny Face, with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson plays an autocratic fashion director who adores pink. And now, Allure, Vreeland’s book compiled with encouragement from her friend, editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and published 30 years ago has just been reprinted. Quelle coincidence!

I’m not suggesting that “pink is the new black” but I’m always intrigued to see a colour show up on numerous runways in the same season — and Honeysuckle certainly does.

I am delighted with the announcement. I love the colour; it’s fresh, new and sexy. Unlike many shades of pink, it works for both warm and cool skin tones. The absence of blue notes makes Honeysuckle ideal for warm skin — often characterized by freckles while the underlying vibrancy helps to brighten cool skin.

It’s important to understand that cool skin is as likely to be found on brunettes as blondes. Think Catherine Zeta Jones. Same story for warm skin — blonde or brunette is not really the determining factor. There’s no question that analyzing your skin tone can be a bit of a challenge. So in celebration of the (almost) universally wearable Honeysuckle, I’m offering a special invitation to my Colour Analysis Tip Sheet.

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