Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid
Radiant Orchid, a vibrant purple composed of a harmonious blend of purple, fuchsia and pink undertones, is the Color of the Year for 2014, according to color authority, Pantone.

In contrast to the 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald, which 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 has a beautiful illuminating quality, beguiling charm and the ability to inspire confidence and emanate great joy, love and well-being.

Radiant Orchid’s rosy undertones also enliven the skin, making all who wear it feel more healthy and energetic, according to Pantone. This bodes well for jewelry designs starring purple-hued gemstones such as amethyst, lavender jade, kunzite, pink sapphire and purple chalcedony.

For women’s fashion, the color permeated the spring runways and is already gaining importance on the red carpet. Fashion designers such as Emerson by Jackie Fraser-Swan, Juicy Couture and Yoana Baraschi are incorporating Radiant Orchid into their spring collections this year, along with the additional colors in Pantone’s forecast for spring/summer 2014.

These include Placid Blue, a light blue reminiscent of a picture-perfect, tranquil sky that resembles blue chalcedony, blue topaz and certain types of turquoise; Violet Tulip, a romantic, vintage purple that evokes a wistful nostalgia much like iolite; and Hemlock, the verdant green of springtime and foliage similar to chrysoprase.

Neutral colors include Sand, a lightly toasted brown that conjures images of the beach and carefree days of summer, and Paloma, a soft, dove-like gray. Agates naturally come to mind here as they incorporate both colors, as well as light champagne to deep cognac diamonds, gray diamonds, moonstone and pearls.

Next on the list are Cayenne, a high-pitched coral-red that adds a dash of spicy heat to the neutrals; Freesia, a blazing, tropical, floral-inspired yellow much like citrine that warms up the palette; Celosia Orange, an optimistic, spontaneous color that resembles carnelian, Mexican fire opal and spessartite garnet; and the scintillating Dazzling Blue, a bold, exciting hue similar to blue sapphire, lapis and tanzanite.

For men’s fashion, the palette is similar, but with the addition of Purple Haze, a deeper, stronger version of Violet Tulip; Comfrey, a more masculine take on the soft Hemlock green; and Magenta Purple, a more robust version of Radiant Orchid.

“The palette for spring 2014 is really quite remarkable because it shows a sense of equilibrium,” Eiseman says. “There’s a wonderful sense of balance between the pastels that are very soft, the bright colors that add a lot of energy and the neutrals that are a great bridge between those two areas of color. So you have colors that stand well on their own but also mix very well.”

Radiant Orchid, for example, pairs well with its sister shades of purple, lavender, fuchsia and pink, as well as with turquoise, light yellow and, particularly, green.

“The purple and green combination is having a renaissance,” says Michael O’Connor, jewelry and style expert and host of MovieStyle with Michael O’Connor for ReelzChannel. “Radiant Orchid and Violet Tulip [which correspond with amethyst and iolite] will create interesting mixes with the green tones seen in emerald, tourmaline and chalcedony.”

O’Connor also feels Placid Blue goes well with the magenta of garnet, while Freesia’s bright yellow, best represented by citrine, should be used sparingly and combined with coordinating colors. All told, a variety of semiprecious stones will be popular this year to create a larger, and thus more affordable, jewelry effect necessary to complement fashion’s bigger proportions.

About Pantone
Pantone LLC is an X-Rite company that provides design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. To arrive at the Color of the Year selection, Pantone combs the world looking for color influences, which can include the entertainment industry, popular travel destinations, sports events, technology, traveling art collections and other socio-economic conditions. For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, product packaging and graphic design.
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