Color of the Year: Marsala
Marsala, a robust and earthy wine red, is the Color of the Year for 2015, according to color authority, Pantone.

In contrast to the 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, which encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Much like the wine that gives Marsala its name, the color embodies the satisfaction of a fulfilling meal, while its red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.

Marsala’s hearty yet stylish tone is universally appealing and serves as an elegant statement color when used on its own, or as a compelling accent color when paired with many other colors. As such, it translates easily to clothing, fashion accessories and the burgeoning market of wearable technology, beauty, home furnishings, interior spaces, graphic design and packaging, according to Pantone. This bodes well for jewelry designs incorporating such gemstones as red garnet, in particular, as well as the purple-red garnet rhodolite, red spinel, rhodochrosite, rubellite, ruby and pink tourmaline, depending on the color of the stone.

For women’s fashion, the color was a hit on the spring runways. Fashion designers such as Daniel Silverstain, Dennis Basso and Hervé Léger by Max Azria incorporated Marsala into their spring collections this year, along with the additional colors in Pantone’s forecast for spring/summer 2015.

These include Aquamarine, a calming blue with a watery feel that naturally resembles aquamarine; Scuba Blue, an invigorating turquoise that offers a feeling of escape, as it’s reminiscent of a tropical ocean; Lucite Green, a soothing shade with a minty glow that seems almost transparent, similar to chrysoprase and jade; and Classic Blue, a strong and reliable blue that inspires confidence, tranquility and harmony much like blue sapphire.

Bringing balance to these cool colors is Toasted Almond, a sun-tanned neutral color that offers the warm and comforting feeling of toes in the sand, and Glacier Gray, a peaceful unobtrusive hue that serves as a background to enhance and offer contrast to the other colors. Agates naturally come to mind here as they incorporate both colors, as well as light champagne to deep cognac diamonds, gray diamonds, moonstone, opals and pearls.

Next on the list is the rosy Strawberry Ice, suggestive of a cooling and refreshing confection, yet with an appealing warmth that emits a flattering and healthy glow much like pink coral and rose quartz; Tangerine, an energizing yet not jarring orange with a tangy edge that resembles carnelian, Mexican fire opal and spessartite garnet; and Custard, a sunny yellow similar to lemon quartz with a cheerful tone that’s full of good feelings, much like the comfort food it’s named after.

For men’s fashion, the palette contains Classic Blue, Toasted Almond, Marsala and Glacier Gray, as well as Dusk Blue, reminiscent of a blue sky; Treetop, a natural and fertile green; Woodbine, a tropical yellow-green evocative of a freshly mowed lawn or a flourishing palm frond; the rugged and woodsy Sandstone; Titanium, a basic gray shade with classic appeal; and Lavender Herb, an intriguing shade that adds a distinctive pop of color either on its own or when combined with the other colors for spring/summer 2015.

“This season, there is a move toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum. An eclectic, ethereal mix of understated brights, pale pastels and nature-like neutrals take center stage as designers draw from daydreams of simpler times,” says Eiseman. “There is a growing movement to create ‘quiet zones’ to disconnect from technology and unwind, giving ourselves time to stop and be still. Color choices follow the same minimalistic, en plein air theme, taking a cue from nature rather than being reinvented or mechanically manipulated.”

Eiseman also notes that the soft, cool hues blend well with the subtle warm tones to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle; for example, Classic Blue blends well with Marsala, Sandstone and Custard; Strawberry Ice with Toasted Almond and Tangerine. In jewelry design, this translates to designs pairing blue sapphire with, say, garnet or lemon quartz, and pink coral with carnelian. Marsala, in particular, because of its burnished undertones, is highly compatible with golden yellows, amber (a dark orange-yellow) and umber (a dark, yellowish-brown), greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

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 15 years, 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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