Purple was once the color of royalty. Made from a dye so expensive that only royals could afford it, the color signified wealth and elitism. Now, the Carlstadt, New Jersey-based Pantone Color Institute, a world-renowned leader in color selection and technology, has chosen Ultra Violet, a deep purple hue, as the color of 2018. Unlike the historically polarizing nature of purple that was used to divide classes, this year’s choice is meant to encourage unification of strong differences.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explained to the New York Times, “It’s also the most complex of all colors,” she said, “because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed—blue and red—and brings them together to create something new.” This take on purple, where people are encouraged to fuse differences into something beautiful instead of making them clash, gives a hopeful start to the new year.
“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” added Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, in their press release. Last year’s color, Greenery, was used to convey the hope, feeling of rebirth and closeness to nature reminiscent of spring that the bright shade brings to mind. With Ultra Violet, it is a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade. Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future.”
Pantone Institute offered advice to anyone looking to embrace Ultra Violet and bring it into their lives at any level. The Jewish Link turned to our color experts as well for timely and fashionable advice.
Ultra Violet is a powerful color and very different from the soft, cool tones of 2016’s Serenity Blue and Rose Quartz. “Most people are not open to covering a large surface in Ultra Violet,” said interior designer Shoshana Halpert of SH Designs. At the same time, because of its vibrant tone, “it can work as a great accent on pillows, accessories, artwork and flowers.” Of course, Ultra Violet works well with other current trends, too. Halpert explained that it works fabulously with grays and taupes, which are still very popular, as well as metallics. “Ultra Violet makes a statement in any space, whether it’s one of tradition and elegance or unexpected boldness,” said Pantone in their press release.
The bold purple of Ultra Violet makes fashion lovers cringe trying to imagine a whole dress in that shade. A jewel tone that some find slightly evocative of the early ‘90s prom dress left many to wonder how to wear this color. Pantone suggested that due to the dual color scheme of red and blue that make up this shade, it becomes an easier color to pair, brimming with versatility. “Ultra Violet lends itself to unique color combinations in fashion and is easier to pair with all colors on the spectrum than one might think,” they wrote. “Similarly, Ultra Violet takes on distinct appearances with different materials. Lush velvets in the color suggest intrigue for evening, but are also unexpectedly modern in athleisure or sneakers.” Adrianne Mittan, co-owner of Teaneck’s fashionable Rayna’s Boutique, has seen this color in a different light. “It’s very trendy, but people don’t always gravitate toward a whole outfit in Ultra Violet because it is a strong color,” she said. “What we are seeing for now is that it is used as more of an accent color—pops of purple or accent colors in an outfit,” though she predicted that spring may bring out more fans of this shade and Ultra Violet will be embraced more as its own color.
In recent years, color has become gender fluid, and hues in the pinks and purples are no longer assigned as a “girl color.” Emporio Clothing has already found Ultra Violet to be a popular color and they carry shirts, ties, socks and other accessories with this distinct purple. “It makes a great accent to give an otherwise conservative look a pop of color and personality,” said Sam Rappaport, sales manager of the Teaneck store.
Solène, always at the forefront of hat fashion, has prepared a new selection for their clientele. “We are excited to put out a new collection of hats that range in their use of the color Ultra Violet,” said owner and designer Omri Amar. “For a more bold statement try some of the upcoming fascinators completely covered in Ultra Violet feathers or classic silhouettes, like the cloche accented with a brim or crown completely covered in this season’s must-have hue.”
Delia, the beauty expert at Solène, couldn’t wait to include this color in her makeup palette. “Several of the lines we carry have already jumped on the bandwagon releasing cosmetics you can use on your lips, nails or eyes,” she said. Of course, the very brave may opt for “rocking a purple lip shade to capture the color of the year,” or even an eyeliner in Ultra Violet. “Purple on the lips or nails makes a bold statement of non-conformity,” stated Pantone. But for those who feel purple on the eyes or lips is still too daring a look, Ultra Violet nails are the perfect way to go. In order to make this color work, though, Delia recommended: “Only choose one feature to use the color on to get the best results.”
Pantone’s color decisions influence designs and styles across the spectrum, and this year’s Ultra Violet is no exception. These suggestions from color experts in the Pantone world, as well as those who know the Teaneck clientele, are there to help bring Ultra Violet home to everyone. But it is not just the color itself that spawns trends. The concept of a “Color of the Year” is spreading in popularity as well. This year L’Oreal Paris announced “Hair Colors of the Year,” and Sherwin Williams, a well-known paint manufacturer, named Oceanside (“A complex, deep color that offers a sense of the familiar with a hint of the unknown, Oceanside bridges together a harmonious balance of blues and greens that can be found in what’s old and new.”) their color of the year. So if Pantone’s color doesn’t suit your style, there is probably a Color of 2018 out there from someone else that will.
By Jenny Gans