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Spotted on the catwalk: Pantone’s spring/summer 2023 fashion colours

By Rachel Douglass

Nov 14, 2022

Fashion

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Erdem, Etro, Roksanda

For each fashion season, global authority on colour Pantone selects a range of colours that it predicts will be seen within runway collections and it believes defines the current climate of the industry.

While the colours in its central palette for the SS23 season aimed to encourage experimentation and individualistic expression, Pantone’s New Classics compilation stuck to “ultra-calm tints” that stuck closer to tranquillity. Each shade was selected to reflect the new era the upcoming season will be reigning in, as well as how the past few years have impacted relationships with colour.

FashionUnited has broken down each of the key colours that Pantone said will shape fashion next season and where they have been spotted on SS23 runways.

SS23 Colour Palette

Fiery Red

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Schiaparelli

Not your usual red, Pantone’s Fiery Red comes with a more “energetic intensity”, meaning any item that dons the vibrant hue immediately stands out. Its essence was heavily captured in flowing dresses that wrapped around models’ silhouettes throughout a number of SS23 collections.

Beetroot Purple

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Chloé, Rochas, Harris Reed

Beetroot Purple is described by Pantone as an “emboldened fuschia” that depicts the “fruits of nature”. Its striking tone is reflected strongly in the similarly striking designs that incorporated it, which rang particularly true for Harris Reed’s powerful hat and gown combination as part of his gender-fluid collection.

Tangelo

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Christian Wijnants, Bottega Veneta, Marni

This tangy hue moves the wearer away from citrus-like undertones of a standard orange and instead brings out a shade that merges a hint of red into its fibres. In keeping with its strong appearance, Tangelo was used in a range of bold designs, such as Bottega Veneta’s low waist dress that came complete with a feathery underskirt.

Peach Pink

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Erdem, Issey Miyake, Rabens Saloner

As an evolution of last year’s popular ‘Coral Rose’ Pantone shade, Peach Pink takes clothing in a more subtle direction, albeit still with a captivating colouring. Sported in everything from figure-hugging pieces to oversized shapes, this “nurturing” tone comes as a warmer alternative to a typical peach hue.

Empire Yellow

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Raf Simons, Erdem, Royal Danish Academy

Empire Yellow is a tone that reflects Pantone’s goal of pushing users to dare, providing a “luminescent” shade that catches the eye. Whether used for a floor-sweeping dress or standalone accessories, pieces that utilise this colour are bound to turn heads as it strives to radiate joy.

Blue Perennial

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Diesel, Halpern, Fendi

Among the slew of striking colours, Blue Perennial appeared to be one of the more calming tones, despite Pantone’s description that it was a “stand-out blue” that “strikes” the palette. Its use often generated a whimsical element to even the most simplistic designs, such as Diesel’s skintight mini dress that used the tone in an ombre effect.

Classic Green

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Etro, Akris, Chet Lo

In keeping with its goal of pushing for experimentation, the Classic Green is a bold hue that provides a strong contrast to its counterparts. Described as “nourishing”, Pantone said this tone is “imbued with health giving qualities”, possibly contributing to its heavy use in head-to-toe Summer outfits.

Crystal Rose

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Ermanno Scervino, Craig Green, Vetements

A world away from Pantone’s ‘Beetroot Purple’, Crystal Rose takes on a softer appearance which the organisation said attempts to convey modern romance. While the hue was popular among floaty, lightweight materials, it was also often used among more structural designs and tailored pieces, like Vetements three-piece outfit.

Love Bird

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham, Gestuz

Love Bird was a shade that had already garnered popularity, popping up in seasons prior, but for SS23 it cemented itself as the ‘it’ colour for the period, taking up residency on a multitude of runways. The exotic green ties perfectly in with the summer season as a lively hue that could be seen in floor-sweeping looks by a variety of designers.

Summer Song

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Diesel, Prada, Marni

In contrast to many of the others colours within Pantone’s palette, Summer Song was centred around the feelings of relaxation and tranquillity. Many brands used the colour for long-line coats, which took shape in a range of materials from distressed denim to sleek leather-looking fabrics.

New Classics

Skylight

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Christopher Kane, Lanvin, Roksanda

Skylight had a front row seat for many eveningwear lines, often utilised in flowing gowns or heavily embellished dresses. This particularly reigned true for various pleated looks in Lanvin’s collection, which focused on exaggerated silhouettes and bold structuring.

Vanilla Cream

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Simone Rocha, Chanel, Craig Green

This creamy tone mostly had a hold on feminine-like designs, as shown by Simone Rocha’s fluttery evening dresses and Chanel’s signature tweed styles, each of which held an essence of eras past. Meanwhile, the hue also appeared bolder in menswear, where it was worn for head-to-toe looks, like Craig Green’s take on office wear.

Gray Lilac

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Loewe, Miu Miu, Baum und Pferdgarten

Prominent among brands that zhuzhed up office wear attire, Gray Lilac fit snugly into its name as a lilac infused grey. In keeping with Pantone’s description of a “dreamy” and “ethereal” colour, the hue lightened up iterations of back-to-office looks, often seen in loose fit blazers and collared mini dresses.

Leek Green

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Givenchy, Miu Miu, (di) vision

As an alternative to khaki green, Leek Green consists of a grey undertone that is reminiscent of more vegetal-based colourings. It was particularly used among the slew of utilitarian-like designs that made it down the runway, including that of Miu Miu’s selection of military-inspired workwear.

Macchiato

SS23 Collections. (From left) Image: Sacai, Fendi, Hermès

Macchiato differs from the typically dark undertones of the usual coffee-inspired hues, instead being described by Pantone as a “delectable brown with a light layer of foam”. On runways, the colour was most often used for outerwear layers, like Hermès’ deconstructed cape, or for leather-like materials and pieces with dynamic silhouettes.

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