God knows retail is fickle, and only fashion is moreso. Is it just me, though, or has Pantone® gone seriously soft this year? I hadn’t really noticed until Rob‘s newsletter went out this week and I started looking at Fall as a here-and-now kind of thing, but their Fall Forecast for 2006 is kind of weak. Now, I won’t presume to know better than these forecasters where color is going—I just don’t have to like it.

Pantone Fall Color Forecasts for 2005 and 2006

First of all, is it just me, or is there an inordinate number of colors that were barely tweeked from this time last year? I know this isn’t necessarily their fault. They’re "predicting" what we’re all going to be wearing. But they do have enormous influence on what’s being dyed, what’s being spun, and what is eventually being offered to the end consumer. Is this what we have to look forward to? More of the same, and less emphatic color?

I thought that I’d noticed that most of the colors had been washed out or darkened a bit from last year, but I was very surprised to see that there were three more very drab neutrals versus what was a somewhat traditional green and orange autumn from last year.

I know. I’m the last person on Earth most people would expect to be complaining about more neutrals. I love neutrals. I’m just surprised that there is not a single overtly green shade anywhere in the fall palette this year.

The colors that Pantone has selected are gorgeous. I can’t argue that. And frankly, I really do love the neutrals that they’ve selected. But if you look at the rest of the palette, only the Purple Magic is brighter than its counterpart from last year. Every other shade is either darker or less intense than it was last year.

Is it the war? Are we just less happy? Are we getting close to some upheaval as our President is getting ready to leave office? Did dye get more expensive the way gasoline has? What happened? I, for one, could use more color. If there is anyone out there who can guide me to information that will help me understand this, I’d genuinely appreciate the heads-up.


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