Janetta Mackay: Colour of the moment

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Elizabeth Arden's eyeshadow called Golden Orchid is a happy match for the forecast colour of 2014, Pantone's Radiant Orchid.
Elizabeth Arden's eyeshadow called Golden Orchid is a happy match for the forecast colour of 2014, Pantone's Radiant Orchid.

Memo Pantone: Sorry, not loving your colour pick for 2014 as much as this year's emerald green. The shade some of us would describe as mauve - christened more exotically by you as Radiant Orchid - looks a tad dusty, but we are bound to be seeing more of it next year.

As anyone who has watched The Devil Wears Prada knows, in fashion circles, along with the beauty and interiors industries, colour is a bit of an obsession. The film's Anna Wintour-inspired editor delivered a withering lecture about how a certain shade of blue percolated from designer runway to chain store knock-off. (Cerulean was the shade in question and incidentally it was Pantone's pick way back in 2000).

The influence on colour can be tracked further back to a handful of forecasting services which inform the output of everything from fabric mills to paint makers. That's why, once upon a slower moving time, it seemed we had season after season of similar shades. These days there is a trickle-up as well as a trickle-down effect, with forecasting services morphing into or being superseded by "cool hunters" who check-in on global hotspots for inspiration.

Street style and fast fashion trends are as likely to spark a colour craze, but in the internet age this will inevitably be less long-lived than when earth tones swamped the seventies and jewel tones took over the 80s.

Who cares you might say, I will chose what I want to wear and surround myself in shades to suit. Well, yes, that is assuredly easier nowadays for sure, but harking back to good old emerald green there was a blue-toned period when I struggled to find anything to wear in one of my favourite colours. Even know, if you want a pastel-coloured cake mixer without paying a premium, then you might be well advised to buy it before there's mainly red left on the shelf - or vice versa depending on who is influencing who.

Fashion-wise two strong trends that are likely to influence a softening of shades in the seasons ahead are the global traveller and reinvented classicism. These both tap into an appreciation of hand-crafted, authentic and more natural materials, with fabrics such as wool tweeds and felted finishes set to be used in new ways as an eclectic counterpoint to a high-tech, neon-bright future.

So Radiant Orchid is probably on the money, even if some of us take awhile to feel the vibe. It's a shame I'm not more enamoured of something coloured akin to my birthstone of amethyst that is meant to convey expanded creativity and inspiration. Maybe I'm still more in need of green's supposed symbolism of growth, renewal and prosperity.

To be on the safe side, I'll be keeping my eye out for a few more emerald additions to my wardrobe in the summer sales.

- VIVA

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