One thing stood out immediately at the S/S ’17 shows: a strong use of colours – and they’re not the typical upbeat, summery fare. Think a fiery orange-red seen at the likes of Celine and Givenchy, or a Kermit-like green (fresh without being zesty) at Valentino, Y/Project and Fenty x Puma.

Pantone’s 2017 colour trend predictions

The trend hasn’t gone unnoticed, with many hues singled out in Pantone’s latest Fashion Color Report, which charts the runway’s most popular colours. On the organisation’s website, executive director Leatrice Eiseman says: “One of the things we saw was a renewed sense of imagination in which colour was appearing in context that was different from the traditional.”

Which brings us to the question: Just what do we call these “new” hues? Now, go back to the basics of the colour wheel. The historical primary hues are red, blue and yellow. Then come the secondaries – a combination of two primary colours (for example, purple is a mix of red and blue). 

This season’s bold new wave of colours sit within the next tier, the tertiary. A blend of a primary and secondary hue, these in-between shades tend to go by differing names. More common examples include vermilion (red-orange) and chartreuse (yellow-green).

They’re also more fluid. Depending on the proportion of the mix, they can be further divided within the family. Pink Yarrow, one of Spring’s most popular hues, is in fact a strand of the “classic” tertiary colour magenta (red-purple).

Here, the five It hues to know – and the buys to match.

#1: Primrose Yellow

Left: Vionnet

A honeyed shade of yellow meant to invoke the warmth of sunny days (and can’t help but remind us of Pikachu, which might explain why it’s youthful too). Even the monochrome-loving Rick Owens fell to its charm, using it on sculptural yet ethereal maxi gowns.

Clockwise from left: Embellished metal and silk brooch, $1,430, Gucci. Plex ribbon and chain calfskin bag, $3,030 for bag, and $1,470 for strap, Prada. Woven cotton dress, $830, Kate Spade New York. Embellished calfskin and raffia slides, $1,600, Dolce & Gabbana


#2: Flame

From left: Victoria Beckham, Bottega Veneta

An intensely saturated red-orange, it’s a refreshingly modern alternative to Chinese New Year scarlet.

Clockwise from left: Wool sweater, Coach. Acne cotton-blend top, Club 21. Lambskin tote, Balenciaga. Satin top, $480, Diane von Furstenberg. Calfskin slides, $990, Bally. Small Darley classic grain leather bag, Mulberry. Centre: GG Marmont matelasse floral jacquard shoulder bag, $2,420, Gucci


#3: Niagara

Left: Elie Saab

Number one on Pantone’s latest Fashion Color Report. Like the blue of classic denim – rich yet soothing – it’s also easier to pull off than its flashy counterparts on the list.

Clockwise from left: Woven cotton-blend dress, $600, Bimba Y Lola. Merida-41 Hobo calfskin bag, $519, Braun Buffel. Weekend Max Mara wool-blend coat, $785, Celine acetate glasses, $430, Safilo.


#4: Greenery

From left: Haider Ackermann, Valentino

Think green apples – or Kermit – with a yellowish base that reveals traces of chartreuse. As Pantone’s Eiseman says of Spring’s hottest colours, they’re “reminiscent of the hues… in nature”.

From left: Gucci wool-blend coat, $3,270, Suede jacket, Burberry. Valentino Garavani suede pumps, Valentino


#5: Pink Yarrow

From left: Valentino, Delpozo

It may be a look-at-me shade, but is still more toned down with its slight berry tone as compared to, say, Elsa Schiaparelli’s famous shocking pink. An outstanding flush, it turned up everywhere from Valentino to Hermes.

Clockwise from left: Antonio Berardi rayon-blend dress, US$1,826 (S$2,642), Michael Lo Sordo silk and satin trenchcoat, US$815 (S$1,179), Brass and cotton earrings, Kate Spade New York. Calfskin bag, $850, Red Valentino. Leather loafers, H&M. Spandex gloves, Balenciaga. Prices unavailable unless stated


Runway photos:

This story first appeared in Female’s February 2017 issue. 

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