Pantone Color Institute Announces Fall 2016 Fashion Color Report


Inspired by consumers’ continued search for reassurance and stability, fashion designers seek to answer a common call for calm through a Fall 2016 colour palette that captures strength and dependability while remaining uplifting, complex and sophisticated. Satisfying a universal desire for tranquillity, strength and optimism, as demonstrated by the Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, colour directions continue to evolve toward an antidote to modern stresses for both designers and wearers.

For Fall 2016, designers were inspired by fine art – particularly abstract art, landscapes and graphic geometrics – yielding a 10-colour palette that is led by the Blue family, conveying a message of calm and constancy. Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colours also appear throughout, representing this season’s take on graphical elements and geometric shapes across the collections. Some designers are using clean lines and shapes against more fluid, abstract patterns for fall, while others have done the reverse. Both of these trends can be likened to the unexpectedly vivacious colours in the Fall 2016 palette, which act as playful but structured departures from the more typical fall shades.

The top colours for women’s and men’s fashion for Fall 2016 are:
  • PANTONE 17-4028 Riverside*
  • PANTONE 14-4122 Airy Blue*
  • PANTONE 17-3914 Sharkskin*
  • PANTONE 18-1550 Aurora Red
  • PANTONE 16-1318 Warm Taupe
  • PANTONE 18-1630 Dusty Cedar
  • PANTONE 18-5845 Lush Meadow*
  • PANTONE 14-0952 Spicy Mustard*
  • PANTONE 18-1340 Potter’s Clay
  • PANTONE 17-3240 Bodacious*

The Blue family leads the Fall 2016 collections in the form of Riverside, a cool and calming hue with a subtle sophistication, and Airy Blue, a nod to one half of the Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, Serenity, that evokes a feeling of weightlessness. The complement of strong and light Blues at the forefront of designers’ work gives wearers a much-desired feeling of repose as an independent pairing, or suggests freshness when combined with hues Lush Meadow, Taupe or Dusty Cedar.

Another anchor to the collections this fall is Sharkskin, which serves as a neutral with an edge. Pair-able with almost any fall colour whether bright or muted, Sharkskin is a colour that the rest of the palette can literally and theoretically rest on. While several Greys have come through the fall collections, this particular shade showcases practicality through a dependable but contemporary lens.

In contrast to the stability that serves as the backbone of the Fall 2016 palette, Aurora Red adds a welcome punch. A bold Red that is warm and sensual, Aurora Red gets the metaphorical blood of the palette and the collections pumping, in a way that breeds unmistakable confidence. Also conveying warmth, but more mildly, is Warm Taupe, a hearty, grounded and approachable neutral that harkens back to our search for reassurance and stability, and pairs well with each of the top 10 shades of the Fall 2016 season.

A fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring, Dusty Cedar is a dustier rose-toned Pink shade with some complexity that nods to the other half of the Pantone Colour of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz. Lush Meadow, as its name suggests, brings to mind fresh botanicals and foliage. Rich and elegant, vibrant and sophisticated, this Green shade displays a brightness, panache and depth of colour that elevates the overall elegance woven through this season’s collections.

In a shift from previous seasons, the spicier, zestier Yellows we are seeing for Fall 2016 are exemplified through Spicy Mustard, an unexpected and unusual but welcome addition. Bouncing elegantly off other colours in the palette and adding another splash of uplifting vibrancy, Spicy Mustard is an exotic addition that comes through in both the abstract and the more defined geometric accents designers have employed this season. Another neutral earth tone, Potter’s Clay takes the palette back to what we might expect for fall and winter fashions, but like Spicy Mustard, Potter’s Clay has an added degree of sophistication and inherent layering. This warm orange-toned shade has emerged as another strong foundation for the fall palette.

Lending itself to fabulously interesting and vibrant colour combinations, Bodacious speaks to the gender fluidity we’ve come to see with designers’ use of colour. Surprising for the fall palette, this versatile Purple shade can be used monochromatically with colours in the Pink and Red family, or just as easily with Spicy Mustard or Potter’s Clay. The bright, rich Purple, with its hints of a more sophisticated Pink, transforms fashion accents into fashion statements.

The colours featured in the semi-annual Pantone Fashion Color Report are culled from the PANTONE FASHION, HOME + INTERIORS Colour System, the most widely used and recognized colour standards system for fashion, textile, home and interior design. In August 2015, Pantone released 210 new colours to the system, the first time the company has added colours to its collection since 2011, bringing the total to 2,310 colours available in cotton swatch cards. The Pantone Fall 2016 Fashion Color Report features several colours from the new additions. Each season, Pantone surveys fashion designers who will be showing collections at New York Fashion Week and other global shows to collect their feedback on prominent collection colours, colour inspiration and colour philosophy. This information is used to help create the Pantone Fashion Color Report, which serves as a reference tool throughout the season for fashion enthusiasts, reporters and retailers. *A new colour introduced to the PANTONE FASHION, HOME + INTERIORS Colour System in 2015.

Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company and the global authority on colour and provider of professional colour standards for the design industries, announces the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2016. This semi-annual report, released in the fall and spring, showcases the top 10 colours for women’s and men’s fashion. Launching alongside New York Fashion Week, the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2016 takes a comprehensive look at fashion designers’ use of colour in their upcoming collections, offering a colour snapshot for the season ahead. Complete with designer colour sketches and inspirations, this report is released by the Pantone Color Institute™, the colour intelligence and forecasting arm of Pantone.

The full report is available at

Have a beautiful and successful week!



Pantone Color Institute Announces Fall 2016 Fashion Color Report

Comments are closed.