Pantone has announced the color for 2018 – Ultra Violet.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told the New York Times that Ultra Violet is “also the most complex of all colors, because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.”
“We are living in complex times,” she said. “We’re seeing the fear of going forward and how people are reacting to that fear.”
“It’s a color that can be worn by so many different skin tones,” Pressman said.
So who wears it best? Rihanna, Pressman said. Particularly, Rihanna in a 2016 Dior ad with gorgeous violet lips and purple-tinted sunglasses.
“When you think of this color she perfectly sums up the originality, the inventiveness, the forward thinking, the nonconformity,” Pressman said. “The exploration, the expression, the do your own thing. She thinks about things differently than anybody else. No boundaries.”
Pressman wasn’t keen on talking politics. The color, she said, playing out in home design, industrial spaces and products, fashion, art and food, reflects the idea of living not inside the box or outside the box but with no box at all. Specifically, she called the color “that complexity, that marriage, between the passionate red violets and the strong indigo purples.”
Ultra Violet leans more to blue than red and that, Pressman said, “speaks to thoughtfulness, a mystical quality, a spiritual quality.” There’s still a passionate heat from enough red undertones, and a touch of periwinkle, but “it’s really the cool that prevails.”
The 2018 color of the year follows 2017’s “Greenery,” a grassy, fresh, revitalizing shade that reflected new beginnings.
The purple choice, a la Prince and the glam rock of David Bowie — both of whom died in 2016 — speaks to rebellion, finding new ways to interpret our lives and surroundings, Pressman said. It also speaks to the pleasing calm of Provence and its purple flower fields.
“I see this as very much an optimistic color, an empowering color,” she said. “We want to find some peace and calm within ourselves. How do we quiet our minds?”
Well, there are meditation and yoga studios, some of which rely on violet light that some believe has a power to heal. A company in the U.K. has come up with a showerhead fitted with the same hue of light that turns bathing into purple rain. There’s an embrace of purple cauliflower and sweet potato, joining eggplant and purple-colored cocktails.
Fast-forward to Jimi Hendrix and his “Purple Haze,” the penultimate song he played in concert on Sept. 6, 1970, days before his death. Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, Katy Perry (remember her purple hair?) and Rihanna have embraced the color, Pressman said.