Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Color of the Year - Emerald!


Ok, confession time: I started this post back in March just shortly after Pantone announced Emerald as the 2013 Color of the Year. 

Lots of people were writing about Emerald, but I couldn't get my head around my own post. Maybe I felt like I was jumping on the bandwagon or I didn't have anything unique to add to the conversation. 

Well that all changed last night! I was invited by my "color guru" Leatrice Eiseman (who I have studied color under) to the Fashion Group International's event in Seattle where she was speaking. I thought it would only be appropriate to wear Emerald to show everyone what a color junkie I really am! 

But the truth is, I don't feel great in Emerald. I bought a pair of very cute Emerald flats several months ago - I figured the further the color is from my face the better. But I still couldn't do it. The interesting thing is green is one of my favorite colors; but Emerald is a bit too blue for me even though it's a balanced green. I prefer the yellow greens.

This is what fascinates me so much about color. It's SO personal. It produces a visceral reaction. I know when I feel great in a color; it speaks to me. It sparks an emotion. And conversely, maybe even more so, I have a negative emotional response when I don't feel/look good in a color. Even if it is the Color of the Year and I really want to wear it!

This is actually one of the reasons I decided to take Leatrice's color design workshop a couple of years ago. I am fascinated by the psychology of color - what emotional responses colors elicit. 

Leatrice leads the Color of the Year selection process for Pantone. What a cool job, huh?! Last night, Leatrice (donning Emerald tights and accessories, above left) explained to a room packed with fashionistas that Pantone's Color of the Year is not for everyone but rather it's symbolic.

"Emerald speaks of balance and well-being," she said. "We are all craving more balance in our lives. It's meant to inspire, but we don't hoist it on people and expect everyone to love it." This really resonated with me and helped me open up about my feelings about Emerald. 

Take a look at the words in the below image to better understand what Emerald communicates.

My stand-in for Emerald is my Green Onyx Jaime Joseph ring. I think it qualifies as a "commercial match" which Leatrice talks about all the time. It's not an exact much but it's very close and it elicits the same emotional response as "real" Emerald, at least for me... and that's what really matters since color is so personal.

Photo: Polyvore

Leatrice also emphasized that "Color is all about context, context, context. How and where you use it is very important." I'm thinking of painting our powder room Emerald. Although I don't feel good wearing the color, I do like having it around me. 

Photo: Design Milk

I also recently bought a Pantone Emerald mug which I really like, especially with my Tangerine Tango fingernails! (Tangerine Tango was Pantone's 2012 Color of the Year.) I also had my toenails painted Emerald recently, which I like. Again, it's all about context.

After all that, I'm really liking Emerald.

How about you? How do you FEEL about Emerald?

Pantone should be announcing the 2014 Color of the Year very soon. Any guesses what it will be? 


  1. I am tickled to know I live in a world that has a "Color of the Year"! Who knew? Am I the only one? I adore this introduction to it and what a feast for the eyes. We moved from New Mexico, and upon arriving in Seattle (Emerald City) and everyday since, Green dominates and I always find it refreshing and delightful. Thank you Amy

  2. I also didn't realise there was a "colour of the year"! I am like you Amy, however much I love Emerald it is just not a colour I can wear, even as a polish on my toenails. I'm a warm colour person and emerald is too cold for me, too much blue in it, like you say. If it's not your colour I guess you just can't wear it. I like your compromises though :)