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The Complete Color Harmony by Bride M Whelan, Tina Sutton

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Color Trends
The evolution of color trends occurs
for one reason: People want change. We
all eventually get bored with the status
quo and feel like moving on to something
new. But what? That’s the billion-dollar
question.
Color-trend forecasters around the
globe are constantly on the lookout for
the next big thing. What will consumers
want next month, in six months, in six
years? Arriving at the answers to these
questions is more complicated today
than at any other time in our history.
We live in an instantaneous-results
culture. The Internet and technological
advances in the transmission of informa-
tion provide immediate access to news
of world events. Email and portable cell
phones mean we’re never out of touch.
Consumers have also gotten used to cus-
tomization. We get what we want when
we want it.
That is a far cry from the early, more
dictatorial days of trend forecasting, when
designers had the upper hand. The fashion
industry selected a color palette each season
and consumers bought it. After the public
grew accustomed to the new shades, the
colors would begin to appear in home
design and product packaging, where they
were readily accepted.
In retrospect, its amazing how easily
the public was manipulated. Following
World War II, for example, the United
States government was looking for a return
to normalcy, which required women to
abandon their wartime factory jobs and
go home to raise children. The fashion
industry silently colluded by replacing
neutral-colored menswear-like suits with
hourglass-shaped dresses in feminine pas-
tels. Returning soldiers wanted women to
look like women again, and fashion design-
ers happily obliged.
Brilliant marketers could also influ-
ence the public’s taste in colors. “In 1934,
writes Garry Trudeau in
Time magazine,
“the American Tobacco Co. found that
women wouldnt buy Lucky Strikes because
the then green box clashed with their
clothes. The solution: make green hot. In
short order, the company set up a color-
fashion bureau, underwrote a green-themed
society ball, enlisted magazine editors and
bought off French couture houses. By years
end hordes of newly sensitized women
started buying Lucky Strike packs as fash-
ion accessories.
Though the thought of Philip Morris
dictating color trends to the haute couture
might seem far-fetched today, there was a
reason the French fashion industry was
more susceptible in the 1930s. Prior to
World War I, Paris had been the
dernier
cri
in color-trend pronouncements, along
with European fabric mills. But in 1915,
concerned about the lack of trans-Atlantic
fashion communication during the war,
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the Color Association of the United States
(CAUS) was founded to coordinate and
publicize color palettes for a variety of
American industries.
Designers also looked to Hollywood
and glamorously dressed stars for their
inspiration, usurping Pariss hold as trend
arbiter. While Europe regained much influ-
ence after the war, the United States never
relinquished its role as a player on the
world fashion stage.
CAUS continues to provide invaluable
color forecasts to this day, but its job is much
more complicated than that. A whole net-
work of color-forecasting groups now works
to anticipate and predict changing consumer
color preferences. The largest of these organ-
izations is the Color Marketing Group
(CMG), an international, not-for-profit
association of 1,700 color designers. As with
most trend-forecasting companies, the CMG
consults with style experts in a wide variety of
fields to build a consensus on where color
trends seem to be headed and why.
When writing about trend predictions,
the news media often focus on the so-called
Cool Hunters, a group of youthful trend
watchers who travel to urban areas around
the world, shopping at high-end boutiques
and flea markets while documenting street
fashion and new design directions.
However valuable this information
might be, it must be combined with
lifestyle, cultural, political, and economic
research to get an accurate picture of
future color trends.
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 
Job no:59657 Title : Rockport-Complete Colour Harmony Client : Provision
Scn :
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175 Size : 171.45(w)228.6(h)mm Co : M8 Q3 O/P: V
Dept : DTP D/O : 04.10.03 (Job no:000000 D/O : 00.00.02 Co: CM0)
8 8
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For example, what are people doing in
their spare time?
In the 1990s, gardening was the num-
ber one adult hobby in the United States.
Combined with a renewed interest in
environmental concerns, this love of the
outdoors translated into a green-dominated
color palette.
What are the hot restaurants and
which country inspires the cuisine? When
the Mediterranean diet of fresh produce
became popular, the rich, saturated colors
of ripe fruits and vegetables affected color
trends. Japanese sushi opened the door
to black, white, and red, while Tex-Mex
brought in warm, sun-baked shades.
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