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Forecasting Color Trends for 2007
One of the major elements of any design is color. It reflects the influences of world events, politics, art, media, fashion, and music. From the avocado and harvest gold of the 1970s to the pink that echoes today's hopes for a rosier world, color punctuates our memories and scores our emotional lives. JQ takes a look at color trends forecasted through 2007, what influences the trends, and tips for jewellers to track trends in their own market.
By: Deborah Yonick
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Nov 24 2006 12:00AM
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Reference: 671  

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Color Sells !
According to the Color Marketing Group (CMG), "Color Sells…and the Right Colors Sell Better." Warm, clear and bright colors have ruled the 2006 palette, according to the Alexandria, Virginia-based international association Of color Designers.
Fashion Forward Jewellery :
In gemstones, vivid pastels ruled through 2006, recalls Douglas Hucker, Executive Director of the Dallas-based American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). He notes that inexpensive colored stones lead the way in fashion-forward jewellery design, including assorted pastels in beryl, quartz, garnet, and tourmaline gems. Most notable are pink stones such as rose quartz, morganite, pink opal and moonstone; and green materials like light tourmaline, serpentine, jade, and prehnite. In the more expensive sapphire, ruby and emerald, consumers are gravitating toward briolettes and beads.
"Because designers are having more fun with color in fashion-forward jewellery, consumers are considering forms they wouldn’t have ten years ago," says Hucker. "Women want color as an accessory. They want big, showy, colorful jewels and designers working for the accessory marketplace are showing lots of unusual colors, color combinations, and different textures in more affordable materials that you can get in bold looks." Now on to 2007 expectations.
Outlook for 2007 :
Looking to 2007, the CMG identifies 30 new colors that will be richer, cleaner and deeper in tone: purples explode; oranges have replaced reds; yellows shift to lower chromas; greens continue to be driven by natural forces, blues gain increased presence; warm neutrals cluster together as deep rich browns; and cool neutrals bring new life to next year’s color palette.
Among the recognized colors are a transparent watery blue, blood orange, yellow orange, glazed green (soft melon or kiwi), metallic mauve, a yellow pink, brown flushed pink (lighter, redder and cooler than past browns), and a natural fusion of berries. The association notes that classic and emerging greens will be important in grayer, softer tones like complex yellow-green and shades of aqua.
Britt Bivens says Fall/Winter 2006/2007 will show a color range from the radiant ochre tones of sunrise (yellows to burnt oranges, everything topaz to amber) to sumptuous violet hues; misty natural colors with moderate, graphic tones; eccentric and variegated blends of traditional British shades with daring bright tones; and acidic, luminescent shades with concrete neutrals. "The range will be richer and more luxurious, a return to a heritage of luxury," she describes. Harrington adds that gray-putty neutrals will replace browns, melon-yellow-peachy colors will evolve, and deep dark orchids and plums will be important.
In gemstones, Hucker expects more of the same trends for 2007 in the movement of affordable, unusual gems that lend themselves well to fashion-forward designs. With increased interest and exposure to colored gemstones, he believes consumers will become more educated and prolific in what they want, expanding gem demand across the market. "This will place a greater oneness on jewellers to step up gem training at both the purchasing and sales levels," he projects.
What Influences Color ?
There are many factors influencing which colors will be en vogue, from social, political and economic trends to what our favorite celebrities are wearing. But figuring out those colors and their timing on the market is a combination of ongoing research. Color forecasting is time consuming and complex, which is why many manufacturers and retailers defer to professional trends trackers who make it their business to be in the know.
"There’s no crystal ball," notes trends forecaster Britt Bivens. Those who track trends analyze what has happened and is happening, and we give our stylistic interpretations of what will happen."
Big Medallion Indian Pendants :
Jewellery has become an important touch-point for Harrington. "Big medallion pendants of Indian/Western influences are inspiring design in home furnishing," she says, noting that jewellery was not a place she always looked to as an influencer. "It could be that jewellery designers are becoming more expressive, taking more risks, doing things that are not mimicking other things — finding their own voice and putting it out in a strong way."
Trends are evolutionary and multiple influences are at play. "If economic times are tough or if the stock market is bullish, these things put in place a future reality for people and impact their behavior and attitude," says Harrington, who notes that the 2008 Olympics in China is inspiring Asian influences in design. "When there’s uncertainty, people withdraw. They invest in colors that are solid and pass the test of time. If the world is great and everything’s rosy, people open up. A pink car, no problem! The way they look at color, and how willing they are to commit to it, starts to change."
Trendsetters lead the way in perpetuating trends. People who are considered trendsetters identify trends early and add their voice. "It’s not unlike any leadership role," explains Harrington. "People follow others’ leadership projections for the future when they cannot predict for themselves. If you’re brave enough to put a stake in the ground as to what your future will be, the only question is how solid will it be, how many will follow?"
Additionally, celebrities have taken a leadership role in promoting trends.

Color Influencers for 2007:
CMG identifies five key influencers driving color directions for 2007:

  • Polarization - Our complex world will push us to diametrically opposed values. Uber luxury contrasts with bling-bling; specialized niche markets co-exist with mass markets; one day’s preference for light and luminosity gives way to the next day’s inclination towards the dark facets of life.
  • Nature Over Techno - The balance between nature and techno has shifted in nature’s favor based on our need for simplicity.
  • Authenticity - Consumers are searching for connections with unique stories in products and services. As our trust in enterprises erodes, we become disillusioned and look to connect.
  • Femme Totale - Girl power has grown up and even power women wear pink and pastels with confidence.
  • Townhouse Trash - A parody of wealth that not even the uber-rich discern. Faux luxury is achieved through creative use of materials, finishes, and special effects.
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