Design Trends Now & Then #1: Orchid Dreams To Purple Haze

 In general, the mood of the country is always

reflected first in clothing and cosmetic styles,

closely followed by interior fashions.


Interior fashion isn’t like clothing fashion (usually), when what you wear depends on your mood, the weather and sometimes both.

It doesn’t change radically in sudden gestures. It morphs slowly over roughly 10 year increments. You have time to adjust and catch up from where ever you are. In the meantime, consistent with the fact that America remains one of the worlds’ leading authorities on capitalism, retailers in all fields want some means  to interpret and illustrate the national pulse.

They look for suggestions on which way the wind will blow next, and if possible, dress them up to move them along in the direction of the next great must have purchase.

One of the major barometers that retailers watch closely every year is the Pantone Color Institute. Designers and brands are polled about colors they’re featuring to aid in its decision for what hue will tinge the next 12 months.

The most anticipated, popular color serves as a kind of mood ring for the national frame of mind.

CARLSTADT, N.J., Dec. 5, 2013 – Pantone, today announced PANTONE® 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, as the Color of the Year 2014.“Expressive, exotic Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and warmth”

It’s going to be a good looking year, apparently. Rather than re-inventing the (color) wheel. Here are a few bits of Purple Prose directly from Pantone for you to assess as you see fit. Visit here for the Pantone report:

Radiant Orchid for Beauty:A modern and surprisingly versatile shade, Radiant Orchid enlivens the skin, making all who wear it feel more healthy and energetic. Blending both cool and warm undertones, purple is an appealing hue for distinctive combinations and flattering to many hair, eye and skin tones. This multifaceted hue is seductive when combined with red and pairs well with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink, which provides an assortment of lipstick and blush options. Radiant Orchid’s exuberance also acts as a brilliant finishing touch to nails.
Radiant Orchid for Fashion
.A dazzling attention-getter, Radiant Orchid permeated the runways during the spring 2014 fashion shows and is already making its way onto the red carpet. It’s expected that variations of this hue will carry into men’s and women’s clothing and accessories throughout next year too.”

Try this at home? Pantone goes on to suggest Radiant Orchid for paint color, accent pieces and accessories. That it complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and is particularly gorgeous with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.

It shouldn’t go without saying. While color neutral environments based on gray, beige and taupe have been Interior Fashion Darlings since the 90‘s, a little Radiant Orchid sprinkled about could have the effect of “re-energizing and unifying diverse spaces while lending an uplifting effect.”

It’s a family of colors. Though Pantone has singled out Radiant Orchid as the magical color that speaks to the National State of Mind (such as it is) this year, it’s good to remember that it’s a shade of  Purple. It’s composed, basically of Red and Blue in some proportions, with white to lighten the mix as called for.

50 Shades of lilac/orchid/purple, etc…Regardless of the final color, it will have an effect on your mood whether you wear it or live with it around your home.
  •  Going to the Dark Side: Purple/Eggplant/Aubergine still equals magic, creativity, joy, luxury and sex. The effect of purple can be uplifting and calming simultaneously.  It even offers a sense of spirituality and mysticism.
  • Or Lighten up: Lilac says femininity and spirituality. There is an implicit dreamy quality about lilac and it’s sometimes associated with a mythical, mystical twilight zone between heaven and sky. If you’re looking to invoke a calm sanctuary for your bedroom/bath area, lilac is a good bet.
By the way, studies show that if you are very creative, eccentric and/or a teenage girl, this might be your favorite color.