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A rosy outlook for the color of the year: orchid

In March Sephorwill release radiant orchid lipstick/beauty collecti(left) which gets it hue cue from Pantone Color Institute's 'color year' (right).

In March, Sephora will release a radiant orchid lipstick/beauty collection (left), which gets it hue cue from the Pantone Color Institute's "color of the year" (right). | HANDOUT PHOTO

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Updated: April 14, 2014 4:50PM



Winter is no excuse to skip out on enveloping yourself with the Pantone Color Institute’s exuberant color of the year: radiant orchid. The purplish-pinkish hue isn’t just for Miami. In fact, the colorists responsible for highlighting the hue say that its been bubbling up in textiles and graffiti in cities across the globe.

(By the way, they didn’t invent the color, they just noticed that it’s on the rise.)

And though brick bungalows aren’t likely to be painted radiant orchid, it is a lively accent color for throw pillows, a tie or a scarf.

“A lot of people have bought the grays and the blacks and neutrals largely because of the economy and wanting to play it safe,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, the group that crowned radiant orchid. “Now? They want to pep it up a little bit. It’s a very complex color. Not only is it a color that speaks to innovation and has a magical quality to it, it also looks good when you put it on.”

The outcome of Eiseman’s scientific color work eventually will be apparent in Marshalls, Home Goods and Crate & Barrel stores. For the moment, Crate & Barrel isn’t requiring artists to use the color in their textile goods. But it’s early.

“The most you’ll see it in Chicago is in a lipstick or some orchid jacket,” says Laura Foster Nicholson, a textile artist and colorist whose art is part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also designs for Crate & Barrel. “I have to pay attention to trends and what trends [Crate & Barrel execs] recognize. I also design fabric, and [colors are] a couple years behind, as with interiors.”

Lipstick is already in the works. Sephora and Pantone will release their radiant orchid “beauty collection” this March.

In the world of color, Nicholson says, there’s a hierarchy of who “gets it” first: “Fashion is first, then fine art or street art, craft and then there’s home decorating. Fashion turns it around the fastest. Home dec — you’ve got to keep around for a while.”

Local interior designer Edyta Czajkowska says it’s an exciting change from last year’s color, emerald. “This color in particular has been used a lot in the spring 2014 fashion shows and interiors will follow,” Czajkowska says. “I don’t think it’s going to be everywhere, but I would use it whether it’s upholstering in some pretty velvet on a fabulous chair or on a settee or even a wallpaper that has that color in it and maybe has some patterns.

“It’s very nice.”

Email: agibbs@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adriennewrites



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