Color story: Ready to tango?

January 3rd, 2012

Adrienne Vittadini combines Tangerine Tango and Bellflower in two Spring 2012 ensembles.

By now, shoppers who looked beyond the sales racks may have figured out Spring 2012 is all about bold, bright color. How bright? How about neons and fluorescent brights, for starters? Then, last month, color experts at Pantone proclaimed Tangerine Tango, “a spirited reddish orange,” as the color of the year.

Tangerine Tango radiates warmth and cheer and is intended to serve as a recharger and refresher of positive energy after a fretful 2011.

The intense orange orange will likely scare a lot of people, but it’s one of my three favorite colors so something I already have in my closet, along with a lot of green, and in the fall, purple.

One day I was wearing green shoes and one of my co-workers said, “You must have a lot of shoes if you’re wearing green.”

No, I don’t have a lot of shoes because my Cinderella feet are too small for any meaningful relationship with footwear. That’s the reason you’ll find me in black rubber slippers most days. But his thought was that most people would only add green after stocking the basics in such neutral colors as black, navy, cream nude and white.

Instead, my neutral palette comprises orange, green and purple, something that would have blinded my classmates at Waipahu High School, where those colors—individually or together—would have got me run out of class as an F.O.B. (fresh off the boat) outcast. In those days I had to wear blue and brown, though those colors do nothing for me. Talk about the downside of peer pressure.

Nadine Kam photo
A trio of my orange purses, along with new additions of Chanel Spring 2012 Rouge Coco Shine “Flirt” and Benefit Cosmetics “Saucy” Full Finish lipstick.

Even though I’m not afraid of color, I imagine many are. One easy way to introduce color to your life is with a new shade of nail polish, or even subtler, a new lipstick or lipgloss.

Over the holidays, I added two great orange-y hues of lipstick to my makeup wardrobe. They are Chanel Rouge Coco Shine “Flirt,” which looks like a sheer pretty, peachy pink when it’s worn, and Benefit Cosmetics Full Finish Lipstick in the color “Saucy.” Saucy is the stronger color, with a golden tangerine shimmer, which brings out the warmth in a yellow complexion.

Beginning in March, Sephora + Pantone Universe will launch its first “Color of the Year” collaboration. The limited-edition collection will features eye shadows, lipsticks, lip glosses, nail polishes and accessories, to get people thinking about their relationship with color.

In the meantime, while you’re shopping the last of the fall season’s sales, be on the lookout for color that will carry you into summer.

Here are the other top colors of 2012:

Bellflower: An ornamental purple.
Cabaret: A sensual, intense rosy red.
Solar Power: A sunny, radiant yellow.
Sodalite Blue: A classic maritime hue, bringing order and calmness to mind.
Cockatoo: A tactile blue-green.
Margarita: A piquant yellow-green to lifts spirits with its stimulating glow.|
Sweet Lilac: A pinkish lilac evocative of romance and a garden in bloom.
Driftwood: A blend of beige and gray with a slightly weathered feel.
Starfish: A beige-y summer neutral, complementing all of this season’s top colors.

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