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Clothing Color Trends For Fall 2012

Posted by Jake Saunders on August 15, 2012 12:23:00 PM CDT


Communication is not synonymous with language.  I learned this weekend at the Field Museum that ants communicate through pheromones. They can tell each other a myriad of things by releasing scents. Ants can attract each other, warn each other of danger or even inform each other where food is and how much is there. Likewise, we humans communicate in many ways that are not verbal or text, like color.

Communications using color are often subliminal suggestions meant to communicate mood. So, this Fall, what colors are designers using to communicate to people on the street, on the bus, at work and when we’re out to dinner, how can you use these trends in your decorated apparel and what might these communicate?

This Fall, combining bright saturated colors with black is all the rage. We’re seeing a lot of dense navy and royal blues coupled with black. Check out one of Prabal Gurung’s pieces for his Fall collection:

color trends 1a

This might be a subtle, cerebral and contemplative communication. Consider Picasso’s, La Celestina (above, circa 1904).  With use of color Picasso transforms what might only be seen as portrait of a woman with a strange eye into a brooding, haunting and penetrating experience. If this fits for something you have in mind you might use a royal shirt with a chino black for a nice soft hand or possibly an black Bella’s jersey tee using our Super Opaque Royal (similar to Blue 286c) for the print for that sense of melancholy or sublimity.

We’re also seeing a lot of rusty reds and oranges combined with black. Check out a design from Rag & Bone’s Fall Collection:

color trends 2

This is a very energetic color combination, classically used to induce a sense of violence or high tension. It’s a blunt and forceful color combination. Case in point: Francisco de Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son.  Goya’s use of bright and rusty colors melding into a black puts a massive exclamation point on what is already an alarming and grotesque scene.  Think of using a black garment in conjunction with Orange 152c or Red 1797c or that immediate striking effect.

In my estimation, Fall 2012’s trendy colors are quite reflective of our moody times, and rightly so. We’ve been in and out of global recession for about half a decade after all.



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Jake Saunders

Written by Jake Saunders