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SS 2021: Runway Top Colors

Colors are a key tool during times of crisis. Their ability to appeal to human emotion can influence perceptions and cause certain behaviors. Colors of garments are especially important, because they surround us throughout the day and enable us to convey messages about our attitudes and sentiments. This understanding of color-psychology was omnipresent in designers’ use of color-palettes on the SS21 runways: Creatives used colors as a language to transfer their optimistic or overwhelmed feelings towards the zeitgeist. 

The strong escapist motif of the season was played out in bold and travel inspired colors. Compared to the last summer season, saturated brights are updating pastels. We can see mood-boosting and vibrant colors bringing a sense of joy and indulgence for next summer. This strong increase can be related to motifs of hope and positivity towards life and the life after Corona, and consumers’ spirit of enthusiasm and optimism.

Another big color narrative for SS21 is a dive into more neutral and earthy tones, meaning browns and beiges. The calming abilities of those natural color hues are reassuring and creating a sense of meaningfulness and simplicity during those uncertain times. Un-dyed and unprocessed color nuances are feeding into the need to reconnect with nature.

This more season-less feel of these subtle and grounding palettes is reinforced by a rise in Greys, Blacks and Whites as well.  Those familiar colors come with a need for timeless, valuable and reassuring pieces. With data monitoring a Tailoring Trend on the runways those tones are bringing a minimal and elegant feel and reflecting on the functional focus we put onto our garments.

For SS21 colors are combined in innovative ways. We saw some refreshing bold-color and beige combinations in Louis Vuitton or Victoria Beckham and some color-blocking at Versace and Balmain.

However, monochromatic looks have been leading the way at brand’s like Acne Studio, Sportsmax or Isabel Marant. This monochromatism appeals to the idea of matching sets, as well as to a more simplified and simple aesthetic.

Which colors are leading the way in a pandemic?

We can experience a cautious market, that is driven by uncertainty. The need for novelty in terms of color stories has to stay within the familiar. The two main color stories are rooted in nature or exploring a more unnatural edge. However, both will need to be adaptable for online and physical purposes. Entering a new phase of lockdown, we can take a look at how the first quarantine has impacted fashion creatives color choices and how we can expect colors to develop for SS21. 

Sky Blue

418
+56%

VS SS20

Brown

198
+55%

VS SS20

White

1900
+50%

VS SS20

Black

2098
+49%

VS SS20

Red

389
+28%

VS SS20

Grey

486
+25%

VS SS20

Yellow

361
+23%

VS SS20

Orange

316
+20%

VS SS20

Lilac

93
+15%

VS SS20

Beige

522
+2%

VS SS20

Fashion Week data on top colors

According to Livetrend’s data, these are the top color trends from the Spring Sumer 21 runways. The trends are organized in number of outfits, represented by the number on the left. If you want to analyze them by index of growth versus SS20, refer to the number on the right. In the middle the graphic represent the evolution of the trend over the last three seasons.
Considering the largest numbers of outfits, White was represented in a total of 1900 looks, indicating the spirit of a new beginning after Coronavirus and referencing the clinical universe we are facing during the health crisis. The strive for natural colours, inspired by nature, is shown by a strong increase in Brown with 55% and Beige with 2%. Solid neutrals like Black, but especially Grey, also experienced increased representation on the catwalk compared to last year. Grey was represented in a total of 486 looks, 25% more compared to SS20. This spike is linked to a more cautious market and its demand for a more minimal aesthetic within reliable and comforting colours.

Looking at the mood-enhancing and bright colours, which have been featured during the summer shows, data has extracted Orange as the trendiest bold colours for the season. This joyful expression of bolds can be found in over 900 looks. It is also worth mentioning the return of fluo thanks to Balmain and its neon pieces, in acid and fuchsia tones.
Despite these strong and enthusiastic tones, pastel shades still continue to stay on the radar. Livetrend’s technology has extracted Sky Blue as the trendiest and safe bet for SS21, experiencing an astonishing 56 % increase in runway looks. Meanwhile Lilac stays on the top pastel colors, for edgy brands.