The Future is “Ultra Violet”

Those trend spotting and self-proclaimed color authorities at Pantone Inc. have declared the color of 2018 to be “Ultra Violet” (Pantone 18-3838 ultra violet). A color that can best be described as cosmic, a deep purple hue or a highlighter-purple shade, which was chosen after much analysis last year of color signals in food, cosmetics and clothes. This just might be the color to make everything better. 

The color wheel of fashion has been spun so expect to see lots of Ultra Violet color influences trending next season. Gucci (Spring 2018) and the Balenciaga Men’s show (Spring 2018) have already incorporated this color into their collections.

Ultra Violet is much more than a color. The French born-artist and actress and Andy Warhol superstar Isabelle Collin Dufresne known as Ultra Violet who died in 2014 was a beauty amongst many of the superstars at Warhol’s studio the Factory.

Prince exemplified the purple hues of Ultra Violet in his music and his fashion throughout his career and he was known to surround himself with purple when he was writing music. In 2017, the Prince estate and Pantone Inc. honored him with a shade of purple called Love Symbol #2 – the color was inspired by his signature purple Yamaha piano. In 1993, Prince changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol, which was eventually copyrighted to “Love Symbol #2”. Prince changed his name back in 2000.

It was a choice of color for David Bowie who wore a Prince-like purple tuxedo while performing at the Hammersmith Apollo in London in 2002. It was also a color that was prominent during his glam rock period and his look then gave him an edge over other purveyors of glam rock during that time. Of course David Bowie managed to do many things effortlessly during his life.

David Bowie in 2002
David Bowie performing at the Hammersmith Apollo in London in 2002.

The architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the creator of buildings both flawed and brilliant was fond of deep purple hues. It was apparently his “creativity” color and along with capes of this color and broad-brimmed pork pie hats and canes, became his customary dress. These were colors used by artists such as Gustav Klimt, adorned in his piece ‘Bauerngarten’ a 1907 landscape, an exhilarating garden painting.

I am certain we will be seeing a lot of Ultra Violet influenced colors in 2018 – but will we be singing it’s praises? I don’t think anybody will be singing “La Vie en Ultra Violet” just yet.

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