Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement is often met with both curiosity and derision — in part because so many of the color choices seem so, well, basic: Classic Blue in 2020, Ultra Violet (purple) in 2018, Emerald (green) in 2013, all from their existing inventory of hues.
This year, however, for the first time in 23 years, the design world’s color experts have created a brand-new color to suit a world in transition: Very Peri, a warm shade of periwinkle blue with a violet red undertone.
As with previous years, the Color of the Year was chosen based on more than just design trends. “It expresses the mood of consumers and captures the collective mood of the world,” explained Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, over Zoom. “But it is also about psychology: the emotion that is tied into it. How do we capture what we are going through right now? It’s a complex color, a dynamic color. That’s what makes the color so interesting. It is an empowering mix.”
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, views the color as a futuristic take on blue. “It’s one of daring curiosity,” she said. “It’s an inquisitive color. It helps us to embrace this altered landscape.”
Both Eiseman and Pressman said the new color expresses what people are feeling right now: curiosity and excitement about an uncertain future. “We know where we were a year ago,” Pressman said. “We are in a much better place now. But it’s still a highly unusual time. We have all been reframing our social and cultural values and rewriting our lives. The past two years accelerated the challenges we have been facing. There is an excitement about looking ahead.”
New this year is an emphasis on digital technology, which has greatly accelerated during the pandemic as gaming and VR have taken off and the metaverse has expanded in popularity. “We are now accustomed to seeing beautiful images in film,” added Pressman. “People are looking at the world with different eyes. People dare themselves to explore. Curiosity is absolutely what is needed during this time.”
I admit there were years when I, too, rolled my eyes at the annual Color of the Year announcement. But in a year where coronavirus variants emerged just as many of us got vaccinated and began venturing out in the world again, it was delightful to encounter a color so warm and hopeful. (I experienced the same nostalgic delight when I spotted Linda McCartney’s blue eye shadow in Peter Jackson’s epic Beatles documentary, “Get Back,” recently). I look forward to seeing the upbeat hue in everything from clothing and makeup to sofas and bicycles in the future. “It hints that there are better days ahead,” Eiseman said. I hope she’s right.
Following the enthusiastic response to our holiday shopping guide to Los Angeles stores — a roundup of stores where you can shop for gifts in person — I went looking for some Very Peri holiday gifts that are available locally in L.A. It wasn’t easy to find the exact same Pantone shade, but I did find some items in stock that are in the same color family and spirit.
Jonathan Adler tic-tac-toe set
Guaranteed to brighten a room while occupying out-of-town guests during the holidays, Jonathan Adler’s modern take on the paper-and-pencil game features turquoise and purple playing pieces on a thick slab of clear acrylic. $183.75. 8125 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, jonathanadler.com
Clare V. color-coated chain necklace
Los Angeles designer Clare V.‘s new jewelry collection includes a 16-inch violet-colored coated chain necklace that is designed to pair with various charms. Necklace, $45. Charms range from $55 to $95. Stores in Silver Lake, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Lido Village. clarev.com
Greenwood Shop taper candles
Classic dripless taper candles are irresistible (if you have kids who like to play with wax, then you know what I’m talking about), especially when you can choose from the rainbow of vibrant colors in stock at Greenwood Shop. Although store owner Jaime Curtis says rust is the current bestseller, look for the periwinkle pair to get a bump in popularity after today’s announcement. $10 for a set of two. 12063 Ventura Place, Studio City, greenwood-shop.com
Heath Ceramics single-stem vase
Glazed in Dusk — a limited-edition glaze from Heath Ceramics’ Winter Seasonal collection — this single-stem bud vase measuring nearly 7 inches high is a lovely accessory alone or adorned with flowers. $116. 7525 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, heathceramics.com
Arbor Collective skateboard
Designed by Polish American professional skateboarder Amelia Brodka, the 8.0 Baba Yaga Deck skateboard features a sustainable maple board with a graphic that pays tribute to the legend of the Slavic witch Baba Yaga. $54.95. 102 Washington Blvd., Venice, arborcollective.com
Kneeland Co. Rarities ikat napkins
Dress up your table with these distinctive hand-loomed ikat double-sided napkins by Gregory Parkinson. Ikat on one side, hand-block print on the other, the napkins are 100% cotton and come in a variety of patterns — perfect for holiday meals. Sold as a set of six. $220. 4767 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, kneelandco.com
Late Sunday Afternoon scarf
Who can resist a gift that is christened the “Snuggle Monster”? Functional, comfortable and stylish, the Late Sunday Afternoon thermal knit scarf is handcrafted in Venice using locally sourced deadstock fabric. $160. 1920 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, latesundayafternoon.com
Midland Big Sur beanie
Keeping your head warm while looking stylish can be challenging, but the unisex Big Sur beanie in Thistle cotton manages to do both. $65. Stores in Silver Lake and Culver City. shop-midland.com
Poketo nontoxic nail polish set
The holidays can be stressful, but Poketo’s Georgia nail polish set offers you an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a manicure at home. You can also relax knowing the vegan product is 10-free, meaning it has no toxic ingredients. $48 for the set or $18 for just Georgia Lilac. Stores at Row DTLA and in Little Tokyo. poketo.com
Staud Eloise cardigan
Everyone loves a cozy cardigan, especially one this colorful. Boxy and cropped, this periwinkle sweater from Los Angeles-based brand Staud has a youthful vibe that rivals its wonderful shade of blue. $315. Available at nordstrom.com.
Vans’ Old Skool unisex sneaker in chalk violet and white is not just delightful for its whimsical color scheme; it also features the iconic side-stripe created by Vans co-founder Paul Van Doren. $49.95. Various stores throughout Los Angeles. vans.com