Purple Reign

Brace Yourself for an Ultra Violet 2018

Pantone has named the deep purple shade its color of the year.

By Abby Ledoux December 7, 2017

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Pantone announced Ultra Violet is the 2018 Color of the Year.

As we prepare to finally exit the car crash that is 2017, so too do we turn our eyes toward the future–and it's a bright one.

The prestigious Pantone Color Institute, a consulting service to forecast and advise on global color trends, has spoken: The 2018 Color of the Year is Ultra Violet.

For close Pantone followers, that's hue No. 18-3838, to be exact. The Institute describes the shade as "dramatically provocative and thoughtful," likening it to the "mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now."

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Color experts have also deemed the shade communicative of originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking–it's no coincidence that a glance at this purple might conjure images of Prince, Bowie and Hendrix. The fact that we lost two of those three cultural icons in less than two years is a testament to just how garbage the world's been lately. Pantone predicts Ultra Violet will "light the way to what is yet to come;" here's to hoping whatever that is in 2018 is a step up.

The good people at the New York Times wondered whether there might be a more apropos pick for the year: Black? Wartime red? Fake-tan orange? Soot gray?

Instead, Ultra Violet pays homage to the non-conforming, boundary-pushing personas of popstars past, and it acknowledges a historically mystical, spiritual quality attached to its vibrance, making reference to purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces used for mindfulness practices, "which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today's over-stimulated world."

In fashion, Ultra Violet enchants; the unmistakeable purple is "a theatrical linkage," Pantone says, and compliments more colors than one might expect. Color experts suggest pairing the shade with greens or grays for natural elegance or with metallics for dazzling luxury. And the jewel tone is a natural fit for accessories–like, well, jewelry–harkening "the complexities of natural gems, textures, and florals," Pantone suggests.

The drama continues when Ultra Violet is used in beauty products. Pantone advises a deep purple matte lip for the bold; meanwhile, "softly blended metallics and shimmers in Ultra Violet transform the eyes into windows to the cosmos." All told, the spell-binding shade is meant to "elevate street styles as a symbol of creative expression."

And in the home, Ultra Violet really shines. (I can attest–the walls of my teenage bedroom were splashed, floor to ceiling, in a rich, moody tone not dissimilar to Ultra Violet and fittingly dubbed Purple Rain.) An Ultra Violet interior can make a grand gesture; conversely, used sparingly as an accent, it can subdue and ground a space in modern elegance.

There are many ways to shop Ultra Violet for nearly every aspect of your life. Stay tuned to Shop Talk for our take on the shade, including how to style it and, better yet, how to gift it to others.

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