This has been a fairly dark year, well epitomized by the muted, almost sinister purple shade Pantone chose for its 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. But for 2019, the color forecasters apparently think we have more to look forward to, since they debuted a significantly more optimistic hue at the opening of Art Basel Miami on Wednesday: “Living Coral.”
“The overriding influence [this year] was the environment,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of Pantone’s color consulting unit, told Quartz. “Top of mind was the arresting beauty we see in nature and the importance of preserving the environment…Think of coral reefs, they provide shelter and sustenance to marine life and here we are watching them disappear.”
The setting for the announcement really couldn’t have been better; after all, is there anywhere coral is more at home than Miami, Florida? (Seriously. The opening credits of Miami Vice are flashing through my head as I type this.) The city is home to the kind of flamingo-saturated, Art Deco nostalgia that makes this hue right at home.
But all geographical connotations aside, the shade also infuses a fresh sense of femininity into the landscape, with a decidedly more assertive tone than the millennial pink that dominated for the past few years. While it can skew kitchy, coral is an unapologetically warm and inviting hue that can be worn by pretty much anyone.
“It’s a reflection of what’s taking place. It’s a color snapshot symbolic of what’s taking place in the culture at a moment in time,” said Pressman, noting the coral colorway of Apple’s new iPhone XR.
Frankly, after reporting on orange-hued eyeshadow as a trend worth trying, we kind of feel like we saw this one coming. And while we may see a surge of coral in next year’s fashions (which was not the case with Ultra Violet), you can instantly see its impact in its beauty—namely, in shades for lips, eyes and nails.
Some of our favorite black-owned brands already have variations of the Living Coral on deck, including Danessa Myricks, Pat McGrath, Beauty Bakerie, Bernadette Thompson, Coloured Raine, and more. Are you brave enough to try it? With the help of a few visual aids below, we hope you will. After all, don’t we all deserve to be “living” in a brighter 2019?
As Pressman noted, ”We’re looking for colors that embrace us with warmth and reassurance in our continually shifting environment.”