Emerald green has been declared the color for 2013

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 9:03 p.m.

Spend some green to get some green.

Pantone has declared emerald green — described as a lively, radiant and lush shade — as the color of 2013.

“Emerald green is a happy color, and one you can be creative with when pairing other colors with it,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in Washington state. She offers color consulting and forecasting through www.colorexpert.com, and has traveled all over the world searching for the next “hot” color.

“I see certain colors gaining momentum and coming into prominence,” Eiseman says. “At Pantone, we also gauge the general mood of what is going on in society, and color can be symbolic and uplifting. And the gemstone colors have an intrinsic meaning. There is harmony associated with emerald, and we are in a world where we are striving for balance.”

Emerald green is a starting point, she says. Look at the color wheel and choose the shade that works best for you, she says.

“It is a more sophisticated color and one where many women might venture a try to wear it — because they see it as a fun and bold hue — and not just keep it as a color in their peripheral vision,” Eiseman says.

This hue fits perfectly in the palette of a “winter” person, says Julie Peterson, of House of Colour Pittsburgh, who does color analysis for clients. One theory of color analysis groups color charts into seasons.

“It's a strong, bold color that is quite vibrant,” Peterson says. “Every season has a good green, whether it is olive or emerald or somewhere in between. Emerald green is a versatile color, and I am glad Pantone made it the color of the year.”

Some people think of wearing green only around Christmas and St. Patrick's Day, she says, but it can be worn year-round. Just avoid pairing it with bright red, because you will look too holiday-ish, she says.

Emerald green is a jewel tone of fall that will carry over into winter, experts say. It works well with other hues and can be used to give an outfit a pop of color, from shoes to handbags to belts.

“It is not always easy to find an emerald green accessory, but I teach clients the harder something is to find, the better it is once you do find it. So make the extra effort to look,” says Peterson, whose website is www.houseofcolour.com. “When I first think of emerald green, I think of a jewel and a very regal color. I think of royalty.”

So does Emmy Award-winning stylist David Zyla, who wrote “Color Your Style.” He says Pantone chooses a color based on how we are feeling at the time or as a prescription for the year going forward.

“Emerald green is more of a classic color, and it has a richness and royal feel to it,” Zyla says. “It is also a color in nature. It has a certain strength and flamboyance.”

From home furnishings, such as rugs and pillows, to fashion clothing and accessories, this color will be most prevalent in the new year, Zyla says.

“You can embrace this trend easily with eyeshadow, which doesn't require a big commitment,” Zyla says. “It is a dramatic color on someone's palette. It is a high-energy color and one that will get noticed when you wear it. It certainly has that ‘wow' factor to it.”

Emerald is an accessible and easy color to integrate into your makeup routine, says Myiesha Sewell of Sephora.

With a balance of red and blue undertones, emerald is universally flattering and is particularly impactful and beautiful around the eyes, she says. When donning emerald clothing, it is important to remember to wear complementary colors in makeup. The easiest way is through lip color; any shade of peach or violet makes emerald pop and enhance the beauty of the shade, Sewell says. You don't want to overwhelm the look with competing bold shades.

“Embrace the beauty of this gemstone shade,” Sewell says. “Experiment with metallic options to really open up your eyes. A great way to punctuate your look with color is to flaunt this color on your nails. It's a fun and less intimidating way to ease into this color trend.”

Suzanne Mauro, a stylist accredited by the Association of Image Consultants International and producer of “Style Everyday with Suz” on PCTV Pittsburgh, loves the new color of the year.

“Color is the greatest luxury of all when it comes to fashion,” she says. “You don't buy color the way you buy black, white or beige. It is a very special day when you buy something colorful.”

Once you embrace color, Mauro says, start mixing hues within the spectrum. Don't be afraid to mix different shades of green. Try a pair of skinny jeans with a neutral sweater and shoe. Green is great to combine with blue but also burgundy red, which may be a great idea for the winter months, Mauro says. Green also works great with teal. Try an all-green dress paired with teal shoes or a teal bag.

“If you do not wish to wear green up close, a jewel-tone clutch or handbag is a great way to add impact to your wardrobe,” Mauro says.

“Much like the natural beauty of the gemstone, the emerald exudes vibrancy and elegance,” says Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl's department stores. “Wearing this rich jewel tone in 2013 is sure to make a statement. Try easy, tailored pieces in emerald, like a classic blazer or sophisticated sheath dress.”

Choosing a color of the year is partly about marketing by Pantone, says Audrey Guskey, marketing professor at Duquesne University, Uptown. It is a way to create interest in buying clothing or redecorating your home, she says. Pantone does a lot of research looking at consumer trends before deciding on a color, she says.

The selection process requires combing the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socioeconomic conditions, Pantone says. Influences might also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, or even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention. There are approximately 10 experts in different areas of color at Pantone involved in the process.

Having studied the psychology of color, Guskey says green has many psychological aspects. It is the color of money. It also is a fresh and natural color.

“It is a bold color and one that can make a statement,” she says. “When you think about emeralds, you think about ‘The Wizard of Oz' and following the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. It is an optimistic and upbeat color, and it certainly was for Dorothy in that movie.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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