Last month, the Pantone Colour Institute continued its tradition of selecting its Colour of the Year, combing through cultural influences to discern a single colour that captures the zeitgeist of the year. Taking the crown from last year’s Living Coral is calming, confident Classic Blue as the colour of the year for 2020. As we cross the threshold into a new year and new decade faced with social and political uncertainty, Classic Blue offers a sense of ease and stability. For the Spring/Summer 2020 season, myriad runway shows paid homage to the bold hue, the abundance of the boundless blue shade on the catwalks symbolising the industry’s reinforced desire for stability, creativity and possibility. Timeless, trans-seasonal and gender-neutral, slip into a sartorial manifestation of calmness, confidence and connection, taking inspiration from the runways and streets where shades of sapphire abounded.
In New York, Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga sent the royal shade down the 2020 runway in the form of gigantic velvet ballgowns and oversized puffer jackets, enforcing a political message of unity against a backdrop of wall-to-wall azure. At The Row, the warm cobalt shade made for an unexpected addition the collection of minimal neutrals and earthy tones, while Eckhaus Latta’s foray into the tranquil hue took shape in a mermaid-sequined maxi-dress. In London, Simone Richa weaved blue floral embroidery into whimsical renaissance-worthy lace dresses, and Richard Quinn injected romantic blue florals into a black fishtail gown. Gucci unveiled a plunging, navel-baring maxi-dress at the brand’s headquarters in Milan, while the calming hue was infused into the collection at Marni in the form of leather dresses and asymmetrical knitwear.
For something a little more wearable, fleets of blue ensembles populated the streets from New York to Paris, from puff-sleeved oversized tier dresses paired effortlessly with classic white trainers to head-to-toe blue boilersuits. If all-over blue isn’t quite your thing, a vibrant blue oversized handbag makes the perfect – and practical - accoutrement for an energetic dose of colour. The fresh combination of white and blue makes for a harmonious pairing - add a royal blue trench to an icy white two-piece, or top off an all-blue ensemble with crisp white accessories. Or, take a shot at tonal dressing and pair your favourite light-wash jeans with an ocean blue teddy coat for a layer of winter warmth. However, you choose to wear it, make a statement by adding Classic Blue to your 2020 wardrobe colour palette.
Words by Ruby McAuliffe
Graphics by Araceli Alonso