A Bold Colour to Start the Year

Pantone’s Colour of the Year is a cheery Mimosa that speaks of hope and enlightenment, and has won favour with designers, fashionistas and Michelle Obama.

Issue: Mar 2009


With the current economic gloom, it might be a little much to expect Pantone's announcement of its Colour of the Year to lift us out of the economic mire, but it's nice to know that at least one company is facing the doldrums with an upbeat, sunny outlook. The Colour of the Year tradition is a relatively new one that started in 2005 after the positive response to naming a Colour of the Millennium - Cerulean Blue. This year's choice is a brilliant orange-yellow hue, named after the fragrant blossoms of the mimosa tree. Not surprisingly, the colour is a byword for cheer and happiness, a spring colour with all the promise that the season brings.

Mimosa is an unexpectedly bright, energetic and fun choice for 2009, and 'energise', seems to be the watchword behind Pantone's choice of colour. "The colour exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance. Mimosa also speaks of enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

The colour found its true home in the mimosa cocktail, one of a select few alcoholic drinks that are socially acceptable to imbibe in the morning. Made with three parts champagne or sparkling wine, and topped up with orange juice, its cheerful hue is the perfect antidote for gloomy days.

The introduction of Mimosa has sparked off a trend of cheery orange-yellow hues that has found itself creatively applied everywhere. This call to optimism echoes the world's enthusiasm with the incoming US administration, a mood that was expressed eloquently by First Lady Michelle Obama during her husband's swearing-in, dressed elegantly in a statement sheath dress by Cuban-born US designer Isobel Toledo.

A look that exudes promise, hope and humour, it is no surprise that designers, from Obama's favoured J Crew, to Tommy Hilfiger and upmarket brands like Ossie Clark are now falling over themselves to get mimosa-inspired lines on the racks for their Spring / Summer 09 collections. If going all out in a bright-hued outfit seems daunting, accessories such as scarves, jewellery or even shoes in that hue can do wonders in bringing out the highlights of an outfit. For men, accents are better, for example, a tie in that tone is a safer bet than a shirt, and enough to portray an image of energy, confidence and boldness.

Interiors can also benefit from the restorative properties of the colour, and when inviting guests into your home, the colour can do much to put them at ease. Painting your entranceway in mimosa will provide an informal, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The bold may wish to use it as a colour base for the bedroom or living room, and it is sure to be an uplifting and cheerful choice. Allen Chia, Project Design Manager of Edgeline Planners says mimosa is especially good for kids' rooms, play rooms and entertainment rooms. "The use of a bright wall colour or wallpaper can help brighten moods after a long hard day at work," he says.

Picket & Rail's Head of Marketing, Shah, says that the colour can also be introduced into the homes via accessories such as bedside table lamps, mirror frames, vases, and potpourri holders. Items like crockery and vases can be had in that hue to instantly brighten any entertainment setting.

"Mimosa is a fashion trend," he warns. That is why it may be wiser to err on the side of caution. Rather than giving over a whole room to the colour, soft furnishings in mimosa - cushions, even curtains - will help turn your living space into a bright, airy space. "Consumers' tastes change all the time, and the only evergreen colours are black and white."

Mimosa is certainly a statement colour, and that statement is undoubtedly positive and forward-thinking. Whether as a dress, a tie or a fixture in your home, mimosa is a lasting declaration that you are upbeat, ready to beat the recession blues and welcome the change of season with a spring in your step.

Stylish Picks

This month, we visit Bugis Junction to seek out Mimosa-hued gems to add a splash of confidence to your home and wardrobe. From accessories to cutlery, there's certainly no lack of choice to brighten up your life!

TROISINCH-sandals Round-Vase

Clutch Stretch-Bracelet-Ring-and-Earrings

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