2021 Colors Fade to Black and White
“As All My Pictures Fade to Black and White” – apologies to Elton John
Colors in vogue 2021
What started as 21 days has become a year and counting. Sequestered at home or a place of refuge, limited movement, travel abbreviated, personal interactions interrupted, the brilliant blues of design in the beginning of 2020 have dissolved to blacks and whites and taupe greys with only few real color accents for relief.
Fashion and design have always been an accurate reflection of the times – the whole field of art history lives on this single precept. Museums chronicle this reflection of our past. Today we see the world reflected in blacks and neutrals with only very soft tones for relief and accent. This palette is surprisingly uniform from various sources. Pantone, long an arbiter of coming trends, tells us the color of the year is “Ultimate Grey” with illuminated accents of yellows or greens. The Wall Street Journal from February 12 Arts Section on the design outlook enters Black as the dominate color element with accents provide by “ gentle shades of rose grey, blue grey, and beige.” Behr paints calls out Canyon Dusk as the color of choice, echoing a soft pastel for relief.
While at first the depth of Black as dominant may seem an apt reference to the 2021 state of things, when the severity can be softened by the dusty tones, either warm or cool, a lasting elegance can emerge. As the times will certainly change from today’s angst and uncertainty, careful balance in both color and form can provide a rich and lasting classic environment. The ambiance of formality touched by softness will remain hi style long after the pandemic is gone.