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Pantone Colour of the Year: Viva Magenta

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Starting the year with a look at magenta, a hue that "vibrates with vim and vigor" according to global colour experts Pantone.

Valentino Runway Fall 2022, Han So-Hee for W Beauty, The Red Room at The Connaught, designed by Bryan Sullivan Studio

Valentino Runway Fall 2022, Han So-Hee for W Beauty, The Red Room at The Connaught, designed by Bryan Sullivan Studio

Goodbye Very Peri, Hello Viva Magenta

Every year, January means three things, what feels like the longest month of the year, terrible weather and Pantone’s Colour of the Year becoming a key point of fascination. This year, we’ve moved on from Very Peri to a decidedly more crimson hue, Viva Magenta. While 2022’s Colour of the Year focused on the virtual realms and futuristic takes on fashion, interiors, and beauty, 2023 is a bolder and more blood-stained expression.

Valentino’s Fall 2022 runway show was a love letter to magenta’s saturated sister, fuchsia. Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli described his vision as “monotone”, a blinding and bold way to focus the viewer’s eyes on to each detail. This excessively simple approach to colour was also emerging in parallel across beauty tutorial streams. As influencers create “cold-girl” looks with bursts of candy pink and gloss-coated berry shades, the appeal of magenta begins to make sense. Pink’s psychological superpowers include inducing calm, offering reassurance, and reducing aggression and anger.

For interior designers, Magenta might feel like an evolution from the pastel blush tones that dominated walls, furniture, and accessories for the last five to seven years. Magenta is a dramatic departure that further cements us into the realm of the maximalists, a nod to braver and bolder design choices. Monochrome’s appeal within design makes sense, a soothing formula can be found in the sea of neutral beige interiors that hang across the virtual hallways of Instagram. It will be interesting to see if 2023 encourages interior design fans and designers alike to seek a more vibrant combination of chromes.

In summary, given the state of the world economy and the cost-of-living crisis that many people face, maybe Viva Magenta is a manifestation for 2023. It offers us the best of both worlds; all the excitement and embellishment of red is available with just the right dose of rose-tinted comfort and softness.

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