Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Color of the Year Thing-again!

The Pantone Company has issued its 2015  'color of the year' decree. Usually bloggers go into rhapsodies about Pantone's choices but this is one post that reserves the right to be, hmmm, rather less than ecstatic. The shade is #18-1438 and is called Marsala. It's a red-brown and Pantone's press release crows, " A naturally robust and earthy wine red, Marsala enriches our minds, bodies, and souls." That's a lot to ask from a paint chip much less wine!

Just what is marsala? It's a fortified (means extra alcohol is added) wine from around the Marsala region of Sicily. It's sweet and strong and often used in cooking.When marasla wine is seen through glass, as in just-poured for your consumption, yes, its color is a rich dark red. But translate that color to my favorite medium--fabric, in particular cotton fabric, and the result, as seen in Pantone's own marketing pictures, can be a flat slightly greyed red-brown. Like liver. Oh dear. But on the positive side, I understand that Marsala is another addition to the Taupe family, that wide-ranging family of greyed shades so loved by Japanese quilters and now gaining popularity everywhere.

The make-up bloggers love Marsala. Of course--it's exactly a popular shade of blush. Trendoids who change their wardrobe might like it. Ever since they've been mining mid-century fashion for inspiration, colors of the wartorn 1940s and the flat 1950s have been revived. Some still live on, as in, greys are here to stay. But this Marsala looks like a slightly darker mother of Ashes of Roses, a strange post-war pink-brown-grey that lived a long life particularly in almost indestructible nylon upholstery.

Who might look good in marsala? See below-
 Brown-eyed blonds have a chance and even chestnut-haired girls. My favorite character from The Big Bang Theory (Kaley Cuoco) wore the darkest version of marsala at a 2013 awards show, But plain old brunettes and gasp! salt-n-pepper hair--not a chance. Marsala does look good as part of an ensemble of neutrals and maybe that's what the fashionistas were after: expanding the neutral palette.

But as a quilter (and that's my main interest since there's nothing Marsala on the rack at my local department store) I think Marsala has already come around. As in, we quilters knew it, it's already available and we've been using it. I do wish Pantone would catch up to the world of patchwork!
 Meet Garnet, color #26, Peppered Cottons from StudioE Fabrics.