2019’s hue: Living coral

Brace up to welcome the 2019 colour of the year, living coral.

If you have been fascinated by the warm hue of underwater coral reefs but were never confident of pulling off the colour in reality, we have news for you.
Pantone Color Institute recently announced ‘Living Coral’ as the 2019 colour of the year. Which means that the versatile shade of orange with a golden undertone is all set to become a wardrobe and decor staple.


Pria Kataaria Puri

Like every year, Pantone has chosen its colour keeping in mind not just fashion and interior design but also an environmental problem that the world is facing at the moment - depletion of coral reefs due to global warming. 

Mumbai-based designer Pria Kataaria Puri says, “This colour is inspired from living coral reefs and it ranges from (in layman terms) peach and orange to coral reefs and red coral stone. Living coral itself has about three to four tones ranging from a pastel to a bright or vintage tone. However, it is not a neon shade.”

Pria says that the colour will look good on any fabric, whether it’s woven cotton, silk or chiffon.

“If we turn the pages of history, this colour was extremely popular in the 1960s. In fact, my mother’s wedding sari was of the same colour. It is very easy-to-wear and goes well with every skin tone. Having said that, if one is choosing a bright tone of this colour, they need to be careful not to go overboard,” she points out. 

Living coral is a universal colour and unlike 2018’s colour of the year, Ultra Violet, that never took off, Pria believes that coral is here to stay and is definitely going to be popular.

“As a matter of fact, Indian women are already donning this a lot. It has been in our culture for ages. For example, a version of this hue has been used in natural dyes in Rajasthan since long. Many Indian designers have already been using this shade even before Pantone came up with it,” she observes. 

Because of the bright nature of this colour, Pria feels that it is primarily going to be popular with women and men might find it difficult to pull this off. However, they can go bold and experiment with it in accessories like a tie or a pocket square.

Ketan Pishe, partner, P N Rao, says, “Men can stay in trend by wear a grey suit and white shirt and accessorise this with a coral tie and a pocket square. While women accept a colour as it is, for men, the math is a little different. We can expect this colour in terms of prints, checks or stripes on a garment, for example. However, there are also some who accept a trend in its entirety. Some will go all out with a coral colour suit but others might shy away from a pop-up colour like this.” 

He is hopeful that since men are now experimenting with contrasting colours, living coral might do well for men too.

“A colour is a matter of acceptance to a person’s mind. Converting a colour to convince a person is important. Darker shades of coral will be used in menswear largely in jackets or Nehru jacket and it will look spectacular,” he says.  

Talking about the hue as an ideal wedding outfit colour, Kamal Raj Manickath, Bengaluru-based designer says, “Today, many brides are experimenting with different colours, apart from the usual red or maroon, for their wedding attire. Coral is one of them. As a designer, we can also experiment with different colours or variation of the same shade, ditching the conventional hues. Living coral is definitely going to make a great colour for a bridesmaid’s outfit.”  

Use living coral colour here

- In interior designing

- In makeup products like lipstick and nail polish

- In accessories like ties, pocket squares and heels

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2019’s hue: Living coral

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