Pantone Color of the Year 2021

Here it is: the PANTONE Color of the Year 2021 and great news is that we are getting two as in 2016. The global color authority announced PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, two independent colors that come together to create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.

As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.

«The selection of two independent colors highlight how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting, conveying the idea that it’s not about one color or one person, it’s about more than one. The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude,» said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. «Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted, this is essential to the human spirit

Usage
A marriage of strength and optimism, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating do not have to be used in equal proportions, either color can take precedence whether for apparel, beauty, home furnishings, product design or packaging.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Apparel and Fashion Accessories
Illuminating punctuated by a touch of Ultimate Gray conveys a message of sunshine and strength. Enduring Ultimate Gray provides a great bouncing off point with Illuminating bringing in some brightness by way of a scarf, footwear, handbag, shawl, tops. With its energetic presence the marriage of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are a great combination for activewear. The high visibility contrast of Illuminating and Ultimate Gray adds to its appeal for outerwear.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Beauty
A mix of warm and cool tones, combining Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in hair or nail makes a dramatic statement. Illuminating sparkles and shimmers when paired with Ultimate Gray in eye make-up.

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating in Home Decor
Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are a great combination to set the mood in any room in the home adding a dose of sunshine and positivity. Juxtaposing Illuminating with Ultimate Gray in table linens, sheeting and home accessories including pillows and tabletop infuses vitality and liveliness. Painting a front door in bright yellow Illuminating conveys a warm and welcoming message when supported by solid and dependable Ultimate Gray in the exterior finishes. The ideal combination for any office whether in the home or in a commercial space with Ultimate Gray providing the firm foundation for Illuminating, a vibrant yellow that heightens awareness and enhances intuition, lighting the way to the intellectual curiosity, originality, and resourcefulness of an open mind.

Personally speaking I love this combination and wore it already today as I cannot wait for 2020 to be over. Let’s hope for an amazing 2021 without masks…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht and © Pantone

A New Day at Prada in Milano

Last week, I spend a beautiful day with Prada in Milano during fashion week. The Italian fashion house treated me to many exciting moments. It was definitely the most anticipated show for S/S 2021. Miuccia Prada has teamed up with Raf Simons. Two exceptional talents working together to debut their first collection together meant for me, I was taking part in fashion history.

The show took place virtually in a yellow (one of Raf’s favorite colors) curtained backdrop one day before at the Fondazione Prada. TV screens were hanging from above, filming the whole thing and presenting the names of each model, all of whom had never walked a fashion show before. Everything new at Prada. Or probably not. After the show, Miuccia and Raf sat down to answer questions that fans submitted beforehand. Raf talked about the «Prada-ness», which is for him «a community that has a very specific attitude, intellect, aesthetic. You can’t really answer what it is, but it is, it exists, it’s present, it’s clearly there

Asked about the idea of newness in fashion, Raf Simons stated: «When you work for a long time in the industry, it is important that you are able to refresh your own body of work. I personally feel that the pure definition of new is something we have never seen before.» Miuccia jumped in: «It is nearly impossible. Our presence is done with our past. New, new, new means an incredible revolution, for instant the mini skirt when there was the women’s liberation. You just don’t wake up in the morning and design, you need to do something that makes sense and it comes from society. You have to react to reality and what is happening.»

My favorite 10 looks from the Prada S/S 2021 runway

When I watched the show in the live stream, I was not immediately blown away. Personally speaking, being a huge Prada fan since almost 30 years, many collections had to grown on me. Once you explore the details, the meaning, the hidden intellect, you have to fall in love. I loved this season’s idea to fully explore the collection with time in a private atmosphere in the show space itself. The music from the presentation was playing in the background and transformed me immediately in what I had seen the day before. 40 looks, building the new Prada uniform.

The new Prada S/S 2021 uniform: swinging skirts and hoodies in jersey

«The thing I have talked most about with Miuccia through all these months was uniforms. Not uniforms how as how we literally perceive them—not an army uniform, police uniform—but true metaphorical onesRaf stated after the show.
Miuccia, who has always been famous for her «Prada uniform», went on: «I think what we want to say about uniforms is that it’s interesting if you know that you can find something from which you know that you feel good in and you know that you express what you want to express without it being too much of a very specific fashion item in whatever moment in time. A uniform needs to also express something that is more timeless.»

Amazing details: Prada S/S 2021

For their collaboration, both designers referenced their past through the eyes of the other. «How Miuccia dresses is very often a kind of uniform one way or another, and that was direct inspiration for me for the show,» Simons said in the interview.

However, the show began with this sort of new Prada uniform, very inspired by Simons’ style. Long, narrow, ’90s-style pants combined with sleeveless tunics. All were combined with capes that were held by the models, a gesture that is reminiscent of Miuccia. Speaking of newness, the capes, or «clutch coats» as you may call them, felt so new, so modern to me, especially the way they were structured. I could picture myself wearing them for a night at the opera or throwing them over a bikini at the pool. Absolutely fabulous! Most importantly, the collaborators both love statement outerwear, and the oversized coats will surely be among the bestsellers.

The «ugly prints» of Prada’s era-defining S/S 1996 show appeared on hoodies and matching full skirts. This is definitely for me the new uniform, inspired by the current pandemic. When we want to be comfortable and stylish at once.

As Simons and Prada are both art lovers, they teamed up with Peter Potter to create artwork for the show.

The famous triangle logo appeared supersized, made from petal-folded fabric and imprinted with the logo. So breathtaking when you see it from close.


The pointy-toed slingback kitten heels in a contrasting color are back. Honestly, nobody does colour combinations better than Miuccia.

My favorite looks integrated holey turtlenecks that were used as layering pieces throughout so that the holes match each other. Combined with the swinging ’50s-style skirts, it will be my new Prada uniform.

The bags come with the new logo and are extremely light, nylon backpacks were presented as well. The mini-logo triangle earrings will also surely be spotted among influencers around the globe.

New era, new faces, new Prada. I was raving about the collection during lunch with Ignazio Gomez and Marco Pruneri at Torre restaurant inside the Fondazione Prada.

After that, I was driven to the PRADA Store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II the to discover the «100 covers, 100 people, 100 stories» which is part of the September Issue of Vogue Italia. Inside the shop, there is an interactive wall, where you could explore this amazing project in detail. Never done before, the shoot that took place in only 4 days and involved 100 people for 100 covers: from models, actresses and actors, activists, Instagram stars, writers, artists and common people. Each one of them with a story to tell was photographed in a look from Prada’s F/W 2020 collection.

After that, we went to Pasticceria Marchesi next door, which is one of the oldest and most famous pastry shops in Milan, and that belongs to the Prada Group. In keeping with its history and tradition, the interior design is divine and already worth the visit, not to speak of all those yummy treats you can indulge in.

A beautiful day, exploring the new Prada, that I will always remember! Thank you!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Prada and © Sandra Bauknecht