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the color of money

isPantone, the renowned color-matching experts for the printing industry as well as fashion, this week announced their Color of the Year 2013 — emerald. I have nothing against emerald. In fact, B. bought me a small emerald band for our 10th anniversary because he said the color reminded him of my eyes (could you just love this guy, or what?), so I’m quite fond of the color. Of the gem. In the ring. Emerald isn’t a color I’d necessarily wear or choose for shoes, a bag, a wall, or towels. My point is that just because Pantone decided it’s the color of the year, does it have to be the color of my year?

Like anything else in the fashion and beauty industry (and believe me, I know beauty — I named nail polish colors for 10 years), who decides which color should be what and when, seems arbitrary and open to the whims of those whose who pull designers’ strings. As the Devil who wore Prada, fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) icily explained to her unfashionable assistant Andrea (Anne Hathaway) that it was the people in the upper echelons of fashion, led by her, who had decided years ago on the exact shade of cerulean blue that had then trickled down to the masses (gasp!) and made it to the very (cheap) sweater than Andrea herself was wearing. Nice.

Do I notice a color more when it’s anointed the color of a particular season? Sure. Do I like it more? No. As a former New Yorker whose closet remains filled with noir (I’ll take black for $200 please, Alex), I prefer bright color in small doses in my wardrobe. But if you want my color of any year, just open the big box of Crayolas. Pull out Purple Mountains’ Majesty and Carnation Pink and Robin’s Egg Blue and …

© 2012 Claudia Grossman

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