A Midsummer Marsala Dream

The Pantone colour of the year is a big deal in the world of fashion, beauty and design. I’ve always been passionate about colour, the use of it and how it has evolved and is applied across the spectrum from fashion to food and furnishing. Each year Pantone gathers a colour committee that meets in secret twice over the course of the 12 months. The colourists pitch palette concepts, debate colour-related trends gathered from experts around the world – and ultimately pick which hue will be the new black. These meetings are often of a high-concept show-and-tell  nature with a cultural anthropology feel. The colour selected for the year not only hugely impacts industries across the world but powers a new rush of consumerism throughout the year. The capitalist world we live in thrives on these marketing tools. The human rights activitist, and tree hugger gypsy in me squirms uncomfortably at a lot of this, but from an artistic and style point of view, I am always excited to find out what the annual hue is.

The authorities at Pantone have spoken once again. ‘Marsala’, a gorgeous terracotta red shade, has been named the official color of the year 2015 by the biggest experts in this field. Colourists is what you can call them.

“This earthy red has wine and a very warm brown underneath, which gives the feeling of groundedness, strength, and confidence,” says Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute. “It has a richness that lends sophistication. When you wear it’s it is a self-fulfilling prophecy—you’ll find you get positive reactions form others and it builds up your confidence.” Eisman explains that we’ve seen glimpses of marsala in the late ‘60s into the ‘70s and a touch in the ‘80s, but it’s a very modern hue that totally suits the times.

So just how is the color chosen? “We have a committee at Pantone and we’re all very well traveled, and we’re all invested in color and looking for clues that engage us,” says Eisman. “If we’re seeing color in high fashion that’s where envelope is pushed first— before it goes more mass market.” Eisman says Pantone also looks to current films in production for settings and wardrobe, the art world, popular travel destinations for indigenous hues, and sporting events for team colors when calculating the next “it” shade.

With nude makeup all the rage on the runway and the red carpet, Marsala is like a new neutral for all skin tones. “Marsala is a color that I would not say to just use in touches or accents—it’s strong enough to stand on its own,” says Eisman. Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. As a color expert, Eisman suggests pairing the shade with teal and aqua across the color wheel. Eisman goes on to say ‘this hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors’.

I personally love this colour. It suits my yellow toned skin, but most of wall is warm, earthy and rich. From a fashion perspective, it’s great through the day into the evening and in interiors, teamed with metallic’s can be quite decadent, and with warm greens and whites, quite fresh and earthy. As an artist, I am inspired and will certainly be incorporating Marsala in some of my creative projects this year.

© 2015  Shroomantics ~ Rahima Begum



About shroomantics

Artist, Activist, Maker, Thinker, Creator, Shaker, Nature Lover :) Join my creative journey at shroomantics.wordpress.com


  1. Loving Marsala, especially on my lips and tips =D xx

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