Spring Summer 2013 Colour Direction

on 23/10/11

For Spring Summer 2013, The Trend Boutique identifies four main themes for the season and as the initial starting point we present the accompanying colour report that provides an initial overview, moodboards and Pantone references for each direction.

Within each colour report we aim to decode the underlying trends and track the colours as they develop & shift between seasons, clearly identifying the main pivot colours allowing you as a student or graduate to create a variety of harmonies & palettes as we move towards the 'Guides to the Season' and product trend reports across textiles, fashion, architecture, interiors & furniture, footwear & accessories and product & technology. 

In order to put together this 'Colour  Direction' trend report we have mapped the movement from previous seasons whilst also looking ahead referencing key designers, artists, exhibitions & shows and social shifts that are driving the themes forward, we then interpret these into a set of four easy to understand colour ranges. 

For Spring Summer 2013 the main trend themes & colour direction predicted by The Trend Boutique are:
Nouveau Riche
We begin to move away from the dark, more austere tones of recent seasons as we see the gradual emergence of a new luxurious colour palette for Spring Summer 2013. Wealth returns in the form of the emerging economies, a new generation of entrepreneurs, and luxury in general has a new sense of modernity running through it.

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Report
Spring Summer 2013 Colour Report - 'Nouveau Riche' 

Based on all of the traditional luxury codes & materials, these rich reference points are given a modern twist with flashes of bright jewel tones and neon pastels. 

With a return to high-end glamour, this theme has a young, fresh edge with a level of modernity running throughout. A soft colour palette in warm neutral tones, a re-introduction of sumptuous metallics and pops of contrasting brights.

For womenswear this theme has feminine overtones that mix impact & drama with a touch of glamour, for menswear we see an underlying sense of power through regal references. 

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Palettes

'Nouveau Riche' Colour Palette 
Note: Colours will look different according to screen & printer settings - please use Pantone references for exact colour matching.


For this direction we see the 'convergence' of a multitude of disciplines from art, science, agriculture, design, technology and engineering as we remove the boundaries and create a new level of freedom to innovate.

Using the models of the past where the great thinkers & innovators were as interested in creating art as they were in inventing pioneering products that were simply centuries ahead of their time, in a similar way we see the modern coming together of the most creative designers & thinkers.

Spring Summer 2013 Trend Report
Spring Summer 2013 Colour Report - 'Converge' 

A muted, yet sugary pastel palette is given a gloss as we see a melding of the technical with a raw natural tone. This theme takes the soft ethereal elements of 'Remote' from last season and sees the introduction of Spring colours that provide a fresh update in hushed tones.

Combining a delicate soft feathery & gentle earthy tone of the subdued browns with the lustre of the 'bleached' pastels creates an overall fragility & lightness of touch that is both sophisticated & simple at the same time. 

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Trend Report - Converge

'Converge' Colour Palette 
Note: Colours will look different according to screen & printer settings - please use Pantone references for exact colour matching.


From a period of radicalism, unrest and activism we start to see a more positive spin as we begin to 'Repair' the damage done & find more constructive ways to vent our anger. This theme looks at this new wave of optimism & instant counter to the protests, whilst at the same time we begin to name & shame those in business or society who don't live up to our mark. 

Added to this we explore the concept of 'Yin & Yang' and the power of finding the perfect balance in life, so for every negative there is a positive and this is then translated into product & design in general.

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Report - Repair
Spring Summer 2013 Colour Report - 'Repair' 

A blending of the 'Radical' and 'Sharp' colours of last season, this colour palette for Spring Summer 2013 has the perfect balance between really vibrant tones and a more graphical feel.

The blue hues are given a heightened luminosity whilst the graphical tones add an edge, to prevent the palette becoming too harsh the warmer 'Golden Fleece' colour allows for that all important need for equilibrium. 

For increased impact look to use any two colours in tandem, a new sense of harmony & synergy can then be felt through creating harmonies that have a 'Yin & Yang' approach and thereby double the effect.  

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Palette - Repair

'Repair' Colour Palette 
Note: Colours will look different according to screen & printer settings - please use Pantone references for exact colour matching.


Brazil is at the heart of this theme with its forthcoming World Cup and Olympic Games the focus turns to this South American country for its essential reference point of the season.

In addition, what could be better for high Summer than a suitably spirited, sultry and exotic source of inspiration that combines a heady mix of real heat & passion, street & beach lifestyles and an eclectic, and all encompassing heritage & culture creating a perfect backdrop to the Summer.

Spring Summer 2013 Trend Report - Carnival

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Report - 'Carnival' 

A 'riot of colour' is at the heart of the Carnival theme, whether taking inspiration from the streets & beaches of Rio and combining them with metallic foils & high sheen to give a modern twist or alternatively introducing this bright palette to traditional crafts & heritage - it doesn't matter as long as the they have real 'heat' and an ultra-clashing, colour-popping direction.  

Offering colours that are as mouth-watering as their names suggest, this palette builds on our ever-increasing confidence in using colour and ramps it up to a whole new level in terms of both clashing & intensity. 

Not for the feint-hearted, but then why would we want to be when we can embrace such a strikingly, bold colour palette in the heat of the Summer.  

Spring Summer 2013 Colour Palette - Carnival

'Carnival' Colour Palette 
Note: Colours will look different according to screen & printer settings - please use Pantone references for exact colour matching.

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article resources

For further information:



Nouveau Riche 

1. Jewellery by Julie Impens 

2. Jewellery by Harry Hornby 


1. 'Eating Design' (Sugar Crockery) by Marije Vogelzang 

2. 'Xylinum' by Jannis Hülsen


1. Porcelain Mould with Metal Joints 2 by  Beta Tank at the London Design Festival

2. Collection by Wassilissa Bock


1. Porcelain Tiles by Calu Fontes

2. Collection by Christopher Kane 


Julie Impens 

Harry Hornby

Marije Vogelzang

Jannis Hülsen

Beta Tank

Wassilissa Bock

Calu Fontes


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