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Magenta - its Pantone Colour of the Year 2023

by Nina Butler 22 Feb 2023 0 Comments

So that’s why there was always that colour crayon in a pack that I didn’t know what to do with when I was little! …..

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that there is a new colour on the block popping up amongst many retailers for Spring/Summer collections and its one that many people would usually consider as more of a Winter based colour!

Each year the “Experts” at Pantone come up with a colour of the year and their choice for 2023 is Magenta. 

We don’t know about you but when we were little, whenever we got a pack of Crayola crayons, there was always a magenta one that never got used as It wasn’t a colour you tended to see very often and we didn’t know how to use it!

Magenta is a key colour that gets overlooked!  As a colour that combines passion, power and the energy of red with more contemplation and peacefulness of violet, it exudes empathy, kindness and co-operation, mixed with joy, contentment and gratitude.  Some say they feel more hopeful but those red undertones can bring frustration!

Magenta is a vibrant bright colour that is often seen as a mix of pink and purple and can sometimes be referred to as fuschia (despite the variation in shades which was named after a French Chemist who invented and patented a dye called Fuchsine in 1859).  In colour symbolism it is the colour of the free spirit and is a little bit “rebel” (just think how often its been worn by Vivienne Westwood), linking ambition, goals, money and celebrity status in some cases.

Magenta features in art – Gauguin and Matisse used it in 1890, 1930’s modernism and 1960’s pop art (hence why it pops up in that box of crayons!).

If you look at a colour wheel magenta is a secondary colour that sits between the primary colours of red and blue - a key colour that we use at home in our day to day lives in our printers (those ink cartridges yellow, cyan, magenta and black create all other colours that pop out when we print). 

“Pub Quiz” fact … Did you know that in the cockpit of a plane, the path that the pilot or plane should take to reach its destination is typically magenta?

Magenta is a striking colour that makes a bold statement which can be overbearing for some if not worn correctly based on skin tones and colours that suit best.   It is a colour that can feel quite bright and optimistic but can also be overwhelming and too stimulating. 

“The Science bit” ….. Every range of colour is associated with certain underlying theories and colour science that make it equally unique and distinctive.  Undertones and how light reflective the fabric used with the colour can make a huge difference (remember those Facebook arguments a while back about whether you saw a dress as blue, white or brown?). Depending on how much blue or red has been used affects how the magenta shade you are looking at comes across (i.e. more pinky, purpley or reddish).

If your colour palette is more wintery and purple colours suit you then you would certainly be able to make a statement and wear head to toe magenta no problem but if you suit warmer bright colours then its best to avoid colour blocking as this would be too much so stick to wearing accents of colour where it features either in a print that contains other colours that suit you better or restrict the magenta to your accessories. 

One great tip is to hold the colour to your face before you put any make up on and ask yourself if the colour brings your complexion to life or if it makes you look drained?   We also suggest you try on your magenta outfit and turn your back to a mirror – when you turn round to face the mirror ask yourself what do you see first?  Is it the colour wearing you – or do you see yourself wearing the colour as this will guide you as to whether the colour suits you and whether to go full on or just use in smaller doses.

Another important thing to consider before wearing magenta is to take a look in your make-up bag!  If you normally wear peachy/blush/nude shades on your cheeks/lips then wearing magenta in your outfit can give the impression that something is “wrong”.  Magenta is striking so you may need to invest in a similar lipstick shade with a pinky base to it.  If you usually steer away from bright lipsticks and they are not “you” then you can add a paler shade on top to tone it down but keep more of a complimenting shade to your lips and cheeks to tone in better with the magenta in your outfit.

Magenta shades can be used alongside other “jewel” tones like teal and dark purples but again can look quite wintery – for a warmer look mix the colour with brighter lighter greens which are those found on the opposite side to magenta on a colour wheel.

For a full on summery look wear with super crisp bright whites, vibrant greens, golden shades and it looks fab with tones of blue and pale greys too!

Magenta can come in varying shades so find a good option for you that will keep you on trend.  It is is a colour known for stunning displays in nature - think of orchids, hummingbirds, fuschia plants … which is actually how the colour magenta came about in the first place!!  Generally it is a warm welcoming colour but it does have its flaws so you need to think carefully about how you wear it to best effect in order to wear it well.

Angela x

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