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Spring trends 2014: women's colors

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Designers take a contemporary twist on the standard for spring 2014 by pairing soft pastels with vivid brights to create a colorful equilibrium. Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers, travels abroad and strong, confident women, designers use color to refresh, revive and defy conventional wisdom.

"This season, customers are buying a state of thoughtful, emotional and artistic equilibrium," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute® ;."While this requirement for stability is reflected in the composition of the palette, the inherent versatility of the patient colors makes for experimentation with new looks and color combinations."

Three very adaptable pastels sit on a single end of the palette, and, because we're so used to seeing them as nature's background, they may be creatively combined with every other color in the spectrum. Placid Blue, like a picture-perfect, tranquil and reassuring sky, induces a sense of peaceful calmness, while Violet Tulip, a romantic, vintage purple, evokes wistful nostalgia. Like the verdant shade of springtime foliage, Hemlock, a summery, ornamental green, provides an attractive touch that's completely different from the greens of recent seasons. Pair some of these versatile pastels with a bolder hue for an au courant look.

Sand, a lightly toasted and amiable neutral, conjures images of the beach and the carefree days of summer. Try pairing Sand with Hemlock for perfect, natural balance. Paloma serves as a quintessential neutral, interesting enough to be worn alone or combined with any color for sophisticated poise.

Cayenne, a high-pitched red, adds a splash of spicy heat to neutrals, and heightens the excitement when blended with Freesia, a blazing yellow that will certainly illuminate wardrobes this season. A tropical, floral-inspired shade, Freesia's warmth and energy help set the stage for Celosia Orange, an optimistic, spontaneous hue. Pair Celosia Orange with Violet Tulip for a captivating vision, much just like the setting summer sun.

The palette is brought full circle with Radiant Orchid, a bold counterpart to Violet Tulip, and Dazzling Blue,a scintillating, polar opposite to Placid Blue. Surprisingly, these strong, vibrant colors also pair well across the palette: They are perfect companions to pastels, and add confidence and vivacity when blended with other bold colors.

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