Fashion for spring summer 2011 to be pale, neutral

Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:48pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Every fashion season, someone wants to know what color is the "new black." This time, the new black is no color at all.

Among the scores of designers who unveiled their newest collections this week in New York Fashion Week, a striking number concentrated on looks with scarcely any color.

The dominant tones for next spring and summer, in collections including those of Donna Karan, Alexander Wang and G-Star, were solid white, beige, ivory, khaki, olive, oatmeal and terracotta.

Such hues are an intrinsic part of the uniforms, or daily wear, in consumers' wardrobes, said Paco Underhill, author of "What Women Want." In the fashion business, those daily uniforms provide the most revenue, he said.

"That's where the money is," he said.

But neutrals don't necessarily mean boring, and they can range from pale rose to deep russet, said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute which reports on the top colors each season.

"These are not your mother's neutrals," she said. "They have wonderful undertones, very subtle."

And neutrals appeal to a thrifty consumer, she added.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation at the Diesel Black Gold Spring 2011 collection during New York Fashion Week September 13, 2010. REUTERS/Kena Betancur</p>