In the fashion world, one must remain ahead of the curve. Annually and seasonly, designers, brands, and trendsetters attempt to conjure up an innovative look to dazzle the masses. Often times we look to the runway for the latest predictions that will eventually make their way down to our favorite retailers. We also gravitate towards 'Pinterest Predicts' where the app takes it's gathered data and searches to estimate the hottest fashion trends that are soon to come. In more recent years we've turned to Tiktok where fashion students and experts take their own knowledge to inform their audiences on the must have items they'll need for the year. A part of this discourse includes Pantone's Color of the Year.
What is Very-Peri?
The hub for all things color, Pantone is known for utilizing a generous color palette to shape the world's creative landscape. Pantone's Color of the Year is among one of their many projects that involves trend forecasting. Color experts explore the world around them, analyzing any and everything to arrive at a color that will influence multiple industries - including fashion.
The color impacting garments worldwide is Very-Peri: a blue and purple concoction accented by violet-red undertones. The hue isn't simply a member of the periwinkle family, but a statement of what's to come in the year. According to the color savvy brand, it represents a period of transition; emerging anew from the previous years, the color is a promise for new possibilities. In their own words Pantone states, "Very-Peri is a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages creativity and imaginative expressions."
Viewing the color at first glance I was surprised I had already seen it in fashion circles the previous year. Few celebrities and models had sported the color out and about - the periwinkle is already familiar within our landscape. Yet making her way into the world, a particular musician had even claimed Very-Peri before its big debut.
A Trendsetting Popstar
Bursting onto the music scene in 2021 with her single 'Driver's License', Olivia Rodrigo instantly became a sensation. Her follow up tracks 'Deja Vu' and 'Good 4 U' solidified her place on the charts and in the minds of everyone that would listen; she's a teen superstar that holds promise with each new release. And the conversations about Rodrigo don't stop with her music. Her wardrobe incorporated into each music video and performance is a notable talking point. Playing the role of a popstar every outfit is flirty and fun. We often see her in mini skirts, bodycon dresses, and added elements such as sequins and tulle that keep the look playful. Including of-the-moment pieces such as matching sets and sweater vests, she stays on trend all while making it her own; each piece she wears seem as though it was made for her. Between her street style and various magazines covers she's become a recognized face in fashion and fan favorite among Gen Z.
It all began with her debut album cover, Sour. As she stands folded with her arms crossed, she evokes a sense of teen angst. This is only furthered by fresh, youthful pieces : a fuzzy, cropped baby pink tank top contrasted by a baby blue plaid mini skirt. The background, a bold purple, creates a stark contrast between her soft, pastel outfit and the deep shade. A simple yet effective first cover, the violet palette instantly became synonymous with her image. The color would go on to be a staple within her wardrobe. Very-Peri in all of it's various tints, tones, and shades have tied many of Rodrigo's looks together. Outlined below are more of her iconic Very-Peri-esque looks I can't shake from my mind.
From left to right:
The AMAs: A big moment for Rodrigo; she took the opportunity to make a statement and did not disappoint. The singer graced the red carpet in a David Koma gown. And the design is flawless. The sequins give the periwinkle shade depth - we get blueish elements and a gorgeous rainbow effect. The dress's simple halter neck column allows for the attention to remain on all of the shimmer and shine. The additional a feather lining at the bottom of the dress adds texture to this party look.
Photoshoot Ready: Taking a fun approach to the color, Rodrigo wears a matching set from Lisa Says Gah. A lighter take on Very-Peri allows the look to be casual and fresh. It's warped, checkered pattern keeps her on trend and incorporates dimension to the shape of the garment. Overall the outfit shows range; it's light and slightly sheer fabric proves one can still be stylish, comfortable, and feminine all at the same time.
Casually Cool: In this look we see the singer take a bit more influence from grunge fashion. Contrasting the dark, vintage inspired Prada band tee we have the most incredible purple pants by Mantania. Their wide leg shape keeps the silhouette open and baggy - overall extremely relaxed. The iridescent fabric completely amps up the look. Again we see new tints and shades within the color as the pants bend and bunch together. They're show stopping, vibrant, and add to the rockstar look. When your eyes are finally drawn away from the pants you notice the layered mesh top and big silver hoops which provide a nice accent.
Shaping the Future of Fashion
There's no doubt that Olivia Rodrigo owns Very-Peri - and that Pantone took inspiration. She was able to give the color life and meaning before it became the color of the year. She took liberties and incorporated the palette into her everyday looks as well as her brand as a popstar. Phone cases, rare vinyls, and apparel within her merch collection are splashed with the color one way or another.
It's a tale as old as time. When it comes to the fashion industry and what's next, younger generations have a strong influence on us. Their innovation, fresh takes, and experimentation guide us to try new things and envision a world beyond what we've created. Just as much as fashion designers themselves, celebrities and those in the pop industry provide exciting eye-catching looks we'll remember for years to come.
This year incorporate Very-Peri into your wardrobe. Take risks, try new patterns, and don't be afraid of a little color in your life.
Illustration by Inci Sahin.