Fashion paints the town fuschia

Garment design by Caitlin Bartholomeusz in Resene Smooch against Resene Scrumptious backdrop. Photo: Craig Ray
Who’s the lucky sod who gets to name paint colours?* Eshewing our eternal love of black, Resene's palette for this year's collaboration with Fashion Week is extreme brightness.

Following last year’s success, Resene has again provided the colour inspiration for diploma students at NZ Fashion Tech to create garments from hand-woven Indian silk saris. It’s an effective way to bring their colours to life – on a fashion runway – and create some eye-popping images. The range of fashion colours includes those on trend through until late 2016.

From left: Designs by Samuel Malloy in Resene Limerick and Delaney Cooper in Resene Juicy against Resene Curiosity backdrop. Photo: Craig Ray

Ten designs have been chosen to open the four Resene Designer Selection shows at NZ Fashion Week, starting 26 August. You’ll see models in Resene Smooch (deep purple), Juicy (tropical orange), Turbo (electric yellow), Limerick (Irish green), Optimist (regal blue) and other shades you might find in a Pebbles packet. Shoes also come in a contrasting Resene swatch.

It’s an ingenious plan to create contemporary fashion from paint colours; more often paint companies take their cues from what’s seen on the catwalk each season.

Design by Austin Delaney Girdlestone in Resene Kakapo against Resene Escape backdrop. Photo: Craig Ray

Resene is hoping this colour collection will emerge in New Zealand homes on feature walls, floor stripes, blackboards, stencils and splashbacks. Just somewhere to break up the off-white monotone that seems to be de rigueur in interiors these days.

But our tastes are slowly changing. Resene marketing manager Karen Warman notes the current trend: “Kiwis tend to love whites and neutrals with accents of bold colours. Resene Black White [grey white] and greiges [grey beige] such as Resene Truffle are popular. Deep greys and black, such as Resene Foundry and Resene Pitch Black, are popular for exteriors. Favourite accents are colours like Resene Pohutukawa [dark magenta] and Resene Duck Egg Blue.”

Design by Will Fincham in Resene Turbo against Resene Wild Thing backdrop. Photo: Craig Ray

New Zealanders are becoming more confident choosing colours for ceilings and floors and Warman says we’re starting to embrace the latest interior buzz: colour blocking. “The new twist on paint effects – colour blocking – has really enabled decorators to bring together many favourite colours into one area of their home, which has been harder to do well in the past, unless you wanted stripes. Outside, colourful front doors are becoming popular again … neutral front doors just don’t have the impact.”

So what's Resene’s strategy in changing consumers' outlook towards colour – by promoting colourful interiors or colourful clothing?

“Consumers are influenced by everything in their environment. We often tell customers to look in their wardrobe for inspiration for their walls. Both clothing and paints are driven by the same fashion trends, but customers don’t always feel so brave about expressing their favourite colours on the wall. Showing them what a difference great colour can make can open up people’s minds to considering bringing it into their home.”

*Resene’s managing director and marketing manager get the fun job of naming paint colours. And they have an ongoing in-house competition to add names to the master list. Warman says, “The easiest colours to name are reds and oranges as they normally have strong personalities. Most people think the hardest colours to name are the neutrals, but it’s actually the greens. Every time we name colours, we always get stuck on the greens.”

In case you're wondering, Kermit, Lickety Split and Spirulina (!) have already been taken.