We are now 4 months into 2019 – have you noticed an influx of coral hues in your social media feed, style editorials, or most current tech gadgets? Announced final December, the 2019 Colour of the Year ‘ Living Coral’ (officially recognized as PANTONE 16-1546) “embraces us with warmth and nourishment”[1] when “symbolizing our innate want for optimism and joyful pursuits.”[2] A colour uniquely linked to nature, Living Coral celebrates beauty located in the outdoors, when also reminding shoppers of the value of environmental preservation even though the colour sparks positivity, the most current study shows that about 1-fifth of the world’s coral reefs have been lost or broken.[3]In truth, many design and style homes, which includes Tiffany and Business, have vowed to cease functioning with the endangered resource, and international trade regulations restrict the exportation of red coral harvested just after 1969.[4]

Claude Monet, “Impression, Soleil Levant,” 1872, courtesy of the Musée Marmottan Monet

Ironically, rather than representing nature’s vulnerability, coral was as soon as worn to guard kids and ward off evil in ancient Rome.[5] It has been made use of for centuries as a prized gemstone for jewelry, from Victorian carved cameos to Art Deco pendants, rings, and hair combs in Native American jewelry, coral symbolizes “success and social prominence.”[6] And what would Impressionist paintings be devoid of vibrant coral sunsets and plants? Nineteenth century artists made use of iron-oxide cadmium pigments to reach the wealthy, saturated hues for their operate – an improvement on the vermillion and minium (“red lead”) pigments made use of by their predecessors, and definitely safer than the ancient mineral realgar, which contained toxic levels of arsenic.[7]

DSC_6989Evening Gown
Paquin, Paris, Winter 1912
Helen Larson Historic Style Collection
FIDM Museum Acquire: Funds generously donated by Disney Worldwide, 2017.five.55AB  

Pantone’s Colour of the Year is chosen by the for-profit Colour Institute just after analyzing present trends in a wide variety of industries, such as entertainment, art, style and design and style, travel, technologies, and even socio-political events. A short appear at the FIDM Museum Collection shows that coral has been in style lengthy just before Pantone deemed it the official colour of 2019 in our storage, Gianni Versace’s bold Miami coral lives alongside the silky coral of a couture Paquin evening gown. Right here, we’re sharing a couple of of our preferred coral objects with you – treasures certainly, no matter the year!


Evening Gown
Paquin, Paris, Winter 1912
Helen Larson Historic Style Collection
FIDM Museum Acquire: Funds generously donated by Disney Worldwide, 2017.five.55AB  

Lanvin coat (2)

Lamé and silk evening coat
Jeanne Lanvin, Summer time 1931
FIDM Museum Acquire: Funds generously donated by Barbara Bundy

V20068901280Straw panama hat
Gianni Versace, Spring/Summer time 1989 
Present of Joan Worth in memory of Marvin Worth, V2006.890.1280  

9927448Printed silk crepe fabric swatch
Present of Robert Fortunoff, 99.274.48  

S2016125010Day dress with ties
Claire McCardell, 1950s
Present of Joan Beer Damask and Donald Damask, S2016.1250.10


Silk net cap with taffeta ribbon trim, c. 1845
Helen Larson Historic Style Collection
FIDM Museum Acquire: Funds generously donated by Linda &amp Steven Plochocki


Cocktail dress, 1950s
Present of an Anonymous Donor, S2004.40.two  


[1] “Pantone 16=1546 Living Coral Introduction,” Pantone Web site: https://www.pantone.com/colour-intelligence/colour-of-the-year/colour-of-the-year-2019

[2] Ibid.

[3] According to The Planet Counts environmental web site: http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/ocean_ecosystem_details/coral_reef_destruction_details

[4] Abigail R. Esman, “The Soft Contact of Coral,” The New York Instances, March 14, 2016: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/14/style/jewelry-coral.html

[5] Ibid.

[6] Jeffrey Bacon, “Native American Use of Coral in Jewelry,” T. Skies Web site, August 20, 2015: https://tskies.com/native-american-use-of-coral-in-jewelry/

[7] Jacqui Palumbo, “A Short History of Living Coral, Pantone’s Colour of the Year,” Artsy.com, December five, 2018: https://www.artsy.net/post/artsy-editorial-history-living-coral-pantones-colour-year