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'Greenery' is the new black - and 2017 colour of the year

Amid social, political and environmental tumult around the world, fresh and zesty "greenery" has been named colour of the year for 2017.

The US-based Pantone Colour Institute, which advises a variety of industries on the use of colour from fashion and home design to packaging and product development, has been choosing a colour of the year since 1999.

Its vice president, Laurie Pressman, said t he vibrant green with yellow undertones is an answer, of sorts, to a bruising 2016, signalling a yearning to rejuvenate and to reconnect to both nature and something larger than oneself.

"It's a realisation for many people," she said. "This country is politically divided, and we see that around the world. It's not just us.

"There's a real division in terms of globalisation and this desire to pull back from globalisation. It's Brexit. It's what we just saw in Italy."

The team at Pantone, based in Carlstadt, New Jersey, scouts trends through the year in media, on runways and at trade shows around the world.

The colour "greenery", similar to chartreuse, is well represented in the first buds and grass blades of new spring, but it also plays out in history at times of major cultural shifts, including the suffrage movement and flapper era of the 1920s and the war and racial justice protest movements and psychedelia of the 1960s and 1970s.

"It's been there during times of bold change, when people are exploring," Ms Pressman said.

The hue is in contrast to the soft, serenity-inducing dual choices of "rose quartz" and "serenity" blue as the colours of the year for 2016.

In addition to the emerging recycle-and-share economies, we have green rooftops, green spaces and indoor vertical farming, Ms Pressman said.

In home decor, there is a trend to connect with the elements outside through open spaces and vast windows, and a desire to bring nature inside through forestry murals and living moss walls, she added.

On the industrial side, both Skoda and Mercedes showed bright green cars for 2017.

For the kitchen, Pantone spotted its shade in appliances, including a Keurig coffeemaker, and in cookware.

And in fashion, menswear designers have played into the idea of gender fluidity through prints and accessories of bright greens, along with the creators of womenswear and beauty products, ranging from the couture of Oscar de la Renta in a leaf-embellished gown to bright green shades for eyes, nails and lips.

Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner and Lena Dunham have all taken turns dyeing their hair bright green.

Last year, a cologne from the Diana Vreeland brand came in green and was dubbed Bold.

The shade also symbolises the organic and health frenzy in cleaning products and food - hello matcha! - coupled with efforts to rethink food waste in restaurants and processing plants.

In the tech and digital spaces, the colour pops up in products such as earbuds and in logos and advertising for apps and start-ups, Ms Pressman said.

"We saw it always as a bold colour," she said, "but it may not have been accepted by some people.

"Today we look at this as a colour associated with innovation. It takes on a whole different feeling."

AP

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