The Color of 2010

March 5, 2010

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Last year around this time, optimistically and foolishly thinking it was nigh spring, I bought a light (read: in no way insulating) jacket in a color the clothing label called “wasabi,” which was pretty funny because, first, wasabi doesn’t have a color if it’s real (the bright green is food coloring) and secondly, the jacket was bright red-pink-something; perhaps they confused it with the color (again fake) of the pickled ginger they put next to your sushi at sushi bars. Yes, perhaps that’s it.

The jacket was inordinately bright for someone like me. My closet, such as it is, is the color of a mild, torpid depression. I eschew especially the warm colors, figuring they’re better reserved for the flamboyant, the self-confident, the Floridian. Until I discovered this color. Or, more accurately, family of colors.

For several months I described this color as “hot red” or “rabid salmon.” But even the term “salmon” gives you the wrong idea. It doesn’t have that coppery, sunset glow of other things you might call salmon. It is, I realize, its own color. Here it is:

The color of 2010

The photo above is of a T-shirt, which I found at a local thrift store three or four months ago. Since then, I’ve come to realize that I irrationally love this color. It is counter to my tendencies in several vectors. It’s brave and cheerful and vibrant. It bespeaks tolerable weather and social interaction. And I don’t even know what to call it.

Fashion designers have decided it’s coral. Or maybe the color that has become popular this spring is coral and is slightly different than what I’m getting at. Perhaps that’s it: variants of bright colors that have just a bit of creamy sherbet mixed in to the palette. Every time I see another designer trotting out a coral-tinged collection this spring, I feel glad and prescient. I’m going to call this my color for 2010.

 by by

Yes, it has officially gone too far. Here’s what I’ve been painting my toenails with.

What would you call this color? Aileen called it tomato, but doesn’t look like any tomato I’ve ever eaten (at least, before said tomato was simmered, spiced and mixed with cream).


  1. autumn says:

    persimmon. but mostly just cause i like that word.

  2. Fran says:

    Years ago, I knit a project that called for yarn in the color “melon.” Would that be watermelon green or red, or cantaloupe yellow, or honeydew pale green? Turns out it was the color of your T-shirt. The connection with melon is about as clear as the connection with wasabi.

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