Everything about emerald green, Pantone's 2013 color of the year, says refresh, renew, rewind.
It's the color of one of the world's most majestic jewels. It speaks to the nostalgia of yesteryear - remember that green bathroom tile? And as the hue of spring, it's the hope of tomorrow.
It's powerful, grounded, manly even.
Most importantly, however, there isn't much of the shade in our closets, on our walls, or atop our kitchen counters.
So that makes emerald, with all of its rich connotations, its earthy vibe, and its cool mood a natural choice for the moment's top color.
"We are coming into what feels like another new period," said Leatrice Eiseman, a color specialist for the New Jersey-based Pantone. "Our president will be settling into his second term; there is so much going on. Green is cooling. It's a color that brings balance and harmony."
Each year Pantone color specialists, fashion industry insiders, and design experts convene in late summer to choose the color of the year based on society's mood, home decor, and runway trends.
Green anchored spring 2013 womenswear collections by Tracy Reese, Jil Sander, Valentino, Akris, and Dolce & Gabbana. And men can also enjoy green - just check out Michael Kors' emerald green striped shirts.
Emerald's zing reminds me of Pantone's 2012 choice, the still-smoking tangerine tango. Last year Pantone teamed up with Sephora for the first time to create a line of makeup highlighting the shade, making coral among the year's most popular lip colors. This year I'm betting emerald green will be central to Sephora's smoky eye makeup kit.
As part of its report, Pantone points to early adopters who have been wearing the color. At this year's Oscars, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones boldly wore emerald green gowns on the red carpet.
Pantone also points to companies that have executed plans to feature the color on their forthcoming must-have items.
Jonathan Adler worked deeper shades of green into his printed upholstery, and appliance company DeLonghi has introduced an emerald green espresso maker. Chevy Camaro's prototype for a futuristic model is a glossy green, and J.C. Penney, which wants to be known as JCP, is launching a line of emerald bedding this spring.
Within a day of Pantone's announcement, Aerosole, Laura Mercier, Kohl's, Lands' End and Philadelphia's own online bridal label BHLDN pushed all things emerald.
"It certainly is a hot color," said Ellen Shepp, co-owner of Center City boutique Joan Shepp. "We are seeing it in jewelry, scarves, and leathers. People who don't wear a lot of color feel safe in emerald green."
But while green is poppy, hailed as a stress reliever, and even nostalgic (it will forever remind me of my dad's 1972 Volvo), it's hard to say that green accurately represents this year's mood.
Pantone may be the big Kahuna when it comes to color, but others in trendsetting industries - myself included - were feeling blue. (And Benjamin Moore, which has been in the color forecasting business for at least the last decade, is all about lemon sorbet.)
Blue, like green, is calming. When mixed with metallics, it has a futuristic punch. If you blend milky whites and grays with blue, it can take on a grayish pastel feel, a color that's proving to be key on runways.
Blue also has a spiritual quality, said Kate Smith, president and chief colorist of Sensational Color, a New York-based color forecasting group.
That might be especially attractive as we face the end of the world (if you're alive to read this on today's foreboding date, there's another one to fear, Dec. 21).
Yet blue lacks power. Sapphires may be beautiful, but emeralds are pretty and potent.
"Green feels fun, especially when it comes to bags and shoes," Smith said, but she added that "we are still aching for security. Green doesn't give me that balance. It doesn't quite speak to me."
In Pantone's world, that may be because green is ahead of the curve. Since 2000, four shades of blue have been named top color of the year: cerulean, aqua sky, blue turquoise, and turquoise.
Says Eiseman, "It was time to go with green."