2019 Pantone Color Report: Terrarium Moss Shouldn’t Be Confined to a Glass Box

The 2018-2019 Pantone NYFW color report includes the earthy green that “conjures up thoughts of flourishing foliage and the physical beauty in the natural world.”

Pantone’s 2018-2019 New York Fashion Week color report includes several lively hues to keep even the least synaesthesia-inclined on trend and fabulous throughout spring and summer. Interestingly, eight of the twelve standout shades are “hot” colors that both demand and command attention—including the Color of the Year, Living Coral, which screams “life” both eponymously and viscerally.

“From the psychedelic ‘60s to the expressive ‘00s, color has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times,” writes Pantone. In the midst of an increasingly interconnected yet divisive cultural moment, 2019 has already been, and promises to continue to be, a significant year around the world. Perhaps a grayish green can be a welcome reminder that an all-natural earth is still grounding us.

That brings us to color report feature PANTONE 18-0416, Terrarium Moss.

“Terrarium Moss conjures up thoughts of flourishing foliage and the physical beauty in the natural world,” writes Pantone.

Terrariums have risen to popularity in the last several years as an affordable but sophisticated way to bring a little piece of gardening indoors. Moss itself is low-key, the type of plant that just sort of appears and spreads across a tree’s side without fanfare. While moss does require a delicate balance of moisture and shade, it’s a common choice due to its ability to make even a modern gold-plated glass box look prehistorically overgrown.

This versatility lends itself well to decorating and fashion, too.

Kate Wood of "This Old House" writes that Terrarium Moss is a great complement to light, natural hues as well as bright, floral shades. She says the deep green makes for a calming addition to any room, pairing well with everything from tans and grays to gold to even glossy white. The shade also works well with wood—not unlike moss growing on the side of an overturned log. But again, a tiny log, say, inside a shiny hexagonal container.

Similarly, adding a coat of Terrarium Moss paint can transform a wall, ceiling or even floor into a rainforest-y paradise. Any item in the shade—a rug, throw blanket, or even a whole couch—could bring in a pop of moss, as if the humidity rose a bit while you were away on business and came back to find that life had, in fact, spored on without you.

“Kate Moss” references aside, the not-quite-olive Terrarium Moss lends itself well to a wide variety of fashion choices, too. It jives especially well with jumpsuits and multi-pocketed military-inspired jackets and pieces. In many ways, this Pantone color is the closest thing to jungle camouflage in just one hue.

It’s interesting that Pantone has specifically named this color Terrarium Moss, as opposed to likely alternatives such as "Natural Moss" or a British-inspired "Mossy McMossface." “Vibrant without being overpowering, highlighted shades illustrate our desire for authenticity and our continued need for creativity and relatable, accessible design,” Pantone describes the NY Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 assortment.

A terrarium is certainly “vibrant.” It is a living, breathing thing, growing and photosynthesizing and genuinely not caring at all what anyone else thinks. And by sequestering that vibrancy to a box, it becomes physically incapable of “overpowering.” Plus, it doesn’t get much more “authentic” than glass, transparent yet reflective.

“Our continued need for creativity” is the inspiration for many Instagram posts and hands-on activities, even if they come with lines to adult-color inside or a step-by-step instruction book for how, precisely, to put the DIY kit together. Terrariums are “accessible” in the window of any hobby store, “relatable” in their ubiquitous sitting on a friend’s IKEA shelf.

Along with Pepper Stem, Toffee and Princess Blue (debatable—this color is, frankly, a lot), Terrarium Moss is one of the few cool colors in this year’s report, a welcome visual respite from the intensity of 2019’s inescapable barrage of red-hot stimuli. Terrarium Moss is a quiet, shady aside, a chance to get away—but not too far, or you’ll bump your head on the glass.