Teen Wolf Colour theory is a nightmare, seriously, and I’ve spent the last year trying to crack it and I finally have a working model which is probably right.
Now in teen wolf terms there are 5! primary colours, or base colours
from those base colours we get the secondary colours (the second set of triangles on the above diagram) which is what happens when you combine two of the primary colours. After that is tertiary colours which are variations of the primary colours.
Now with teen wolf as I said there are 5! base colours, not three
then there are set of base patterns
the five colours are
Red, Blue, Gold, Black, White/Grey
and the base patterns are stripes, florals, plaid and circles
to start with the primary colours represent, as far as I can tell, the elemental themes present in the series, or godai - the japanese element wheel.
These are, in season order, Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Void.
In colour terms these are
Fire = Red,
Water = Blue
Earth = Gold
Air = White/Grey
Void = black
now the elemental themes to make things slightly more complicated are inverted and represent certain themes these are:
Fire = Red = Empowerment
Water = Blue = Damnation
Earth = Gold = revelation
Air = White/Grey = secrets
Void = Black = haven’t had the series don’t know yet
what that means is when the characters wear certain colours you can tell, to an extent what it means
for example Stiles favours red and blue, empowerment and damnation, that makes sense as the further down the rabbit hole he goes the stronger he becomes and the more at risk.
In contrast Scott wore red when he was bitten - immediate empowerment in becoming a werewolf, but grey for most of season 1, which carries through as everyone around him was keeping secrets as he was himself.
so when we reach the secondary and tertiary colours it’s not a set of new meanings but instead a combination of the base colours and their meanings
so when Derek wears purple and black, it becomes red+blue and black, so black means whatever it means (I can’t prophesy unfortunately) but red+blue = empowerment and damnation = he kills Boyd.
then we get into the patterns
a lot of people have pointed out stripes = possession and I’m not going to argue
but Lydia this season is wearing a lot of flowers and pink, so florals which are earth based as far as I can tell are the revelation of secrets with red, but also the fact that those secrets might not be what is revealed with the addition of white = ie she’s empowered by revealing the secrets but they’re not the whole story. If she wears blue with the florals then the secrets coming out are dangerous
there are lots of meta on circles on clothes whether that is ringer shirts or Stiles’ target and I’m not going to touch it, but it is that simple, it’s a target
and I have no idea what plaid means yet, but I’m getting there, this is a better explanation of what I posted before, and hopefully it makes more sense
but the tl:dr
the colours represent the elements and combined colours do not have individual meaning but instead are the combined elements
and this works so well, it should be right, mind you it might be a hallucination my mind has come up with to finally solve colour theory