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IT WAS EMMA STONE’S moon­light dance with Ryan Gosling in cin­ema hit La La Land last year that reignited the sar­to­rial topic of ‘dopamine dress­ing’ – the idea that wear­ing cer­tain colours can boost your mood. Feel­good fash­ion or ‘happy clothes’ have al­ways been linked to spring/ sum­mer op­ti­mism but Stone’s retro yel­low dress amped up a con­ver­sa­tion around the psy­chol­ogy of colour and how dif­fer­ent shades can af­fect your thoughts, the kind of en­ergy you project and the rea­son you can, in fact, dress your­self happy. Scep­ti­cal? Me too.

Of course, most of us don’t need a psy­chol­o­gist’s opin­ion to con­vince us that lighter colours en­hance our mood. Rain­bow brights have long been the per­fect anec­dote to darker days and, let’s face it, we’re all ready to see the back of those.

It’s of­ten ar­gued that the sym­bolic mean­ing of our clothes and the emo­tive process in­volved lifts our spir­its. Oth­ers be­lieve that it’s the sub­con­scious mean­ing of colour as­so­ci­a­tions that has an ef­fect: red is linked to fire and pas­sion, pur­ple to power, green to peace and calm­ness, and yel­low to hap­pi­ness and en­thu­si­asm.

Whether or not science plays a part, the fash­ion in­dus­try has whole­heart­edly em­braced the the­ory of bring­ing cat­walks to life. At Michael Kors, Vic­to­ria Beck­ham and Sies Mar­jan there has been a pas­tel pile-up this sea­son in lilac and pis­ta­chio on softly tai­lored suit­ing while Tom Ford, Valentino and The Row (Mary-Kate and Ash­ley Olsen’s la­bel) em­braced frothy ro­man­tic dresses in blush pinks and laven­der. Stronger crayon-like brights have proven tri­umphant at Rok­sanda Ilin­cic, whose new colour­ful edit has now landed into Brown Thomas. Philip Lim’s take on yel­low (pic­tured right above) and Mary Ka­trant­zou’s flimsy dopamine dresses in flashes of red and yel­low are al­ready spilling on to ver­sions in Mango, Zara and H&M.

Else­where on the high street there’s a joy­ous, feel­good sen­ti­ment on seden­tary sta­ples from sorbet and can­dyfloss-coloured suit­ing on blaz­ers and trousers at Zara and Mango, to laven­der and fuch­sia trench coats, and emer­ald and trop­i­cal print greens on floor-length dresses, midi dresses and softly tai­lored dou­ble-breasted coats. At Dunnes Stores, Len­non Court­ney has em­braced crayon brights, where green clashes with blues on sig­na­ture sep­a­rates, with pops of orange on the sig­na­ture jump­suit. So too has Joanne Hynes, whose newly-launched col­lec­tion is a colour splash of greens, yel­low and pinks on her silky and crepe skirts, dresses and em­bel­lished jumpers.

Other brands like de­signer duo Rixo in Brown Thomas – one half is North­ern Ir­ish – are serv­ing up feel­good flo­rals on their cult bo­hemi­anstyle dresses and Ni­amh O’Neill is fly­ing the flag for joy­ous colours at Arnotts with her lux­u­ri­ous crepe and tex­tured or­ganza dresses.

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