GRACE CAHILL’S STYLE WATCH
“RAINBOW BRIGHTS HAVE LONG BEEN THE PERFECT ANECDOTE TO DARKER DAYS”
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.