Does this COLOUR WHEEL of emotions reveal what Kate’s feeling?
As the Princess says Louis’ class uses a clever psychological tool...
WhEN the Princess of Wales stepped out in a vivid purple trouser suit this week, she joined the swelling ranks of women — and fashion designers — for whom the hue is a winter favourite.
At the autumn/winter shows, purple appeared on the catwalk at Burberry, Fendi and Versace, to name but three. Rich, bold and regal, it’s a shade that’s guaranteed to cut a dash.
But there is far more to read into Kate’s sartorial choice than the fact she keeps up with seasonal trends.
They say the mind wears the colour of the soul — a lyrical way to express the idea that we gravitate towards hues that reflect our mood on any given day.
While we may not be conscious of it when we fling open our wardrobe, the colour of the clothes we elect to wear says more about our mindset than we might think.
We know that Kate is a believer in expressing emotions via colour- codes. Speaking at her Shaping Us National Symposium event on Wednesday, she revealed that her five-year- old son, Prince Louis, and his classmates at Lambrook School in Berkshire use a ‘really good’ Feelings Wheel to ‘represent how they feel that day’.
A what-what?, I hear you ask. A feelings wheel is a circle which displays a range of emotions radiating out on spokes, with the strongest at the centre and the subtler, harder-to-pinpoint ‘ secondary’ emotions on the periphery.
Originally designed by American psychologist Dr Robert Plutchik in 1980, his Wheel of Emotions is very much back in vogue as a tool for getting in touch with our innermost feelings — even among the youngest school children.
Now that it’s been given the royal seal of approval, the question must surely be: does Kate use it when she is considering what to wear?
While the theory of dressing to reflect our emotions may sound flaky, there is a body of scientific evidence to back it up.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine conducted a study in which participants were exposed to test patches of various hues, and noted that reactions to specific colours were consistent, indicating that specific colours are strongly associated with certain emotions.
Anyone who has invoked a colour to express their state of mind would surely agree: we see red, we feel blue, or we are green with envy.
As for Kate’s state of mind when she stepped out wearing her vivid purple suit, we can certainly conclude that she was determined to feel every inch the Princess. Indeed, purple has always had strong associations with wealth, power and royalty, ever since the Byzantine era, when natural purple dye became a status symbol because it was the most expensive.
Beloved by the kings and queens of the ancient world, it was adopted by Tudor Queen Elizabeth I, who stopped all but her innermost circle from wearing it.
And royals have followed suit ever since. For our late Queen Elizabeth II it was a perennial favourite in public and private.
That Kate wore purple to deliver her most important speech to date is significant. Described as her ‘life’s work’, the Shaping Us campaign channels her belief in the importance of children’s early years development, and how a positive start in life can have a positive influence on the adults we become.
AS FOR which colours have a positive — or negative — effect on Kate, we asked colour psychologist Jules Standish to interpret some of the Princess’s previous wardrobe choices, in a bid to determine whether there might have been more to them than met the eye.
Was Picasso right when he said that colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions? Read on — and draw your own conclusions.