Professional rainbow gazers say that the colour craze infusing the runways means more than another excuse to shop. For those who make a living writing, counseling and lecturing about the therapeutic benefits, of, say, opting for a pink belt over a black one, colour consciousness profoundly affects the wearer’s physical and emotional well-being. And remaining faithful to those flattering hues can offer larger opportunities for people to alter their lives-on a personal, social and spiritual level. “Your favourite colour choices inspire your hopes and aspirations-ideals you pursue with passion,” says Dewey Sadka, the Atlantic, Ga., author of The Dewey Colour System: Choose Your Colours, Change Your Life.

Julianne Bien, a colour light visionary with Spectrahue Light & Sound in Toronto, takes on a more practical tack. “If something doesn’t feel right about you, don’t wear it,” she cautions. “It may be creating an energetic imbalance in your system. Your higher self knows what looks and feels best.”

Beyond promoting wardrobe makeovers, colour theorists are wagering that fashion’s bright palette signals the start of something better for the planet. Renowned celebrity psychic and colour consultant Carmen Harra says that trend-setters and designers, attuned to the female psyche, subconsciously selected iridescent blue, green, yellow, red and purple to reflect a common longing for the powerful, healing forces found within nature. Meanwhile, moody black — erstwhile emblem of chic — has been sent on post-traumatic stress leave. “We want to erase the darkness and enter an exciting, healthier era,” says the New York-based Harra, personal guru for the likes of Courtney Cox and Jennifer Lopez. “This is the way the world should look. We live in colouful surroundings.”

Lest the concept of colour analysis sound flaky, consider its respectable roots. During the Age of Enlightenment, dour dressers such as Sir Isaac Newton and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe devoted thousands of lab hours to studying colour’s powerful physical properties and influence on the mind. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks, among them Hippocrates, used colour and light to promote healing. And, like the Renaissance masters, flapper-era artists Wassily Kandinsky and Johannes Itten were smitten by the captivating connection between colour and emotion.

In recent times, scientists have aligned with style mavens to create a colourful set of reasons to justify a healthy closet cleansing. Luckily, few women would ever paint retail rehab in black and white terms. “We have a tendency to wear what we need,” Harra says. “So if a girl is missing a colour, she should go ahead and get it.”

Find out how to mix colour into your wardrobe on the next pageTURQUOISE
First impressions Conveys a woman who believes in her dreams but can listen to others with compassion.”Wear it on a first date or to meet your future mother-in-law,” says Sadka.

Matching colours Men inclined to red and orange make aqua women less self-conscious; aquas empower red-adorned men. “Aqua-loving women let men in red believe in themselves,” explains Sadka, adding this hue is Madonna’s favourite colour.

9 to 5 Perfect for raising eyebrows and popularity stakes in a design studio, PR firm or on a movie set; a lousy way to make waves in a bank or legal office. “If you’re not a sunny, blue-eyed blonde, turquoise may come across as frivolous or cheap,” says Angela Wright, London-based author of The Beginner’s Guide to Colour Psychology.

Healing Rays Ideal for cutting winter blahs. Creates a sense of pure love energy. “It destroys negativity and unblocks old belief systems,” says Bien.

First impressions Evokes self-expression, personal power and a no-nonsense approach. “Wear it when you need to say no, dump a tiresome guy or have a heart-to-heart with your boss,” advises Sadka.

Matching colours Strike up a soothing conversation with the meditative man in blue; crimson offers blue constructive criticism, says Sadka. “This hue tells blues in practical terms what’s not working in their lives.”

9 to 5 Childcare workers, fashion consultants and theatre directors appear nurturing and in charge when they’re dressed in this shade; a bad idea in a macho boardroom. “On the right person, this shocking pink is sexy or lively,” says Wright. “On the wrong person, it smacks militant feminism.”

Healing rays A natural antidepressant. Dissolves energy blocks, particularly in connection with the heart, emotions and circulatory system. “It opens doors to creativity and provides a sense of joy,” says Bien.

First Impressions Oozes the appeal of a woman who knows what she wants. “Wear it to assess what’s best for you: is he the right guy? Time to quit this job and head back to school,” advises Sadka.

Matching colours That lime-green shade is a magnet for the emotional guy in magenta. “Lime-green dressers tend to logically assess a relationship before getting involved,” says Sadka.

9 to 5 Ideal for union leaders, UN envoys or anyone negotiating a pay raise. May be too mundane for the artsy crowd. Wright says that this shade, which she describes as “warm apple green,” tells people that you’re “balanced and unruffled.”

Healing rays Settles digestive disorders. Sparks the creative, life-loving urges within and balances any emotional unrest. “Green forces you to look inward and cease mental chatter,” says Bien.

First impressions Issues a dramatic, thought-provoking statement. “Wear it to create a strategic plan, get your way or enliven a dull event,” suggests Sadka.

Matching colours Daring yellow dudes bump up the wattage with purple-loving women; purples gain a yellow-style reality check. “Women in purple offer yellow men a sense of future possibilities,” says Sadka.

9 to 5 Apropos for ambitious executives or solo fliers; too regal for the sales-team picnic. “This rich, purple tone can be flamboyant and rebellious,” says Wright.

Healing rays Soothes nervous-system disorders. Increases energy flow through the body. Ideal for spiritual seekers. “It reveals a sense of self-worth you might have hidden in the past and it helps you move to a higher spiritual plane,” explains Bien.

First Impressions The wearer comes across as a knowledgeable and grounded. “Wear it to shop, keep your cool in a meeting or avoid decisions you’ll later regret,” says Sadka.

Matching colours Brings the guy in the purple tie down to earth; violet men inject an air of excitement for citrine city girls. “Yellows give purples a realistic perspective,” maintains Sadka.

9 to 5 Strikes the right note for kindergarten teachers, concert pianists and full-time cheerleaders. Not recommended for High Court judges, brain surgeons or airline pilots. “Pure yellow stimulates emotions, encourages creativity and boosts self-confidence,” says Wright.

Healing rays Touted as a stress buster. Produces a sense of spiritual clarity. “Use it to create your own reality and move beyond your emotional desires,” says Bien.