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discover the trend that is encouraging us to live life in colour

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It’s the colorful trend of 2022, but is there more to colorful fashion than meets the eye?

On the third Thursday of every month, Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch, London is buzzing with colour, pattern and joy. And by that we don’t just mean the treasures that can be found at the flea market stalls. Think of the regular meeting of lively spirits and creative souls – people who love and live in full, bold, bright and wonderful colors.

Led by upcycled fashion designer Florent Bidois for the past five years, the Color Walk as it is today was inspired by the life and work of artist Sue Kreitzman, who was reliably found in her technicolor glory every Thursday at the flea market.

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“Sue is the constant inspiration behind the Color Walk. For me she is the face and I am the arms,” explains Florent. “In December 2016 I organized my first Color Walk as we know it: a monthly gathering of creative people who like to dress up and love color. “I’ve committed to organizing it every month since, apart from a 16-month hiatus due to Covid. It’s about supporting the market, expressing ourselves and just having fun.”

Here you will find a feast for the eyes, a colorful selection of prints, patterns, ruffles and highlights. Frugal, handcrafted, enjoyed and celebrated — beneath the kaleidoscopic surface, the Color Walk is a safe place to express yourself for who you really are, and Florent shares he’s often been told about the deep feelings of “belonging” that the participants experience. This is where Color Walkers find their tribe, a supportive group of people who gather to experiment with style and colour.

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While the Color Walk is a concentrated pinnacle of self-expression, more and more of us these days are starting to add a bit of panache to our everyday wardrobe — and if you’ve walked into a highstreet clothing store recently, you might have noticed the prevalence a certain trend. Dubbed “dopamine dressing,” bright bold colors, bold prints, color blocking and neon are all the rage in 2022, and retailers are doing their best to accommodate our desire to bring some joy into our lives. After all, after the rough times we’ve been going through lately, it only makes sense.

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But the idea of ​​using color and fashion to brighten our mood isn’t new. In 2012, a study by the University of Hertfordshire found that participants’ self-esteem increased when they wore clothing of symbolic value. And all the way back in the timeline, Emperor Charlemagne – born around AD 740 near Liege in present-day Belgium – wore red shoes to his coronation as a symbol of his authority.

Color has a huge impact on how we react to the world around us (think marketing campaigns and what the colors used try to get us to get a feel for their product), but they also have the same with ours Relationship with ourselves and what we tell others about who we are. Momtaz Begum-Hossain is a color theorist, author of Hello Rainbow: Finding Happiness in Color and also a participant in the Color Walk – who, in her own words, was born colorful. Consequently, this is a phenomenon she knows very well.

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“Each color has its own energy,” says Momtaz. “These energies make us feel a certain way, and that’s why colors can affect our mood. For example, red is an energetic color, it makes us awake and alert. On the other hand, a soft shade of lavender is the opposite, it has much less energy and produces a calming effect.

“Once we understand how colors make us feel, we can turn to them when we need their help. So if certain colors make us feel more confident, we can wear them in situations where we need to boost our confidence, or when we want to relax and reduce stress, we can use colors that give us a sense of calm.”

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The study of color, also known as chromaticity, has a lot to say about which specific colors can be used for what — with a study published in the journal Color Research and Application going so far as to state how specific colors and patterns might be used in Mental health environments are used to support patients – but ultimately our reactions are subjective, and while a clear blue may be calming for one person, another might find it stimulating. Still, there are some guiding principles to follow as you explore color.

“As part of my work as a color theorist, I developed a philosophy about how we can use color to improve our mood and mental well-being,” explains Momtaz. “It’s called ‘Hello Hue’ and it’s all about saying hello to color and welcoming it into your life by encouraging you to prioritize color every day. It starts with your mindset and awareness of all the decisions you make.

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“So next time you have to make a decision, go for the more colorful option – that might mean buying flowers for a co-worker so you choose the most colorful bouquet you can find that you have pillows for want to buy your bedroom, so you step out of your comfort zone and go for a color that you wouldn’t normally choose, and in your closet you start experimenting with new color combinations.”

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Of course, “dopamine dressing” and self-expression should be more than just following a brightly colored trend that will fizzle out next season. If it sounds tempting, realize that it’s not about going out and buying a whole new wardrobe, it’s about being authentically yourself, using clothes and colors to guide your mood and self-expression. And you don’t have to go all-in right away.

Take fashion designer Florent Bidois, for example. Today he can be seen in eye-catching outfits that could never be taken off the rack, but he shares that his journey began with a pair of Topman skinny jeans.

“My first piece of advice would be to start small; an accessory, socks, a detail,” says Florent. “My second would be to look after your people, surround yourself with like-minded people and cheerleaders. Because when you feel good, you allow yourself to take more risks and you become a role model. Then everything is a ripple effect.”

So what would you like to tell the world about yourself? And, perhaps more importantly, how would you like to feel? Playful, creative, sophisticated, sexy, grounded, bold, calm, assertive, fun, happy, romantic, brave – or the unique combination that makes you who you are? Whatever that may be, this is your sign to come as you are.

Would you like to bring a new perspective into your life? Connect with a professional through the Life Coach Directory.

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