Colors of spring clothing lines brighten outlook for 2009

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    The malls were packed, elaborate sale signs hung decoratively in store windows and anxious souls swarmed the racks searching for the perfect gifts to go under the tree, but nobody bought much.

    Despite the garland and 20-inch snowflakes, shoppers were in low spirits this holiday season.

    Perhaps it’s the economy or the warm weather that kept wallets shut this past December.

    Whatever the reason may be, designers don’t seem to be affected. After attending the Dallas Market Center this past weekend, I noticed that in the upcoming season buyers were in no way holding back on their spending.

    Instead, they tended to buy more than normal, which I found very unusual considering the hard year many retailers faced. It made me wonder – was this the right move to take after the huge economic downfall we recently faced?

    But besides buyers’ huge spending behavior, I also noticed the re-emergence of bright colors in the market. Colorful, bubble-gum type clothes, the kind of garments that make you giddy and happy are sure to be in style this spring.

    I suppose the theory is if we can make people happy with clothes, then they will shop. For years, scientists have studied the physical, cognitive and emotional effects of colors. So far, they found that cool colors evoke a peaceful environment, and bright colors excite and warm the body. Color therapy works much like aromatherapy, and it is becoming equally as popular.

    During the spring fashion shows, designers took advantage of the effects of colors by presenting bright and vibrant clothing lines.

    Zac Posen showed a series of willowy yellow dresses and blouses, and John Galliano’s designs ranged in color from cherry red to lime sorbet greens.

    Children’s prints are in full swing too, with Michael Kors’ picnic table plaid and Lanvin’s super-tailored, Minnie Mouse-style polka dot dress.

    High-end designers aren’t alone in the color craze. Shopping mall stores have also started pulling out the color wheel. For example, the window display at Express in the Hulen Mall has mannequins dressed in jazzy dresses and shiny tanks.

    Go head-to-toe with the playground cheer or tone down a bright blouse with dark or neutral bottoms.

    If you walk out of your house this season looking unusually bright, fun and young, rest assured that you are doing your part to restore the economy and well-being of the community. Now skip on to the mall for a happier U.S.