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The M Dash

Live with purpose.


Miyako’s Mood Board: What Is a “Happy” Color?

June 23, 2014

Image via Patternity

Every Monday, MM.LaFleur’s designer Miyako Nakamura ruminates on what’s inspiring her this week.

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When I started designing for MM, we wanted to develop a color palette that would be unique and office-appropriate. Along with basic black and gray, we began working with two custom colors: aubergine and lilac gray. They now function as basics that you can wear all year-round. They’re unique, but as far as color goes, they’re understated.

Over time, we got a ton of requests from customers to make our dresses in “happy colors,” and this spring, we did just that with our Toi in hydrangea and Annie in wisteria.

The process made me consider: What is a happy color?

We tend to think of brights as happy. There has been a lot of study about how certain colors evoke certain emotions: red is exciting, blue is calming, etc. These may be color trends, but given that we’re all so unique in how we interpret color, I’m not sure if I’d call them “rules.”

Image via Patternity

So what is our happy color? As modern women, what makes us feel happy? Confident? Comfortable? Intelligent? Free?

I have an image in my head of the ultimate MM woman. She is smart and strong, but she has a softness and a flexibility that allow her to handle anything. There are times when we have to be strong and fight for what we want; but there are also times when we have to live like water, being flexible and laughing in the face of adversity. To me, this is the new definition of strength. It’s linked to grace—the ability to rise above it all.

So how does that translate to color? To me, it meant choosing colors that were soft but not too “girly.” A woman who wears hydrangea or wisteria is strong in her own way. She knows how to create her own happiness, and to me, that is absolutely inspiring.

– Miyako

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