It's a historical fact that at times of recession, the fashion world responds with extra frivolity. The flapper girl trend of the Roaring Twenties, for example, was a direct reaction against the misery of the First World War. Then the Great Depression and Wall Street Crash led seamlessly into the most glamorous fashion era of them all, the 1930s.
So it is no surprise that, in the midst of our current economic gloom, the new season is revealing a completely new spectrum of styles in an array of dazzling shades created specifically to cheer us all up.
At the recent shows, and from the couture boutiques to the high-street chains alike, the consensus was that neutrals had faded into obscurity and bright was the new black.
Citrus shades such as tangerine orange and lime green, jewel colors such as sapphire, emerald and amethyst, and iridescent metallics such as platinum and bronze, were everywhere, promising a much brighter outlook for the coming season.
So, although we may not be able to afford a whole new wardrobe, it is more than likely that the few key items we do buy for the summer will be in escapist shades from this new kaleidoscopic palette.
But have you ever wondered how certain colors instantly become in vogue?
And why do, say, pistachio green and cornflower blue suddenly appear in every shop window of every high street store almost overnight?
As an ex-fashion designer myself and having had a privileged sneaky-peak at how the industry works from the inside, I can tell you that there is nothing coincidental about it.
There is no inter-continental zeitgeist which flows over us all and compels us inexplicably to wear plum.
In fact, the colors we choose now were decided upon quite randomly by a panel of bright sparks two whole years ago.
Let me explain.
In order for designers to be able to make their color choices, the textile companies who supply them with fabrics must have their shade range already chosen well in advance of each coming season.