Young people are into the color black these days - especially black denim pants and black nubuck shoes.

"For those who don't choose black," says Justine Mantor, a professor of fine arts at Chicago's Loyola University, "brown and dark gray are usually top choices. Any psychologist who has worked with color therapy will tell you that this usually indicates depression."Mantor also says the general health of the economy is usually reflected in the popular colors of the time. "And if all we're seeing are dark colors . . . well, you get the idea."

But there's hope. She says major art exhibits influence a season's colors, and the lime, lavender and melon colors in the Monet show that toured the United States in 1989 should reach fashion in the coming season.