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Win a FREE "Mini" Personal Image Analysis!

Hello my darling readers! I cannot begin to tell you how honored I am that each and every one of you reads this blog and that many of you engage with me or become my clients. Sometimes, in order to make my business and blog the very best it can be, it's useful for me to know a little more about you guys. IMG_5754

I've cooked up a brief little survey to find out where you guys are hanging out online and who else you love to read and follow. And because I appreciate the time you spend helping me out SO much, I am offering one lucky winner the chance to win a totally FREE "mini" PIA! This prize includes:

  • Image Archetype-ing by me, complete with my analysis of your physical features
  • A 30 minute Skype call with me to answer your most pressing questions
  • A Surprise!

I am ONLY offering this mini version of the service via this contest, so if you're dying just to know what you are, now's your chance! ;) If you take the survey and want to be entered to win, please be sure to leave your email in the designated box (it won't be used for anything else - promise!). If you just want to help me out and don't need or want the prize, you can leave the email field blank. The winner will be drawn by random.org. Contest entries will be those participants who completed the survey by May 15, 2014. Good luck, and thank you so much for participating! Without further ado...

 

Closed, Thanks for playing! The winner will be contacted via email.

 

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Online Personal Image Analysis Now Open

A Word About Online PIA

Online PIA

The purpose of any Personal Image Analysis is two-fold: first, to determine your Image Archetype, and second, to explain to you what that means both in general and for you specifically, and how to use it as a head-to-toe game plan when you get back to your wardrobe, or head to the mall. My goal is for all of my clients to understand and be able to apply the information I give them to look and feel fabulous. If that sounds good to you, here's how we get there:

  1. You contact me to let me know you want to get started, and I collect images and information from you. I will need some pretty specific types of pictures of you, some of which you will likely need to take specifically for this purpose. At this time, I prefer to keep exactly what I look at private, so you will need to ask me.
  2. Once we have a satisfactory collection of images for me to mull over, we set a Skype date. Typically, I give myself a few days to get to your pictures, and make some preliminary decisions about where we might be going. The final verdict is never set until I see you on Skype, moving around in three dimensions, emoting, and talking. I'm pretty flexible about accommodating other time zones, so just get in touch with me if you're outside of North America and worried about how we'll make it work.
  3.  At your Skype appointment, we will spend the first 30 - 45 minutes going over your physical features individually, and how I evaluated them based on your images, and what I'm seeing on my screen. Then, we spend the rest of our 2-3 hours together talking about what your type is, and is not, and how you can apply this to what you wear in your everyday life, and really for any occasions that might come up. I make an audio recording of our session together, which I can send to you if you wish.
  4. Within about a week after our session is completed, I make a 10+ page pdf summary of everything we went over - including your analysis results, and my recommendations. I also make a private Pinterest board visible only to you and me with around 100 images of outfit ideas, garments, accessories, and hairstyles I think would be great for you.
  5. Afterwards, you are free to email me questions, requests for more pins, pictures of try-ons, or whatever is helpful to you in putting my recommendations to use. You can also comment on your pin board or add pins with items you have questions about, and I will talk to you about them over there. Part of this service is access to specific feedback from me as you work to embrace your image archetype, which I do my best to provide for you in a timely fashion.

That's pretty much it! If you didn't catch the hint already, please do contact me if you are interested in having an Online PIA. You can also get in touch with me just to ask questions, or ask them below in the comments - I bet if you're wondering, 10 other people are, too!

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What is an Image Archetype and What Can it Do for You?

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What is an Image Archetype and What Can it Do for You?

What is an Image Archetype?

Imagine for a moment that you are a Hollywood casting agent. Your next script is a juicy one, in which the hero, a lovable retired detective, is putty in the hands of a glamorous but dangerous woman who has nothing but her own interests at heart. Five actresses of similar coloring have been preselected for the co-starring role, each very different from the next. From their pictures, you find them as follows:

Untitled design (1)

  1. A small, charmingly feminine woman, who is lushly curvy with a soft, sweet face
  2. A petite, pixie-like woman with very large eyes and a mischievous smile
  3. A classically lovely, elegant woman of average height
  4. A tall, athletic looking woman with great bone structure and a wide, winning smile
  5. An extremely tall, extremely curvaceous woman with exotic facial features

Admittedly, in modern cinema, actors often triumph in roles where they play against type. However, assuming that's not what we are going for, I think number five seems to be best suited for the role. Without ever opening her mouth, this woman already has us pretty convinced; her innate physicality is already telling us the story. It almost goes without saying that the costumes that would suit this character would be quite flattering to her, not all that different from how you might expect her to look on any given day. Even assuming the excellent acting prowess of the other four, it's never going to be as comfortable, as second nature, to see them in this role. It could probably be said that they'd have to work twice as hard at it. We almost want to write in some extra dialog to explain it ("Well she looks like a cuddly bunny, but she's as hard as nails...") but in our role of casting director, alas we cannot.

In life, we also do not get a chance to insert that extra dialog in our interactions with others. Which perhaps is fine with our friends and family, who know and love us regardless of how our clothing interacts with our physical self. But in a board meeting or on a first date, it becomes quite a liability to have to explain ourselves. When your physicality and your clothing, makeup, and hairstyle tell the same story, you are dressed to play the role of yourself. This kind of harmony creates a very comfortable and "normal" jumping off point for others to relate to you, in which there is not the lingering subconscious tension of wondering "why did she choose to wear THAT?".

 Who should NOT learn their Image Archetype?

If you are reading along and objecting to the idea that you tailor your appearance to make others comfortable, you certainly have a point. I suppose all I can say to you is that, for me, I always try to find a balance between sticking to my guns and looking out for number one and making life with others a little bit easier. I'm not against conflict when I feel the ends justify the means, so if dressing a specific way means the world to you and is a massive source of joy in your life, whether it seems to put others off or not, please continue to do so.

My clients and the other women I hear from seem to value being complimented and looking good  to themselves and others more than they value wearing or owning one specific garment or type of look. If your internal balance on the subject tips another way, finding your image archetype may be of limited utility to you. The specific purpose of an image archetype is not to discover what you like, or what resonates with you spiritually or emotionally (although those are welcome side effects).  The purpose is to flatter and enhance your innate physical being.

 How do I know what my Image Archetype is?

So, how do we know who looks like a queen and who looks like a pixie, and so on? Many of you have struggled with just such questions for months or even years, so it seems clear that even if the theory holds for you, the application can be difficult. In design, different shape elements tell us different stories - they have a language. In any design object, what type of shapes are used (rounded or angular, or somewhere in between), their scale (large or small or somewhere in between), and their proportions (any part relative to any other parts), all matter in determining how it feels. This applies to garments and it applies to human beings.

The process of determining your image archetype is essentially the process of determining what shapes, scale, and proportion you are in order to match you with clothing that repeats that. Clothing that has the same design elements as your body will fit and flatter your body. This results in a consistent look and feel between you and your clothing, and an overall design concept for your look which is derived from you (rather than placed upon you, as traditional fashion media often persuades you to do).

10 Types Chart

Since at least the middle of the last century, and probably before, five basic design concepts that apply to both people and clothing have been identified and used: Dramatic, Natural, Classic, Gamine, and Romantic. There are many other possible names for each of these, but these seem to be the most general and the most neutral. In addition, it is possible to arrange these on a scale from largest and most angular (commonly referred to as Yang) to smallest and most rounded (commonly referred to as Yin). Within each type, there is a more Yang iteration and a more Yin iteration. There are occasionally people who are very close to the middle of each category, however it is still crucial to know whether the person's specific design always requires a curve into the waist (Yin if yes, Yang if no), and whether they are better in angular shapes around the face in necklines, prints, and jewelry (Yang) or rounded shapes (Yin).

For those of you who follow me on Pinterest, you may already know that we (meaning Christine and I) use Yin or Yang + D, N, C, G, or R to refer to each of the 10 Image Archetypes, apart from D and R, which could technically be called Yang D and Yin R, but are not merely because they represent the extremes of Yin and Yang already so such prefixes would be redundant. I will get into more detail about the specifics of each of these types in later posts, but for now, I just want you to understand the overall concept, as many of you have been so lovely as to email me to let me know you are eager to have my help with what to wear, and I just want to explain to you what it is I do for people.

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If you can't love yourself...

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If you can't love yourself...

lowpath

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset

One afternoon, when I was in the 7th grade, it became so warm by the time we all went out for recess that my group of friends made a huge pile of our unneeded down coats out on the field. When it was almost time to go in, one of the boys put on several of the coats, until he was a massive puffball, and then wriggled mine over top and announced, "Now I know how it feels to be Rachel!". I confess, I don't remember his name, but I remember the comment, and probably always will. This occasion certainly wasn't the beginning of my insecurities, and far from the last cutting and humiliating comment I would receive in my lifetime. Honestly, they continue to accumulate to this day. But this isn't a pity party, this is the story of how I learned to chuck them in the corner like so many coats and move on with my life.

Nearly everyone has at least one pain point when it comes to their appearance. For me it's always been mostly about my weight - for someone else it might be their nose or their skin or their age... anything really. I've even heard of women who are fixated on their thick ankles. Considering how socially acceptable it is to comment on every aspect of a woman's appearance, it's really not all that surprising though, is it? If you've had the experience of someone making that one comment that cuts so deep it makes you feel like you might throw up or pass out, you know why someone might spend a good deal of their waking hours trying to figure out how to avoid that ever happening again.

leaves

My friends, I know how scary it is, but worrying about that one thing is a waste of your precious, precious life. I'm not saying that to make you feel guilty on top of feeling bad about this aspect of your appearance - that would be highly counterproductive. I'm saying it because I really hope that you will see how important it is to get okay with yourself - your physical self. If you only love the you that's a brain in a jar, you're missing a massive piece of the puzzle. Did you know that doing certain poses for just a couple of minutes has a major effect on your brain chemistry? I've certainly been guilty of seeing my body as a thing that transports my brain to the mall, but that's just not the truth of the relationship. Not accepting your body is, in fact, the same as not accepting yourself, period.

But how can you, really, if you don't already? It's not like you can just talk yourself into loving your body just because you think you're supposed to, otherwise, you'd have done it already. I spent a long time stuck in this mind loop. I wanted to be okay with myself but I couldn't let go of the mindset that somehow I was going to get another body, and then I'd like me. And then I felt bad for still wanting to look like something else. Which brings me to my first major breakthrough.

lowpath

STOP THINKING YOU'LL BE HAPPY WHEN...

You know this story, and it's certainly not limited to your appearance. I'll be happy when I lose 15 pounds. I'll be happy when I get the promotion. I'll be happy when I can afford a bigger house. And it's not just happiness that gets postponed. I'll start auditioning again when I get back in shape. I'll start dating when I can afford that boob job. Everything's on hold for that one thing to happen, and then after that, we're sure it's going to be all puppies and unicorns dancing on rainbows. We play out the vignettes of our perfect future lives in our minds like a perpetual rom-com ending on steroids; we walk down the street and turn heads, dive into pools of money, and tearfully accept our award. Meanwhile, the present moment, should we deign to come back to it for a moment, seems pretty hopeless compared to the seductive yet highly improbable vision of the future in our minds.

The most irrational part of the "I'll X When Y" mindset isn't even the brain crack. It's the underlying implication that the future can only be good by virtue of the present being inherently flawed. You may have deduced, however, that the present moment is always the one you are in, and therein lies the rub - when never arrives. The ONLY time at which you have the capacity to be happy, or indeed, to do anything, is right this very minute.

I only know one way off this ride, and it's gratitude. If you want to stop waiting for that kitchen renovation to be happy, try being grateful you have a kitchen. A little bit of perspective goes a long way here, so let me tell you how I got some.

lonelypathWRITE A LOVE LETTER TO YOUR BODY

I haaaaate stuff like this. No one could possibly have wanted to do this less than me, or thought they were above it more. I feel SUPER weird even telling you I did it. But I have to say, the transformative power has been amazing. You may be sitting there thinking that you have nothing positive to say about your body, or at very least that this is going to be a very short letter. I might have said the same thing, but once I got started, I ended up handwriting 15 pages until I felt like my hand was going to fall off.

If you have legs that walk you down the street, eyes that see the sunset, a nose that smells the air after it rains, or arms that hold your loved ones, you have more than enough to be grateful to your body for, today. If function is all you can be thankful for right now, fine. I bet you have more in you. Maybe you have the softest hair, elegant feet, or the cutest little beauty mark on your left hip. I promise you, if you write it down, you will be one baby step closer to getting over that one thing. With so much to be grateful for, right this very minute, there just isn't as much room for negative preoccupation anymore. It may be that you are in such a mode of judgement that this process will be nearly impossible for you.

I'm not pointing a finger, society tells women it's okay to refer to both ourselves and the girl behind the checkout counter as "fat asses" and so on. That kind of hyper critical behavior is the default - it requires a concerted effort to do and be otherwise. Sometimes, what we need to make such a shift is to take the whole thing one step away from ourselves and get a little distance. Meaning -

focusonrainIF YOU WANT TO STOP JUDGING YOURSELF, LEARN TO STOP JUDGING OTHERS FIRST

We do it as easily as breathing, abuse the fact of the privacy of our thoughts. We focus on all the wrong things about a person, her big nose or thick legs, and forget to see the person as a whole, or as a person at all. There's often an implication of inherent responsibility for the offending feature, which is varying shades of ridiculous, when you really think about it. If the environment is somehow competitive, such as at a night club or a gym, the atmosphere between women of sizing each other up to find every flaw can make the air almost ripple with tension and anxiety.

Winter that I am, my perfecting eye makes me excellent at finding fault in virtually anything. It's part of what makes me so good at what I do, but I have a responsibility to wield that gift with discretion and compassion. Any energy I expended criticizing the wrong thing was at best wasted and at worst highly destructive. So here's what I want you to do. Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative about someone else's appearance, forgive them, and then come up with a positive counterpoint, all within the safe confines of your mind. Force yourself to find something beautiful about each person you meet. Stretch your idea of beauty, learn to appreciate different faces and bodies as you would different landscapes in nature.

Adopting this practice will most certainly effect your relationships with others, but perhaps most importantly, it will effect your relationship with yourself. One day, you will wake up and look at yourself through these new compassionate eyes you have molded by all that practice on everyone else. And suddenly, the things you judged about yourself, and most especially that one thing, will fail to have the significance they once did. You just won't be able to raise the frenzy of anxiety you once did, because you've learned how to truly see beauty - not just the absence of flaws.

Loving yourself isn't about never feeling insecure, just like courage isn't about never being afraid. I have learned from my brilliant teacher Christine Scaman that at some point, one must either "do it scared or don't do it". The thing about doing it scared is, each time you do, it gets a little less scary, even if the fear will never go away entirely. In the same way, each time you face down insecurity with love and acceptance, you get a little less insecure.

Birds

I was asked to write the story of my my personal journey as it pertains to style, as a sequel of sorts to the one I wrote about my color journey, and someday I may. I would honestly say that most of the work on my style journey was done here, with my quest to love and accept the one and only body I will ever have in this life, and what I learned along the way. If you come to your Personal Image Analysis having put in this kind of work ahead of time, it will just feel like confirmation of what you already know. Even if (maybe especially if), you never have an image consultation, you need to bring love and acceptance of yourself, and most especially your body, into the dressing room with you in order to make rational choices about what enhances you.

I would go so far as to say you need it to make fully rational choices about your life. I know beautiful women who can't see themselves that way who stay in disastrous relationships, petrified they'll never find another one. Who postpone starting their dream business, because they can't imagine putting up their own picture on their website, or how they'd be a role model for anyone. Enough. You owe it to yourself to make peace with the body you have. You owe it to yourself to do everything you can to step over whatever hurdles stand between you and being fully engaged in your life. This ain't no dress rehearsal, honey.

rupaul-love-yourself

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Ingénue? Ingé-NO!

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Ingénue? Ingé-NO!

3862610388_e493c478d9 "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita." - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Chilling, isn't it? There's something so fundamentally wrong there, and yet, I would be lying if I said I don't find it intriguing. Then again, I'm the kind of person who is comfortable with the fact that the dark side of human nature holds a certain fascination for me. In Art. Like most people, when the dark side crops up in the supermarket aisle, not so much.

Admittedly, the concept of the Ingénue and the concept of the Lolita aren't identical, but as I hope to demonstrate in this article, they're not different enough for me to feel comfortable. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Many of you are wondering - what on earth is an Ingénue? Glad you asked. Generally, I find it a bit trite to go to the dictionary in these cases, but let's pop in there anyhow.

in·gé·nue
ˈanjəˌno͞o,ˈänZH-/
noun
noun: ingénue; plural noun: ingénues
  1. 1.
    an innocent or unsophisticated young woman.
    • a part of an ingénue in a play.
    • an actress who plays an ingénue.

True, the term is occasionally used to describe any young actress in her breakout role. Often because in said role, she plays the aforementioned "innocent or unsophisticated young woman". I do think this concept of the young actress is somewhat apart in meaning from what is intended when women and analysts talk about Ingénue as a style type, but let me just ask you something. How old do you picture the actress who is being referred to as an Ingénue being? Under 25, surely? Quite possibly even under 20? I would be very surprised to find this woman people have been referring to in this manner is 32, and I can't even imagine she'd be 50. So just putting that out there and we'll come back to it. Let's look at a more specifically relevant source.

Admittedly, this is subculture. But if you remove the most outlandish bits, it's pretty much "ingenue". In what context would that feel normal?

From Art and Fashion in Clothing Selection by Harriet McJimsey:

"The word ingenue is chose to describe the most yin type, which is particularly naive, unsophisticated, artless, and even childlike. The direct opposite of the dramatic yang, the ingenue is dainty, young, delicate in build and coloring, below average in height, and always charmingly pretty rather than sophisticated." (page 96)

Also: "Since the yin quality is essentially youthful, it is rare to find anyone over sixteen who is a perfect ingenue." (page 96)

And: "Because of her dainty build, small scale, and youthful "little girl" look, the ingenue must always select clothes which reflect her youth and daintiness." (Page 98)

I'd be surprised if there are many of you out there thinking this physical description matches you, but that's somewhat besides the point. What I do think you're out there saying is "Yup, that's me, charmingly pretty rather than sophisticated!" So let's head back to the dreaded dictionary and see just what it is that means.

so·phis·ti·cat·ed
adjective
adjective: sophisticated
  1. 1.
    • (of a person or their thoughts, reactions, and understanding) aware of and able to interpret complex issues; subtle.
      "discussion and reflection are necessary for a sophisticated response to a text"
    • having, revealing, or proceeding from a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture.
      "a chic, sophisticated woman"
  • appealing to people with worldly knowledge or experience.
  • "a sophisticated restaurant"
I can't think of a reason why an adult woman would willing relinquish the appearance of being "aware of and able to interpret complex issues". It has been suggested to me that I am fixating on the negative aspect of the ingénue image type in calling it naive. After all, could we not call the Romantic "tarty", the Dramatic "severe", and so on? Quite true, in very much the same way the person who wishes to shine an unflattering light on soft colors calls them drab or dull and the person who wishes to do the same to bright colors calls them garish or glaring. Here's the crimp in that logic when it comes to ingénue: try though I might, the best positive spin I can get out of naivete is to call it innocence. And innocence, while beautiful, sweet, and pure, is not for grown-ups.

Are you uncomfortable? Me too.

Innocence doesn't belong in the board room. It doesn't belong in the PTA. And a huge, HUGE part of that is, that innocence is virginal. It is not appropriate for a mother of 2 with a desk job. The fact of the matter is, in order to look like a competent, capable adult woman in her prime, you want to project the idea, on a very subtle, subconscious level, that you are neither too young nor too old to have sex and procreate. Whether or not you have any interest in doing so is absolutely irrelevant. Deep in our monkey brains, this is how we distinguish a functioning adult of the species from those who are children or "out to pasture". I find it a slippery slope between expecting someone to accept a woman dressed as a "dainty little girl" as an adult and the Lolita concept I began this article with.
So far, this has been pretty conceptual, which I understand won't do much for some of you. So, I want to give you a practical example, using one of the ingénue examples from McJimsey's book quoted above, the beloved Shirley Jones. Shirley has had a long and wonderful career, beginning at a very young age, so we have access to photos of her throughout her adult life.

http://youtu.be/Ss1CXo8QMi8

Here she is at the dawn of her career, starring in Oklahoma! in 1955 at age 21. (I have seen sources say she was 19, which she may have been during filming, but since I can't seem to confirm that, let's err on the older side.) Her costume in this scene, and indeed all of her costumes in the movie, are most certainly ingenue. I feel it would be fair to say that if you shortened most of them to knee-length and removed a few minor anachronistic details, they'd fit right in with the modern clothes that are generally suggested for this image type. The whole look is reasonably believable on her, maybe in part because even though it's 1906 in the movie, we still know it's the 1950s, but let's assume she'd look normal in this sort of thing at age 21 if it happened to be today. I do think it's worth pointing out that the character of Laurey also fits the ingenue bill. She's easily taken in, flighty, and if she weren't so very young, you'd say she was foolish. Which is not to say she's not charming, but while I can remember wanting to be her at 10 or 12, at 28 I'd be embarrassed to be. http://youtu.be/JLDsLeVxOaU

Let's check in with Shirley just 7 years later, at age 28, starring in The Music Man this time. Still a young woman by most anyone's standards, but getting towards the end of the range I described for our ingenue actress above. Sure enough, the costume designers have moved her past the gingham, bib collars and ponytail into something still sweet, but definitely more mature. She's also portraying a much more "sophisticated" character, Marian is the one person in town Harold Hill is afraid he won't be able to fool. I believe that none of this is accidental - she's gotten older and more mature and her roles and costumes have, too. It may be others will disagree here, but already, still in her twenties, I feel she'd make us subtly uncomfortable in the "little girl" clothes she wore a few years before. A much more subtle version of the discomfort we feel from the girl with the lollipop above, but still there. If you disagree, follow her further into adulthood with me.

http://youtu.be/KScVZ9j9vqY?t=24s

Ok, next stop Partridge Family, 1970. (Sorry, I looked for a shorter clip, but you don't need to watch much to get the point) Shirley is in her mid-thirties. While doing research for this article, I found out that "Shirley Partridge" was not just a tv mom, but tv's first working mother. In other words, an adult, capable of procreation, who is competent to do work. I admit, I was never much for this show, so if you tell me they're always telling her she "looks like one of the kids" or some such in the many episodes I haven't seen, I wouldn't know otherwise, but even so, it'd just be flattery, wouldn't it? Because she looks 100% like a grown-up to me. I'm not saying her look here is the most flattering, but do you want to put her back in the ruffley collar and ponytail? How about if she came up to you at this age, in your real life, dressed like the girl in Oklahoma! and said "These are my five kids!"? Either you would be confused and heavily off put by the adult woman in a teenager's dress, or you would be wondering why this teenager was claiming to be the mother of five children. Either way, not good.

http://youtu.be/hqeND8U-AC0

In the interest of letting you get back to your day, I am fast forwarding to Shirley as a mature adult. This seems to be her performance at the White House in the mid-eighties, putting her around age 50. The look is dated, but I don't completely hate it. But just one last time, I ask you to imagine this person in the dresses she wore in Oklahoma!. For me, at this point, there is no way to make that look sane, let alone competent. I'm not picking on Shirley, I think she is an incredibly beautiful and talented woman. But if 50 year old Shirley came towards me in that gingham frock from her early career, I'd consider crossing the street. Those of you who wouldn't are exceptionally open minded and kind, I think much more so than most people, certainly most people I know.

For me, image type doesn't change with age. (Nor weight, or other factors, possibly excepting excessive plastic surgery, most specifically to the face, but in those cases I just am no longer really sure how to type the individual.) Certainly, we modify the version of our type we are expressing currently to be age-appropriate, but it should be relatively minor. Most mature women overdo it, in the same manner a mature Winter who tries to soften her colors to look age-appropriate just looks tireder and older. The fact is, the women in their late teens and very early twenties who could benefit from allowing some last bit of innocence to remain a part of their style aren't the ones who I see asking about ingénue, or being told they are one by other professionals. If these young girls were my clients, I'd just tell them how to do an age appropriate version of whatever type they are, which I think is more authentic than taking on an image type that you necessarily have to abandon at some point down the line to look like a functioning member of society.

There's so much more I could say about this topic, but I think the best action may happen in the comments on this one, so I'm happy to discuss any further issues you may have with my position on this below.

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How True Colors Reveal True Features

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How True Colors Reveal True Features

cdrapephotoseal

Many of you know me from before my 12 Blueprints Color Analyst training, and know that I helped many many women find their style types before I was a Color Analyst. Until my training, I had only witnessed one draping in person - my own. Having now seen many, whole worlds of understanding have cracked wide open. One of the most amazing things I have learned during and since my training is how much my perception of a persons features, and to some degree the feeling of the person as a whole, changes when I see them in their correct season. This effect plays out in so many different ways, depending on the type and season of the person, and also what they were presenting when they walked in the door. One person's bone structure may soften from mostly sharp to mostly blunt, a Soft Summer Yang Natural in black compared to her own colors, for example. Another person may sharpen up and lose the impression of bluntness, a Bright Winter Yin Dramatic in her colors compared to the Spring colors she walked in wearing. Yet another person changes in ways that escape specific description, except to say that True Spring transformed her from an "Autumn" Yang Gamine who was sort of a cute tomboy into the effervescent pixie she truly is.

It can be really hard to see these effects in a photo, but if you get just a whiff of what I'm talking about from them, I'm happy with that.

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This is E, cute, huh? Not sure what season this top is in real life, but it looks warmish. She's worn her hair dyed various shades of red over the years, as it is in this picture. The natural color has shifted more than is usual during her life, and as is typical for bright seasons is a bit hard to describe, but essentially it's a light brown. I think it would be easy to see this person as a Yin Natural in this image. The face feels broad and somewhat flat in topography, it's pretty but I don't think one would call it exotic or dangerous.

edrapephotoseal

I know you've probably seen this image on my homepage, but I'm pretty infatuated with it so here it is again. This is the face of a queen, so much more than just "pretty". All the bone structure has sharpened up and the topography of the face appears more dynamic. They eyes which you probably already don't remember from the last picture are utterly captivating, they have a sensual, exotic quality. The sheer magnificence of a person who is both Winter and Dramatic (the Yin variety in this case) and fully wielding the power that comes with that is jaw-dropping.  This woman walks into the boardroom and people beg her to take the reigns, just because she looks like she was born to hold them. I just want to be clear that Yin Natural is a very excellent thing to be if that is what you are. Here, the colors reveal the truth to be otherwise. Let me just belabor the point a bit more with one more image. 478665_888439693059_959353888_o (1)

Can you even believe this creature is real? Which adult is the logical owner of this baby picture? Bright Winter Yin Dramatic is inherently outside the normal, beautifully alien.

Photo by Ash Imagery

Here's C, my TSp YangG mentioned above. (Client images always posted with permission, but please don't pin or otherwise repost them) No one could say she's not beautiful and and adorable, in any style or any color. I know you're going to ask, so I'll just tell you - Yes, this is 100% natural hair color.

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 I just find this face so amazing, I could stare and stare. Suddenly everything about this face seems full to bursting with life, just like the Spring season itself. I had a treasured book when I was a child called Christine's Faeries, about a little girl who went all around the English countryside meeting different sorts of faeries, who all had little jobs like putting the dew drops on all the petals. I can imagine their faces, peering up from under the poppies and tall grass, looking about like this. 

Literally every face I drape becomes different to me somehow than it was before. Usually, it's not substantial enough to change my perceptions of a person's image type, but on occasionally it may be. This is why I pretty much insist that a PCA, whether done by me or one of my amazing colleagues, is the essential first step to amazing personal style. Once we see what your face *really* looks like, we can begin to know how to match it to clothing styles.

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