Between Soft and Dark Autumn
June 17, 2012 by Christine Scaman
A NOTICE before we begin – I will be traveling during the month of July and so not able to ship the book, Return To Your Natural Colours, that you see in the right column. I can ship them up till June 26. In July, Kerry Stich at Indigo Tones may be able to help, or I can ship again as of August 1.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it when someone asks specific questions. It helps me focus. The article comes together faster. Pinpointing your gaps helps you use your Season palette better so that you own and love your entire closet.
PCA absolutely has to be grounded in sound theory or we’re in a mess. But financial theory and getting your RRSP in order are not the same. I might never be the first guy, but I can try to be the second one. If other analysts have comments to add or just plain disagree with me, I always deeply appreciate correction and much prefer if it’s public, in the Comments section, so everyone can learn.
Sabira has my respect for verbalizing what she doesn’t yet know. That takes time, effort, and organizing the files in your head. She asked some great questions. I fear that my answers can’t be as cut and dry as we might hope…which makes me feel a bit better. Do you find that the more someone knows about something, the more their answer to every question starts sounding like “Well, it depends.” ?Maybe I’m getting somewhere.
I’m not posting palettes because Sabira added a link to the eleablake (the makeup company that creates astoundingly good 12 Season cosmetics) Pinterest pages where you can see all 12 layouts.
I would ask what I should rely more when finding my coloring. For example my eyes are rather muted, I would say dark teal green or pine, but my skin is not so grayed, so some of the most grayed colors of a SA palette work with my eyes, but don’t work with my skin giving it unhealthy glow. DA palette works better with my skin. Does that mean that I should rely more on my skin tone, than on other factors?
Look at the skin foremost. You just can’t be going around with an unhealthy glow. What would be the point of that? When the skin is right, the hair, eyes, everything else, are automatically right.
Skin and eyes will always accord in the end but eyes are tougher to call because blue eyes will make a connection with a blue turtleneck from any of the 4 Seasons. How do you pick the true connection? It’s not easy for women to do on their own or with friends who don’t quite know what to look for. I often am sent photos of a woman in clothing from what she assumes is say, True Summer…but the colour is actually from another palette.
Don’t look only at what intensifies eye colour. Look at how crisp the outer edge of the iris is. If the eye edge is fuzzy, so are the other features smudged into the face. The natural topography is dulled and blunted.
I would ask if there exist some colors that can help distinguish between the two seasons. I mean if there are colors of the SA palette that a DA can’t tolerate and vice versa.
A funny, in fact almost frightening, thing happens when Dark Autumn’s spiced peach is put beside Soft Autumn skin, it sucks all the life and colour out of it. Then when SA’s soft coral replaces it, the flush of health and vitality returns like a whoosh, from the drape up to the hairline.
Same thing happens when L Sp wears Bright Spring’s iced pink. Though B Sp’s seems a “lighter” shade of pink, it drains the life out of L Sp skin. Put the L Sp coral on the person, and you can see glowing alive colour suffuse the skin.
Dark Autumn’s lighter colours are very particular and hard to find. The yellows and greens, also too hard to find. To choose between 2 Seasons, you have to get extreme. Try DA’s strong burnt orange, dark rust, and dark tobacco, against SA’s light flowerpot terracotta, latte, and willow green. There’s no point using grey – DA’s battleship, TA’s elephant, SA’s dark putty, the odds of finding them in your closet is next to nil.
I am not also sure, whether black is a part of a DA palette or no. Because as for me, I can wear black, but it is not my best choice, I need to wear something golden or beige with it to make it work. When I wear black only I can’t look my best.
Sounds about right for DA. It is not in their palette but they can balance the darkness so well that they can cheat it in if it’s warmed up. What’s even better than black are those colours that are so dark that even in pretty good lighting, you think “Is that black?” When you move it around, you see that’s it is darkest navy, eggplant, brown, and grey.
Put a SA in pure pitch black, all you see is the black and an older looking SA.
Question about contrast – if a soft season can have medium-high contrast between skin, eyes and hair, or it doesn’t matter.
Let’s be sure we’re comparing apples to apples. It sounds like Sabira is meaning “contrast” as distance between lightest and darkest, what is most often meant. We’ll stay with that.
There is a wide variation in hair darkness in Soft Seasons (and many others), so there will be different degrees of contrast (hair-skin-eye differences in darkness level). Although the most perfect skin tone, colour, and texture, and the overall harmony are achieved with the same palette regardless of hair colour in a given Season, and hair colour isn’t used to choose Season, there’s no doubt that it plays a role in how others see us.
What I think looks right, an opinion from not-a-fashion-expert, is to repeat what you look like. Try to use the same distances between lights and darks in clothes that you see in your face, always within your correct palette.
The more I see of this, the more I think that spending too much time on contrast just complicates your life. Your entire colouring is inherently set to be in agreement in the exact same way as your 12 Season (12 Tone) colour palette. Your own personal hue/value/saturation all shift consistently and together even if you got darker than or warmer eyes than the ‘average’ for the Season. The thinking is already done for you. The Sci\ART palettes are so genius because they make it hard to get it wrong, to achieve very high contrast where it doesn’t belong. In Soft Autumn, where you have eggshell and medium-dark putty grey for lightest and darkest, you can’t really create a too-high contrast. So, contrast is something to think about briefly but I’d move around my palette with freedom and imagination knowing every colour there looks great on you, and I’d spend my time figuring out my body’s geometry.
What do you think about the concept of flowing seasons – can it be so that a person can take some colors from the neighbour palette. And can it be so, that a Soft Autumn can bу closer to the DA than a SSu.
This is the order of the Seasons in my head, as taught to me during my Sci\ART training (my diagram, not an official Sci\ART publication):
The Season Circle
So SA and DA just wouldn’t share colours because they’d have to pass through TA. They are totally different. Perhaps one of DA’s browned coffee beiges could work pretty well, but most of DA is just too aggressive (too saturated, too red, too dark) to flatter a SA or work with the rest of her outfit.
To my knowledge, the “flow” concept comes from Color Me Beautiful. I’m not familiar with its full meaning or implications, so I’ll talk about sharing colours.
Any two immediate neighbours could maybe share some colours if:
1. Those two Seasons were very close when choosing the final and correct Season.
2. You respect TMIT. A Dark Winter and Dark Autumn could share their darker colours much better than their lighter ones. Light colours on Dark Seasons are less forgiving, so they’re either exactly right or completely wrong.
A True Summer and a Light Summer would share maybe the coolest colours of Light Summer. Maybe. I find True Seasons very absolute, and quite low in their tolerance of neighbour Season colours because the neighbours have warmth, the one thing with which True Seasons cannot harmonize. The sharing works better with Neutral Seasons. Still it takes caution and is often done too freely. Your best palette was chosen for a reason. Strive to stay within it.
I’ve always thought that I am SA flowing to Ssu, but when I saw these – http://pinterest.com/eleablake. I realized that those colors I thought to be a Ssu blue-greens are really DW blue greens and some of the colors I thought to be of a Soft Autumn are more of the DA palette. I know that it depends on the monitor, but I have never thought that the soft seasons are SO grayed. I think I had the wrong concept of what is really “soft”. Is it so?
The Soft Season palettes are probably the hardest to figure out on your own, Soft Summer likely hardest. The colours are losing some saturation in the photos and monitors. They appear brighter than this in the swatch books. It’s not your concept of Soft that is wrong. It’s the concept of ‘how Soft’, or ‘how Soft in this Season compared to that Season’. Dark Winter is softer than Bright Winter.
People don’t look at your clothing colours on a screen or a white background. They look at them ON YOU. On a Soft Summer, those soft colours look connected to her. She looks healthy, vibrant, and defined instead of disappeared. It feels comfortable and right to look at those colours when SHE wears them.
On a billboard, we might choose other colours, but we don’t see other people as two-dimensional blocks of isolated colour. We see them as a total image, like an organic hologram, not separate from what they wear. We are more beautiful when the colours we wear are an extension of ourselves and have a logical reason to be placed next to our body.
I am still confused with the terms “soft” and “muted” – what is the difference.
For our purposes, there isn’t one. They mean desaturated, closer to the pot of grey paint you started with before you began adding colour pigment. If the colour appears dusty, heathered, greyed, then it is called muted or soft.
Most important to always remember, colour is relative. Closer to grey compared to what? Wedgewood blue or electric sapphire? Compared to Bright Spring, True Spring is soft, but we don’t call True Spring’s colour low in saturation or muted.
I started to think whether I can be a DA, because my worst colors are pure white and summer light pastels. Light pastels give me either yellow or grey unhealthy glow for my skin.
Sounds right for DA. The skin looks like concrete in Summer pastels.
I also appreciate this post very much
But it make the things for me much more complicated :
As for a DA the 2nd and the 3rd are my best colors indeed, but I am not sure about the fist blue-purple. As for a Soft Autumn – I look good in brown and soft warm yellow, but the medium green is not my best choice – it is too light and too grey. As for neighbour seasons – I can wear Dark winter grey and maybe red, but I am not so happy with red – my better red is definitely warmer. Yet it is an “ok color”. I can wear SSu pine green – it works with my eye color, and so does TA teal, but other shades of a Soft Summer are not my best choice usually, and True autumn is too warm for me.
Like 19 people out of 20, you’re finding confusion in interpreting colour. How do you put it all together? I’m afraid that only a small minority can get it right, even from photos sent to an analyst. Plainly said, it just comes out incorrect too often. That’s not the analyst’s fault, it’s the medium.
When you saw the colours above, error #1 came in because the screen didn’t show them right. That error will carry forward just like in algebra, in every calculation to follow. Then you tried to match them with what you had, error #2 because that was off a little. If it were easy to find right colours, we’d have drape sets by the truckload to sell you. Now we have error #3, where you decided what works on you, but I bet that for some of your choices, I might come to a different answer. And on it goes.
Between any 2 Seasons, you’re always juggling 3 parameters of colour – warmth level, darkness level, and saturation. So maybe the saturation of Dark Winter works well, but not the warmth level. Maybe the coolness of S Su is what works, it’s kind of like DW’s coolness level after all, but its darkness level is way off and its saturation is off by a tiny bit. And on that goes.
I also tried to compare how different greens intensify my eye color – there was no clue also, my eyes are not so dark (but I am not quite sure how dark can be blue-green eyes, I would describe my eye color as pine green in general) and change color that is why I can’t wave goodbye to soft seasons. I tried blue green and olive – but they work both I think, because my eyes have blue green background with an olive sun around the pupil, so when I wear olive they are warm green, when I wear pine they are pine green, when I wear teal they are teal green. I know that every season can have every eye color, but with different shades. So I have a question can that be that a DA can have pine green eyes or pine is more a soft color?
Right, so you may find blue, green, or brown eyes in any Season but they won’t be same version of those colours in terms of warmth/darkness/saturation. Some are less common, like blue-eyed Dark Autumns, but it can happen, perhaps as a dark teal that appears blue.
And yes, if you have green in the eye, it seems to connect with any green you wear to some degree.
When you say ‘pine green’, we probably have a different colour in our heads. Even if you sent me the colour, I doubt that it would be the real colour of your eye. We usually don’t know our true eye colour till it is placed adjacent to our most harmonious palette. To go from eye colour to a Season decision will lead you wrong. To go from Season to “Wow, who knew I had those colours in my eyes?” happens all the time when a woman is correctly draped.