True Spring in 13 Kibbes
April 15, 2012 by Christine Scaman
David Kibbe’s book that amazes me more, the more I try to learn it, contains 13 Image Identities based on the shapes of your body and face. I stick with it because this is an image system I can get to work. Like colour, you can subdivide the groups to refine every individual individually if you want to, but even if you get your general category right, you are looking so much more like your real self. I’m amazed at his eye for what works on a body shape and how correct he was. Even about the smaller details, to get the most from this book requires hanging on his every word. Perhaps that’s why the artist stays hidden.
I can only hold four words in my head at a time and I repeat them over and over, the Shopping Mantras (SM). The details about shoulders and so on come later with the fine tuning. I still make mistakes like I did with colours, but it’s happening less, fast.
TheÂ Theatrical Romantic and Romantic
TR SM: intricate, delicate, sharp edges, tapered.
R SM: lush, flowing, circular, ornate.
The singer Adele is probably a Summer R, but I had the perfect True Spring Romantic model in Marilyn Monroe. Problem is, I don’t see the clothes on her very well. Not sure where I went wrong, maybe it’s all too Natural. Or maybe it’s fine for the real Marilyn that her family knew.
Important Note: About the Poly below, Deana brings up such a great point in the Comments below that I want to be sure everyone sees it. She noticed that the pink of the R dress on the right isn’t in her fan. She is right and her 12 Tone fan is right. The pink of the dress is not warm enough for True Spring. Even the blazer for TR with the green pants is just borderline warm enough, perhaps more of a Light Spring colour. True Spring is too yellow, causing their pinks to move into coral and nectarine. I can’t always find the item, the cut, the colour, kind of like a day at the mall, so I compromise and agree that a True Spring could do better.
Dramatic and Soft Dramatic
D SM : crisp, angular, tailored, long.
SD SM: bold, ornate, lavish, draped. Puts Jessica Rabbit in my head.
The D blue dress- it’s too fussy? I couldn’t find the column I wanted. This one seems long, lean, spare of colour and design. Could its length outweigh its delicacy and tip it further towards ultimate Yang, as happens in the proportions of SD bodies?
No, I get it now. The problem lies not in the degree of fuss but in the fabric: it’s not crisp enough so the angles that the folds generate are not sharp. On a D face and body that is all sharp angles, these round, flowing folds don’t match. Not just that, there are so many of them that the inequality gets even more emphasis. The halter style is better.
Who is that blue dress right for then? A FN would be my second guess. It fits the geometric, asymmetric, rounded edges, rectangle, suggested for FN, and of the “narrow and slinky” dress description. It’s still string bean and banana shaped, though I can certainly see it on Princess Di. Or is the dress right for no body?
The Dramatic Classic, Classic, and Soft Classic
DC SM: sleek, angular, geometric, straight. Bends are tight, but not necessarily acute angles. Not a circle and not a lightning bolt. I wonder if the yellow dress is too asymmetric but I’d wear it. Trimness is important, the teal shirt would have the side seams taken in so the width at the hem is less than across the shoulders.
C SM: smooth, slim, symmetric, moderate. I had to put in that purple trench to add interest to all the controlled and moderate. The woman who was my inspiration for many of the Allow Yourself To Be True Summer -themed articles is also a Classic. She longs to break out, tries shiny trenches and patchwork jackets. It’s good to know how to break your own rules harmlessly. There will be those days.
SC SM: unbroken, curved, symmetric, softened. Unbroken means smoothness both in lines and textures. Soft = supple, smooth, flat, silky, downy, round, decorative, whispered, gentle, sensitive, sentimental, sweet.
Lately, I really like shiny, pinky copper on True Spring (4th strip, first and second dots if you have a Sci\ART Book), like metallic apricot (as opposed to SA’s sueded apricot).
The DC ring is curvy but I’d wear it for the head of the Cobra shape that imparts the sharp leitmotif of the group. I was also trying to repeat similar shapes for all the C’s to keep the head to toe continuity Kibbe recommends.Â For C, I paid more attention to symmetry than colour continuity. For SC, I added more romance as softer lines. For DC, I used more colour repeats. Continuous smoothness of texture also supports the appearance of an unbroken line.
DC has a bigger hand, mine is quite square, and seems to need a menswear or bigger watch. SC is the dish soap commercial hand, the cheese sauce for the broccoli Velveeta hand, perfectly symmetric in length and width, rather than the small-and-wide of SC as roundness arrives.
N SM: slim, straight, eased, simple.
FN SM: vertical, horizontal, bold, blunted.Â Remove belt from colourful green dress and wear cool white belt low slung for the desired dropped waist.
SN SM: rounded, relaxed, shaped, creative.
The use of texture and separates seems a big difference between N and C, to bring the asymmetry of a more natural, less controlled world to the Ns.
The FN dress – too floaty? It does fit with “Free Spirit Chic” of FN. There are so many similarities in the ergonomics of the Sci\ART colour analysis and Kibbe body geometry systems. If you avoid what you shouldn’t wear, that’s you 90% better. As long as you pay attention to the Avoid: section, whatever’s left is probably quite decent. Since it’s not ornate, fussy, crisp, severe, or fitted, I figure it would be OK on Jessica Simpson.
Green cardi on N worn open neck with those nice beads that my eyes would get glued to.
Between SN and SC, the lineÂ is tricky for me. Both are the most fluid and smooth of their group. Poly 3B below shows my attempt to compare the 3 Classics and 3 Naturals.
For FN, I tried to go with strong horizontals and verticals with fancy stuff kept low on the body. Between C and SC, and N and SN is a transitional style that seems either could wear. Yes, the SN dress is a Soft Autumn colour, we can just pretend it’s juicy instead of earthy.
These are the clothes you lift off the rack and think they were misplaced from the kids’ section. They’re hip and clever, have lots of personality, are very chic in a small way, and you wish they made them for bigger bodies. You try them on just in case they look as snazzy as on the hanger, and in the dressing room, say to self in mirror “Your are no Paul McCartney. Must remove these in case there are cameras in here.”
This woman could wear red Capris to the office and look great. She’s the only one who can wear tight ankle length pants with a bold plaid print and just look better, while everyone else just looks funny-peculiar. Her Dark Autum rendition is among my dearest friends. Â I read the book. Now, can I dress her with vague images of go-go dresses, Carnaby Street, Parisian waiters, sailor outfits, and Madeline’s school uniform floating in my head?
Those are images are off though. This is small in size to give the sense of quick and clever, like squirrels, but not childish at all in design, not Peter Pan, Alice, or jelly beads. I’m feeling that it will take a miracle on the order of the loaves and fishes to figure this out, as if being told to find something without being told what it is.
G SM: small, crisp, skinny, outlined.
FN SM: short, sharp, fitted, extreme.
SG SM: detailed, crisp, rounded, fitted.
The pictures of the Asian women in FG and SG make a good contrast. The cream blouse on the SG is too floppy, I think. In fact, it’s probably the blouse on the model in the right that would be right, but I found none. The Gamines really need a seamstress.
A G could actually bring in some black (might have to to buy anything). Black evokes a rule-breaking approach to life that seems almost necessary.
Those FN shoes, you must admit they’re ‘irregular and chunky’.
Kathryn suggested FG as lines contradicting and intersecting in opposing directions. I thought that very clever and held on to it as I made choices.
All the detail would have to be added with accessories, because contrast and piping don’t appear in today’s mass-produced garments. Accessories would add asymmetry and sharpness. Unmatched was a buzzword I used when scanning so that every piece drew attention and didn’t blend overly well. I sensed a personal “you either love it or you hate it” polarity towards these items and outfits, perhaps the extreme Yang and Yin of the Gamines. If jewelry was staccato, it had to be almost obnoxiously so. By the time the outfit was pulled together from the items that matched the guidelines, I got the “OK , I get it already” reaction that I’m learning to expect from Kibbe. Really, I love this man’s vision.