Enneastyle: What We (Really) Want Clothes To Say

Congruence between how we think we look, how we want to look, and how others react to how we look, is the only way that our self-expression can be successful.

The overlap will never be 100%, life would be too boring, but a lot of intersection would be a good sign that we are all processing a similar reality. Others would cooperate more in helping our life unfold as we hope. If we think we look employable while everyone else thinks, “Why in all the world would she wear that?”, we are not helping ourselves.

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Heather* is an Autumn woman. It doesn’t matter which of the three Autumns since they and the rest of their outfit are equally unflattened by white for different reasons. Heather might still have worn that tight white skirt if she knew that others were wondering if she’s gained weight and ignoring her perfect sweater, or she might have made a different choice.

Not only is Heather worried about weight gain, she knows that white is not among her flattering colours. Why do you figure she bought the skirt?

Something must have mattered more than her colours.

Was it because her friend bought the same skirt on the same shopping trip, a BFF bonding moment? The lifelong friend is instinctively tuned into what others want to hear. Whatever that is, it subtly becomes her truth in that moment.

If she told Heather that the skirt looked great, then to her, it did. Had she been shown a picture of Heather as a stranger, she might have had another opinion. Had Heather known this about her friend, she might not have acted so quickly on her advice.

That wasn’t the reason.

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Is it because Heather’s colour analyst forgot to observe and measure every feature of the face during the PCA, panicked, and jumped to the Season conclusion too soon? Unsure of the client’s colour ranges, she opts for calm colours as a safer bet while Heather knows herself to be another Season?

That happens.

Or would the analyst so abhor any garment for herself that felt showy or standing out that she would never do that to a client? A quiet appearance is the analyst’s way of doing unto others, her Golden Rule. It subtly becomes her truth and displaces the objective markers she learned during her training.

That happens too.

But those were not the reasons.

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Her analysis result was correct. Heather had another need, one strong enough to rank higher than her colour palette when she is faced with shopping choices.

This condition defines her very survival: the need to be desirable. Not just to anybody and everybody. To one person.

This is no simple need. It be little but it be fierce. Given its own saferoom in Heather’s subconscious, the one that holds her last and biggest fear, the sign outside says: Open This Door Last.

Over the years, the room got thicker walls and a dead bolt. The most important thing is to keep it safe and satisfied, whatever it takes. If the beast breaks the chains, who knows what might happen? As always when we are out of balance, and we all are somewhere, we end up creating the very thing we fear.

The skirt was having an opposite effect. Instead of white, a soft denim blue or burgundy suede skirt would have had us swooning. In Heather’s eyes, those colours don’t make the point strongly enough. The significant other might miss it unless she amps it up a few notches. The white skirt is an overreaction to secure the essential relationship and feel safe.

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Had I understood Heather in this way when we did her PCA, I would have framed my advice and images differently.

Having experienced Heather’s situation many times over the years and recently with the One Woman, Two Versions posts, I keep running into the gaps large and small between how we see ourselves and how others see us. This includes the big topic of other people’s filters. Why does one person see a woman’s makeup as too bright when another sees it as just right?

I care about what we communicate by appearance choices. I want my clients’ non-verbal language to be saying what they want to say, whatever that is. First, they need to gather words for what they want to say. My role is to act as a mirror that projects back to them what they are actually telling the world. The more neutral and non-reactive I can be, the more faithful the image they see.

Other people can make us better if we allow it. By creating a real reflection, with generosity, love, and listening in our hearts, we can help stuck energy flow again in one another. That doesn’t mean giving out advice to achieve what we want for our life, which is useless to them. We need to know what they want while helping them find balance in their blind spots. Heather’s white skirt is a place where her communication is being jammed. A better choice would let her energy trickle and rise again, she would be received as she intended, and the things she wants would move towards her.

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Let’s meet two more magnificent women. All women are magnificent.

In my colour beginnings, I had a one-dimensional view of humans and their colours. Soon enough, I realized that although Sonia* and Carol* wear the same colours, they would do themselves and the rest of us no favours by wearing the same shapes.

Enter from the wings Rachel who explains a system where body shape and proportion are translated into effective clothing and consistently proves how well it works. I direct every client towards this service, since I am but an observer with casual knowledge and a lot of interest.

Sonia and Carol are now wearing beautiful clothing that they bought themselves. I think they look great. Only one of them does.

Sonia is happy. She trusts herself; she is re-learning her identity, calmly and joyfully aware that it takes months and years, not days and weeks. She has never been closer to living on her own terms.

Learning new things is the #1 best way to be in the moment, despite the fact that on this planet, using new muscles will hurt. Sonia is not backing down now. With every purchase, right or wrong, she enjoys that second of suspension when she is bigger, fuller, and richer, like that moment before we release a joyful breath. For the first time, her wardrobe feels like coasting instead of struggling.

Carol is bugged and doesn’t know why, which makes her more bugged. Her logical brain tells her the colours and lines are those of her physical body. She is spending 1/3 what she did  a year ago. She knows that her face, that once was lost in the same room as her previous cosmetics, is lovely. She is willing to learn, has stopped obsessing about an imaginary Finish line, and hears sincere positive feedback.

Still bugged. The clothing colours are not speaking with her true voice. She is a Winter who is drawn to Summer colours, or anything soft, like bees to nectar. Her appearance word choices are about blending in and belonging. Words around separation, visual or any other kind, give her heart palpitations. Winter colours feel so conspicuous.

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In Sonia’s world, love and security happen by appearing. In a meeting, she needs to talk to feel that she is in the room. A challenge was learning that her rhinestone octopus earrings might be taking it too far for the office or the first meeting with the guy from e-Harmony, especially worn at the same time as the fishnets and the skirt with all the zippers going in different directions. It came as news to her that her point might be getting lost.

Carol wants the same love and security in the same world. To her, it arrives by not standing out, not being noticed, feeling calm and happy in the background. In a group, she would certainly ask a question and is passionate about what she cares about. She’s not shy. She is thinking. She is fine with her body, just doesn’t need attention or conversation around it.

I hear their different language around appearance. As the colour analyst, it is my job to interpret the palette so that they can recognize themselves. I must tailor my advice to where they find comfort and security in their appearance, but how?

Ever on the pulse of anything cool, clever, and good, Rachel introduces me to the Enneagram, and the Enneastyle book (look down the list on this page) . Seriously, if you are interested in self-perception regarding appearance, you really want to download this pdf whether you know your E type or not.

A free test can be found here along with options offering much more info for barely more money.

Many great books have been written. The Wisdom of the Enneagram was given to me by Naomi Eastman, our analyst in Vancouver. Excellent, excellent book. If you know any others that you found exceptional, please add them to the comments. I would love to read them.

From the Enneastyle booklet, from the Author’s note:

Just as in any facet of life, the whole of one’s personal presentation is far greater than the sum of its parts. For it is the integration of all aspects of the personality: body type, coloring, instincts, spiritual focus, energy, image, personal gifts and struggles that create the harmonic, balanced and complete whole. Just as we appreciate beauty in nature, we appreciate it when someone dresses and behaves in a manner that is congruent with their energy, archetype, passions, expressions, personality, features and body type.

Katherine Chernick Fauvre

Katherine Fauvre Consulting I Enneagram Explorations I Fauvre Research

http://www.katherinefauvre.com

KCF

 

 

 

 

For Enneastyle, Fauvre conducted a study across thousands of participants, using pictures, questionnaires, collages, and conversations with participants regarding their communication goals around appearance.

We can measure the body’s exteriors, its colours and lines, but as Fauvre said to me in an email, “internal and external harmony addresses what is innate”.  How do we measure, compare, and organize everyone’s interiors?

The booklet begins with an explanation of the Enneagram concept and description of the 9 types – basically 9 ways in which people perceive reality. The results are presented as each type’s Desire, Need, Fear, Avoidance (I avoid this type of look….) , Image Personality (keywords, I appear to…), Theme Statement (I am…), in the context of how they wish to look and communicate by appearance. Expressions that came up most often, type of language, similarities in images, and some ways in which the types measure their success, which I found very entertaining, are included.

Each of the 9 types divides into 3 Instincts:

The Self-Preservation person (“Me. I’m on my own. I must take care of myself.”).

The Social subtype (“Us. Me and my group. We can take on the world as long as we’re all together.”).

The One-to-One or Sexual Instinct (“You and me. I am only complete and safe if I can form an intimate relationship with you.”)

The quotes are my paraphrases.

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If a person dresses to divert attention away from the body (for reasons that are explained in the booklet), attire that reveals the body will feel like exposure. I wonder how often a Bright Winter who wants any palette except Bright Winter is of this type. It would certainly explain a few things.

Knowing this, I could have helped her so much better than by saying, “Try it, you’ll get used to it.” I could have taken more time with matte colours, found resources for her neutral colours, and so on. Like our Autumn Heather in the white skirt, this Bright Winter is willing and wanting to compromise her own colours to meet a greater perceived survival need. My job is to help her do this as beautifully and effectively as possible, guiding her to the best choices without compromising either of our goals.

We look for ourselves in all kinds of systems. We would look like Venn diagrams, with many coincident areas (Summer, Cancer, E9, Classic, could all sound similar). Once you see how the 9 E types are settled around a circle, and how they correlate to the Gut/Heart/Mind, you would recognize similarities with the personality stereotypes in the 12 Season order with True Winter at 12 o’clock.

In a couple, he is an E3 and she is an E9. They realize that clothing communicates, that they need only learn fashion as it concerns their body, and both agree that they would like more glamour in their look. Something gets in the way. E3 is looking for the fast track and figures if he is brilliant at lots of other things, these little image details won’t really matter, will they? E9 knows that she will stop activity traffic in and out of her life to keep it simple. All this clothing information sounds complicated and potentially uncomfortable. In time, both will read some of the information, take some of the steps, and they will look somewhat better. On my end,  I won’t have to wonder if I could have done more. They just had other priorities.

Bet there are many Dark Autumn E5 men. E5 might be someone who breathes into their brain during Yin Yoga class, the idea of breathing into their lungs being a novel one. We would not discuss his wardrobe in terms of emotion. We would talk strategy and tactics.

A client is an E7. Many Gamine types probably are. Used to be that one negative word about her choices and the walls went up. In defense mode, we no longer heard each other. Today, I adjust my language to focus on a happy, busy future. She has learned that how her body is and how colours appear next to her are not good or bad. They just are. Statements about how she is shaped and coloured are not judgments, just facts. She can receive them while staying relaxed and curious to learn more.

As David Fauvre has said, “You’ll never see yourself the same way again.”

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To know how a client wants to look, I must learn to ask the right questions.

I already ask, “What colours would you never wear?” The answer doesn’t matter, very few people have a correct sense of the possibilities, especially before the analysis. The answers range from, “I’d wear every colour, even neon, no problem.” to, “Just yellow. Also green. Well, not blue (now counting on fingers) or orange, and not brown.” My reason for asking is only to learn how permissive they will be around change.

A question I ask male clients is, “If you wore a white shirt and medium or dark gray pants, what would you add or adjust to feel comfortable?” The more clearly I know what you want from your appearance, the better I can help you find the right choices.

Working from hotels has had conveniences. The negatives have been the costs and need to decline so many requests when schedules don’t sync. I hope to begin seeing clients once again this fall in a dedicated studio. To focus on each person’s situation and save time on the day of the session, we will have a questionnaire to fill in one week before.

The questions so far are:

Besides knowing your colouring, why are you having a PCA?

If you have been thinking about it for some time, why did you contact me today?

If I could solve one appearance concern for you in the next 5 days, what would it be?

What is easy about any aspect of clothing, including fit, style, colour, a favourite print, a form of self-expression that feels right, or any other? What is difficult?

What words describe your desired appearance? Formal, comfort, glamour, functional, fitting in, standing out, or any other? Please bring images to your appointment if visual cues would be easier.

Do you know about the image analysis service at Best Dressed? Is that something you intend to pursue? If you know your image archetype (from Best Dressed and affiliates only please), it will be helpful if you share it.

Do you receive feedback that aligns or conflicts with what you believe to be true about your appearance?

Is cosmetic shopping confusing or easy, intimidating or under your control, frustrated by barely used items or fulfilled with items that are used regularly?

What would you like to know about makeup colour? How do you wear makeup, if ever, or how would you like to change how you wear it?

Are there any big purchases ahead?

What pleases and displeases you about your hair colour experience? If you would like it to change, how would that look?

If you care to share the information, what is your Enneagram type? If you know your Instinct, that will be helpful for us. Knowing your Tritype is not necessary for our purpose.

Independent of constraints about which colours or styles are available, what would you like more of in your wardrobe?

What would you like less represented in your wardrobe?

How do you not want to ever look? Can you give an example? For eg, a man might say, “I would never want to look showy.” When asked, showy means a dark suit, dark shirt, dark tie, and necklace. It does not include a tie with pink flowers, his favourite item of clothing.

What is your favourite piece of attire?

Is there something you would like to try but feel concerned about how it might look? Is there a colour that you often experiment with but have not found success?

During your appointment, is there an area where would you like us to focus our time? Choosing correct colour from the palette, more detailed cosmetic application, hair colour, creating complete outfits, or some other?

Have you anything else that you care to share, ask, or request at this time?

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I would be appreciative of any suggestions for questions to add to the list. Think back to your PCA. What do you wish the analyst had known? What would the right questions have been, given what you know about yourself today?

My expertise is neither with Archetype or Enneagram. I don’t want people to feel that they have to write for an hour.  The idea is to allow enough time to get the thinking ball rolling about how clothing relates to themselves in ways that they might never have considered.

You can help me help you. As an E1, all I want is for all of us get better.

 

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Introducing Colour Analyst Naomi Eastman (Vancouver)

My first experience with Naomi was of cheerful persistence, already a very good quality for a colour analyst. When the first attempt at a training course in Vancouver did not work out, Naomi solved every problem, making it so easy for me to offer the course from her studio. The location was so effective that West Coast courses are now held twice yearly from Naomi’s studio.

When she opened her front door, my experience of Naomi was of a warm, welcoming, informal person. She is adaptable and open-minded, which translates into being able to see your problem your way and provide a solution that will work for you in your world, as she did for the course location and I. She can communicate solutions in many ways to find the one that is do-able for you.

Here is what I especially respect about Naomi. She is as free as anyone I’ve met of what an outcome has to be. This translates into an analyst who has no preconceptions about what your Season has to be because you look a certain way. Of course, natural appearance and Season have to make sense together but these decisions come closer to the end of the analysis. At the beginning, an analyst needs to clear these notions out of her head.

The scientific method teaches us to begin with a hypothesis and then set about proving or disproving it. That doesn’t work in PCA because your hypothesis introduces your personal impressions. Your impressions might be partly true but you have no idea which part. Only the drapes can tell you that.

You are better off to start with nothing, no assumptions at all. The human mind usually reacts against this. It gets agitated when it doesn’t know before it can know. Naomi is the analyst who can naturally look at reality from different angles just to see what’s really there. She is a curious explorer gathering information. She fills a space with data without needing to organize it into patterns sooner than possible.

I am honoured today to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Naomi Eastman.

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In Naomi’s words,

“What colors can you NOT wear?”, Christine Scaman asks me. It’s early on in the 12 Blueprints analyst training course and it’s my turn to be draped.

“Definitely orange, lime green and mustard yellow”, I immediately respond. I would have dismissed those colours on the clothing rack, based on my past (negative) experiences wearing them.

My draping confirmed that mustard yellow will never look good on me, but a clear butter yellow would. Having a yellow overtone had led me to believe that I could not wear any type of yellow. Hmm, how interesting. Surprisingly, the orange from the Luxury drape set does not make my skin look sallow. In fact, this particular orange may even elicit a few compliments, such as, “My, how your eyes sparkle in that color!” And there was another discovery. I do have my version of a “lime” green that is less yellow, but just as vibrant. Letting go of preconceived notions can bring you to a new place. A whole new world of colour has opened up endless possibilities for me!

Trial and Error

Throughout childhood and as a young adult, I dutifully wore whatever colours were provided by the clothing industry. I wore all colours – bright, muted, dark and light. However, I did determine that I could not wear colours that were too warm, and that autumn colors (mustard, olive, rust) were not good on me. Every once in a while, I would find a colour that everyone thought looked fantastic on me, but I could not determine what made the colour work so well. It was basically hit-and-miss when it came to finding colours that worked best for me.

When the 4 Season system became popular, I hoped it would provide the answer. I located an analyst and was analyzed as a Summer. Initially, I was happy to finally have some direction in my shopping experience. I tried to buy “my colours.” However, occasionally I “cheated” a bit with more saturated colours, and I never managed to give up black. In fact, a few years later, during my frazzled new mom period (when I felt like a zombie from lack of sleep), I simplified my wardrobe down to primarily black, as there would be no need to work at coordinating outfits. It was one less thing to think about in an already busy day.

As time passed (and I got more sleep), I missed wearing colour. Eventually, I came across a 12 season system. I was curious. I wondered if I would have a different result in this system. Would I finally find my “wow” colours? However, an in-person analysis and a subsequent on-line analysis both yielded the same result – Soft Summer. I craved brighter colours, but with a sigh, I resigned myself to Soft Summer’s muted palette. After all, a Summer season had now been confirmed by 3 different analysts, so I decided to give it a go. I shopped with my swatch book, scanning the stores for muted colours, and tried to substitute my black with grey although, I confess, I still occasionally cheated. When I look back at photos of me in Soft Summer clothing, I suppose I looked okay, but I felt drab.

Perhaps I was not using the full spectrum of my palette, I thought. Maybe I was choosing colours that were too “dusty” and I really belonged at the clearer end of the Soft Summer colour range. Was a less muted Soft Summer even possible? Or maybe I just needed more makeup and accessories. Or another hair colour and highlights?

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Trying out the trendy nude lip look: “I can see now how the warm and muted tone of this nude lipstick does not go with my clear blue eyes, but at the time I could not pinpoint what was not working.”

 

Today, I know that colours support us energetically. You can feel the difference when you’re wearing your correct colour harmony. While wearing the Soft Summer palette, I had a feeling of ‘blah-ness’, a sort of tiredness and a lack of zest. Somehow, those colours were not enough for me. I needed something more, and I was determined to find the answer.

I began to research colour theory and colour analysis through books (lots of books), blogs, colour analysis systems, and 12blueprints.com. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. I was fascinated by the world of colour and it became my passion. I had set out to find my best colours, and now I had a desire to help others do the same. “Someday, I will train to be an analyst”, I decided.

When I saw Christine’s blog post announcing her intention of coming to Vancouver to train those interested, I signed up immediately, thinking ‘here’s my opportunity’. The training was intense and so much fun. Christine is a gifted teacher and under her tutelage my eye for colour flourished.

A vital part of my training included over 20 case studies (full session drapings of volunteers) to put into practice all the technical aspects of personal colour analysis. The photos of each draping session and an in-depth write up of my observations were reviewed by and discussed with Christine. This internship period was a valuable exercise – each case study had its unique challenges that made for fascinating discussions and resulted in the fine tuning of the skills Christine had taught me.

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The lighting is strange here because we were trying out makeup choices and the power went out! We used lights from our various devices to get at least one image of my draping.

 

You have to know what to look for.

I know now that I had been draped as Summer season in the past primarily because the other analysts had (mis)interpreted my light blue eyes as ‘pastel’ eyes, when they are actually transparent and ‘icy’. Christine is one of very few analysts able to bring everything (skin, hair, eyes) together correctly to determine that I was actually a Bright Winter. My training focused on developing my ability to correctly interpret the visual effects in the drapes. The methodology that 12 Blueprints analysts use to determine which drapes bring out the best in the clients is both reliable and accurate. You will be pleased with the thoroughness built into this system.

I went into training because of my passion for colour, but I underestimated how satisfying it is for me to actually meet you and help you to look your very best. The draping sessions are so interesting – every client is unique. As I go through your analysis, I explain each step of the process and the effects I’m seeing – breaking it down into clearly-defined visible reactions. You’ll not only see your most flattering colours, but also the colours that do not look good on you, which is equally important. I’ve learned (and personally experienced) that there is a color “sweet spot” for every one of us – one of the 12 Seasons whose hue, value and chroma are in alignment with your particular colouring. And now, thanks to the 12 Blueprints training, I have the privilege of helping you find this place.

My Studio

My studio is located in the Greater Vancouver area, 10 minutes from the US border. The studio has plenty of natural light. It is painted a neutral grey and is equipped with a specialized full-spectrum LED lighting system (used in the colour industry for accurate colour rendition across the entire spectrum), the 12 Blueprints drape set, and True Colour International colour books. I use the 12B product line for makeup application in your season.

Please visit my website at www.eastmancolourconsulting.com or email me at hello@eastmancolourconsulting.com.

Languages spoken: English, French, Italian.

I really look forward to meeting you.

 

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Authenticity and The Perfect Lipstick

I write about Season through the eyes of a person who lives in the Northern Hemisphere in a temperate climate. The 4 Seasons proceed according to well-known formulas. Patterns have their place but as we know, in personal colour analysis (PCA), they can limit our vision.

What about all the people who see colour and time of year differently or live in a land without snow? In today’s post, Jennifer is our guest blogger from New Zealand. From her recent PCA, she found a new awareness of her own colours repeated in Nature. Jennifer first shares her colour journey, followed by a post that opens a beautiful window into geographic colour diversity from a place where summer and December happen together.

Thank you to Amelia Butler for the analysis that found Jennifer’s Season to be Light Summer.

I am honoured to introduce today’s author and share her colour story with you.

Jennifer’s Colour Story

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Photo credit: http://www.vaughanscottimages.co.nz/

 

In my mid Thirties, around 1980, I would have been among the first women in New Zealand to get my colors “done”. Looking at Carole Jackson’s book, I picked my self as a Summer but paid to discover I was a Spring. There were 3 or 4 other women in the class and I was completely fascinated as I watched the process. Did not relate to the Spring Neutrals at all. Did not like them by my face. However I discovered a life long love affair with aqua, coral/peach pink, a soft yellow and cool green. And I began to occasionally to wear light coral pink lipstick. I was a health professional and found wearing my colours simplified the choices I needed to make. In fact as the years went by I got pretty stuck and often too busy and too lazy to wear makeup of any sort …the colours did the work, especially when I was in attendance at the duration of a longish labour in midwifery practice.

The science of colour typing moved forward and I became a spring going to summer and then a light spring. Now I found some neutrals I could wear near my face but only if I made some effort with makeup. Sometime in the middle of 2015, I flirted briefly with David Zyla’s book and while wandering round the internet came across a photo of Christine’s book and found her blog.  A new world of art and science opened up to me. I was so fascinated that I was tempted to travel to Canada to get my colours redone again. I was in love with the words “perfecting the skin”. In my late 60s by now those words really attracted my attention.

Christine gave me the contact details of Amelia Butler of True Colours International in Australia. I was reasonably certain I was still a light spring but slightly open to idea that [Amelia] might come up with another answer. I went to Sydney with a close friend and was so excited by being there that I only took in a few moments of the whole process. The world stopped as I saw myself looking completely beautiful in light summer white. No makeup and perfected skin. Wow!!!!! I did not need to wear the cap as Amelia could see my fine grey hair was natural. The other heart stopping moment was two of light summer’s darkest and possibly most dramatic colours one on each shoulder. A red and a lightish purple. Perfected skin ….is impossible to explain until you see it on yourself.

Followed 4 months of living and breathing my new season. I knew it was true in my mind but I had to learn to live it and trust what I was feeling, seeing, and experiencing. I checked out practically everything I owned in the interior of my house. As far as my clothes were concerned, not much had to be taken to the op shop. About a month later I put on a salmon/coral shirt that had passed the test with the light summer swatches. Too much yellow/orange undertone and out it went. My own eyes told me it was too far into light spring.

Over those 4 months, Christine’s book and my new swatches never left my side. I now have rimless glasses and receive compliments about my eyes, not my too bright eyeglass frames. The right coloured lipsticks,  Flowergirl and Come Dancing [from the Blueprints line] …..I feel naked without them. I discovered how lovely grey pearls can look perfecting the skin and drawing the gaze of others toward my eyes. If you are gray/blue eyed and a light summer go straight out and buy them.

December in New Zealand is the Light Summer month. I watched Hydrangea, Agapanthus, and Jacaranda come in to bloom. The days were at their longest and warm but not too hot, ranging between 23 and 24 degrees C. A smile hardly left my face as I looked around and saw the world as if for the first time.

Was I ever a light spring?

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In the photo above, you can see Come Dancing lipstick and the new rimless glasses. In Jennifer’s words, “The photo does not do justice to those grey pearls….they pick up all the Light Summer colours and the lightest part of my iris. Every blue/grey eyed light summer should have at least a pair of grey pearl earrings.” And about her true hair colour compared to the picture, “My hair is not that colour…..it is actually lovely shade of grey but the sunlight coming through a sunfilter blind turned it blonde for this photo.”

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Natural Setting for December Summer Holiday

Waiheke Island is situated in the Hauraki Gulf, a short ferry ride from New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Conde Nast voted Waiheke one of the 10 best islands to visit in the world and Lonely Planet gave Waiheke Island fifth best place to visit in 2016. A peaceful holiday in early-mid December is a magical time before schools break- up and the busy Christmas/holiday season arrives. Summer has truly started and the days are at their longest, encouraging the viewing of sea and sky in its various moods and colours from earliest dusk until full darkness in the evening. The sea at latitude 37 is a mixture of soft greens and blues at different times of the day

Growing close to the almost deserted beaches are huge mature New Zealand Christmas trees. The native pohutukawa is covered in glorious cherry red blossoms at this time of year and provides dappled shade on many beaches. We stop to pick up groceries at the small township of Oneroa. Casual, relaxed, and friendly, with just a touch of hippie chic left over from the decades before Waiheke’s charm was “discovered” by a legion of fans, local and international.

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A short drive through the rolling hills covered in boutique vineyards, olive groves, and stands of protected forest. There are numerous walking tracks to be enjoyed with glorious 360 degree views. Turning off the road, there is a shady long drive with jacaranda trees in full soft violet blue bloom. The house we stay in is elevated above the beach. We can hear the waves lapping the shore as we step out of the car.

 

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Around three sides of the house, a two-metre wide verandah shades us from the high summer sun, affording many opportunities eat outdoors. Fresh green grass is a joy to walk on with bare feet. The garden has a few herbs and some seasonal vegetables available. Mop head hydrangeas are at the peak of their flowering in various shades of blue, from light sky to the deepest blues with a touch of purple. As a small child these flowers showed off their mop heads far above mine and they always seemed huge if I picked just a few and put them in a vase….for a child the result was a representation of what summer was about.

 

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A later arrival on the shores of New Zealand was the South African agapanthus. The genus to be found blooming right around the verandah carries its dark purple/blue flowers two metres above the ground for most of December and January.

 

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There is the annual family controversy as to what will be eaten for Christmas dinner and once again the clear winner: Roast Chicken with Tarragon Dressing and fresh Cherries. Morning Coffee and Christmas cake each day on the verandah even if it pours with rain. The complete absence of technology leads to a slower, reflective, calming pace of life. Kayaking, swimming and bush walking for exercise. Sweat washed off in the outdoor shower. We listen to Baroque Christmas Carols, read, weather watch and most of all revel in the sheer natural beauty all around in every direction. Every sense is fully satisfied. The house is an open pavilion all day at this time of year.

Dress code: Day: loose cotton shirts, soft pink hibiscus flower tucked behind ear, bare feet and capri length gym pants. Evening: serious sartorial effort!…long loose caftans dressed up with silver hoop earrings, Bulgari Pour Femme perfume, and Come Dancing lipstick. Night attire: high thread count linen sheets.

 

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Blueprints Cosmetics Pricing and Purchase

If you arrived on this page from a link under the PCA Client Resources tab, you can find more information ( cosmetic line overview, ingredients, and products by colour) under the next tab to the right on the home page, Blueprints Cosmetics Intro and Ingredients.

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Prices by product category ($CDN)

(does not incl. HST/GST or shipping)

(on March 1/16)

Lipstick, Lipgloss, Blush, Contour: $24.00

Eyeshadow Palette: $46.00  (eyeshadow accent colour(s) sold separately as Single Eyeshadow Accent below)

Refill eyeshadow pans for palette: $12.00

Single Eyeshadow Accent, Single Brow Powder, Transformer: $19.00

Brow Powder/Wax Duo: $32.00

 

Buying by country

If the destination is in Canada, purchase through me. The price will be the same as from other Canadian analysts, plus HST as applies to the province, and shipping. Email me at christine@12blueprints.com to order.

Outside Canada, prices are determined by the analyst selling them.

In the US, contact Leslie at colouressencenyc.com.

In the EU, Jorunn Hernes has a colour store at fargeporten.com. Note that Matte Contour and Transformer are not approved in the EU.

Product is boxed in EU-Responsible containers. We have had no problem with entry to North America and EU countries.

The same entry regulations and packaging apply to Australia as the USA. If you would like to contact me directly, I will be happy to supply the cosmetic. The price will be the same as in Canada.

This product is not approved for Russia. Ksenia, our analyst in Moscow, had no trouble with product entering the country, though it took 4-6 weeks, rather than the usual 2-3 weeks to other locations.

Test everything before buying. My personal policy is no returns unless packaging or product is defective. Other analysts set their own business policies.

Samples

Samples of any product except the eyeshadow palettes and Transformer (the liquid that makes eyeliner from powder eyeshadow) can be mailed for 50 cents per sample plus shipping.

Email me to christine@12blueprints.com with your Season, the colours requested, a mailing address, and the email on your PayPal account (or  if EMT works for you, if in Canada). I can have the samples in the mail to you within days unless the collection has been shipped to another location for a training course, where there may be a 2-3 week delay for sending samples.

In the US, ask Leslie at colouressencenyc.com or Cate Linden at catelinden.com.

In the EU, contact Jorunn at fargeporten.no.

Analysts 

Although they may not carry full inventory, all of these analysts can be contacted with questions, to sample, and to purchase.

Johanna Jarvinen, Finland. At Flow With Nature.

Rachel Nachmias, Philadelphia. At Best Dressed.

Katherine Schlagal Bullock, San Antonio. At Reveal PCA.

Heather Noakes, California. At Moda In Color.

Cate Linden, Kentucky. At Cate Linden Chromatics. Cate has a beautiful online store on her site where you can see, sample, and purchase the colours if you live in the US. You can also find a recent review of the products in the blog.

Amanda Brown, Wisconsin. At Color Therapy PCA.

 

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3 Types of True Winter

Without the 12 colour harmonies created for the Seasons by Kathryn Kalisz, founder of Sci\ART, I would never have seen and felt the unique language of each Season. Would have missed it completely. I know this for sure.

Some of the colours are provocative and unexpected, but your reaction is, “For goodness sake, would you look at that? How did she know?”

Palettes in which colours are random or leave you with reactions of, “Give me a break, that would never belong here.” are not able to capture the spiritual beauty of each Season.

True Winter’s Voice

True Winter’s spirit might be especially elusive, perhaps why it defies verbal descriptions and has become the subject of so many attempts to define it. The unique radiance of True Winter speaks to me as space and solitude on the most majestic, mysterious scale. It is the silence of the ice cave, the rising of a blue white moon over a frozen lake, the jewel that resembles a planet, the yellow flower that could be the sun.

The earthly images always seem to be metaphors for another immensity, the power of a quiet that cannot be confined. The drapes feel the same way. They hold reserve and dignity, as does True Summer, but with seclusion that sets them apart from the empathic, emotional, approachable quality of Summer.

Something about their ultimate nobility makes them as private and isolated as royalty. They are so apart, so elevated from everyday life around them, dismissing the busy fun of Spring and work ethic of Autumn, that they appear concerned with a higher ideal. If there were one Season for which I am happy to see people own their Luxury Drapes, it would be True Winter, a group of colours that seems less willing to compromise what they stand for. No other Season continues to surprise me as much.

True Winter Appearance Variations 

Few people guess themselves correctly to be True Winter in their natural colouring, or Season.

If eyes and hair are dark, they tend to guess Dark Winter. We have seen the photos of Sandra Bullock and Kim Kardashian. I’m not convinced about Kim. If you like to guess from photos, get past the colouring of the face where, let’s face it, you’re looking at eyes and hair, and imagine the person wearing the palette. The entire palette – lips, cheek, jewelry, hair, not just clothing. Do you think the Dark Winter lipstick might look like smeared food on Kim? I do.

I will add a Pin of Teri Hatcher to the Pinterest Makeup board today. Whatever kind of Winter she is, while true that the lip colour is way the heck better than some nude or brown colour, it seems to me a little flat and smoky relative to the eyes. Lips are not supposed to look smoky. Dark Winter lipstick might do so compared the other Winter lipsticks, but it won’t be that way on a Dark Winter face. It will be vibrant, exciting, healthy, and normal.

If eyes and hair are grey or blue, the person has been 2 or 3 Seasons. The overall appearance seems milder than the very dark eyes and hair person. One doesn’t expect it to balance the True Winter palette. Hair might be black brown or silver. Summer drifts through your mind.

If hair is blond (very rare in adults if we are talking about yellow blonde, I can think of one), light brown, or red-tinged, or if eyes look warm (think of Catherine Zeta-Jones, not saying she is a True Winter), Spring or Autumn pop up in the backstory.

Here are 3 types of human manifestations of the True Winter colour group. There are probably about 6. Doubtless, I would find many others if I lived in a more racially diverse place.

The Dark Hair, Dark Eyes True Winter

This is Elaine DeFehr, our analyst in Winnipeg, Canada.

Elaine1

Elaine can wear very high colour saturation. The architecture of the face loses when colour contains the wrong kind of yellow. The face flattens and the features smear.

I could have said, “The architecture of the face loses when colour contains the wrong amount of yellow” but I didn’t.  Saying True Winter contains no warmth or no yellow seems wrong. Every human being contains yellow. If yellow is how we define colour warmth, then everyone is warm, that’s not right either. The right question is, Which yellow does the skin contain?

Warmth of colour is relative. We only know it depending on what is next to it. The yellow in Elaine is cooler (bluer, which gives it a greenish cast) than the neighbour Seasons’ yellow. Her skin won’t compromise about that, meaning that placing another Season’s yellow next to her face reduces her presence and beauty in various ways. This is still consistent with the definition of a True cool Season.

Foundation has to match overtone and undertone. How cosmetic companies label and pigment their foundations vary widely. You want the colour that disappears. Elaine’s foundation looks fairly dark and might be labeled warm, to match the olive-yellow skin tones. In this photo, she wears very little foundation.  Face, neck, and ears are all the same colour.

Elaine sent me samples of her favourite red lipsticks, knowing that I am searching for one for the Blueprints cosmetics line.

TW reds

This type of True Winter looks better in red makeup than fuchsia. Elaine’s favourite is the second one, Ultima II Rampage. I liked the Smashbox colour a lot also. I wonder about the NYX Lip Pencil moving close to Bright Winter, as the purple gets stronger and the yellow becomes less obvious.

You’d think Bright Winter red would be yellower, but with red, the yellow of True Winter is more perceptible. This is not true of pink, purple, or fuchsia though. I often wonder why Kathryn placed the red swatches far from the fuchsia ones in her swatch books, at least in the version I own. Something about these colours behaves differently. In my palettes, the reds are on the same strip as the yellows.

You can contact Elaine by email at elaine@yourcolourharmony.com

 

 The Lower Contrast True Winter

or

The Is-She-A-Summer True Winter

A woman arrives to model for our recent analyst training course in Vancouver. Let’s say her name is Emma. No, it would never be Emma.

We scatter so many funny clues about our Season around us. Email fonts, names.  Marion is a total Autumn name. Colleen, an Autumn name. Many Soft Summers are called Barbara.

This woman’s stature is arresting. She is about 5’10”, maybe taller. Half First Nation, half Irish/Scottish. The skin colour is Caucasian but unusual, without much colour, as if you had to describe the colour of window glass. The skin is opaque, not transparent or fragile at all. Hair is dark brown. Eyes are medium gray-green.

Though her appearance had plenty of impact in the power of the body, the colours might have slipped into the Medium column. A hair product with a wet-look finish made the hair seem darker than it was. Afterwards, the students and I asked ourselves what Seasons we considered before the colour analysis: True and Soft Summer, True and Dark Winter.

While guessing at Season by appearance is very seldom correct, the value of it is to be sure that those drapes get evaluated before the person leaves. Whatever Season they look like they are, or the facebook group or the visiting aunt will say they are, has to go across them.

Her name could be Linda or Lauren. Maybe Maureen.

Funny to me that I can’t recall if her top was purple or black. I’m not certain how much she knew of PCA, but she was sure she knew her Season. Well now, we see this person all the time. They are right 1 time in 40. There she sat, watching the whole process, perfectly undisturbed with our many Season trials, quite secure that she would be right. Dang if she was.

I doubt we could have convinced her out of True Winter, but she was right so our job was easy. She was very amenable to appearance suggestions as long as we stayed inside TW. For eg, as a probable YangNatural in image archetype (great article here at Best Dressed explains IAs), we suggested replacing the wet finish of her present hair product with a matte or natural finish product.

Hers were among the most interesting colour reactions I have seen. The most pronounced variable, meaning what changed the most, was the texture of her skin. We could not eliminate True Summer in the early stages, the appearance being ok but not shockingly great in pure black.

Isn’t ‘perfect in black’ the rule for True Winter? Nothing applies to every face. That’s why the system cross-checks results from 112 colours in about 20-30 comparisons. Besides, early in the PCA process, the analyst does not know the face well enough to make big decisions unless she is 1000% certain.

At the Red Test stage, the picture began crystallizing. She was clearly of true cool colouring. Only at this stage did her eyes begin reacting – or did I understand her face well enough to see and interpret it. Fascinating.

This True Winter can be, if not monochromatic, then not very colour-animated to look at. The skin can be beige gray with little natural blush. The eyes and hair colours would not look much different on a B&W TV.

It takes Winter colours for the person to appear, let alone clean up and sparkle up. You don’t know till you try it. Nobody can think the way to a Season. Put the colour on, then compare with another colour, then decide. Humans make decisions by comparing.

Luxury drapes are very helpful to customize the Season for this person. Matte and textured fabrics were excellent. Next to shiny, smooth, slinky fabrics, even in her Season, the skin appeared more textured. B&W felt too sharp for her soft, steady character. The combination said things about her that were not true. Black-brown was striking, a moment when the Feeling folks in the room wipe away tears. She was fabulous in all purples, easily tolerating any amount of red and darkness level.
Every person in a Season is encouraged to wear all the colours. Narrowing down the palette gets a little repetitive and unnecessary. The person often narrows themselves right out of the Season, breaking up the  magic. The question is where and how much of the various colours will be worn, in which shapes, textures, and prints.

 

 The Odd True Winter

or

You’re Wrong, She’s an Autumn!! She’s a Spring!! True Winter

My daughter, Alexandra. You met her before in a post about PCA and Teens. I’ll introduce her once more.

Ally Prom

Dark brown eyes, quite orange-red headed as a child, now light-medium brown with a definite red (not so much orange) cast. If I could come up with an analogy…been trying for 20 years.

Many Winters have purple tones in the hair and yellow in the eyes, mostly True and Brights. Our analyst, Rachel in Philadelphia, is an excellent example. I love these faces in a purple-black-brown eyeliner because the eyes look even yellower. The eyeliner seems very natural on the face because it is an extension of the hair colour. With the clothing and jewelry, the whole thing is just so amazing. Rachel, if you read this, would you leave a comment about the name of that MAC liner we bought? Raisin something? MAC makes a similar colour in another type of liner.

I can be surprised to see eyes that go to black and a person being placed in Seasons without something close to black in the palette. What exactly are they going to wear to give them head to toe balance, with clothing an extension of how they are coloured? I appreciate that eyes are supposed to be the focal point but we don’t get there by fading away the rest of painting. A few recent pins of Richard Gere in the Men’s Pinterest board show you what I mean.

Alexandra’s skin is very pale. She doesn’t look it. Colour is never what we think we see, remember, or predict. Doesn’t work that way. Colour is a reaction in present time. We didn’t evolve to see colour exactly. We evolved to see well enough to eat until we mate. Our visual system compares. It compares colours, contrasts, edges, movement, something, and then it decides. So put the two colours together and decide. Not 3, not 5. 2.

To give you foundation colour context, Clinique Alabaster foundation goes on dark and gets more yellow by the second on her face. MUFE’s lightest colours also turn into heavy gold streaks, giving her a yellow face on a white-gray neck. Their very white 205 blended into the neck but would have been too white as a full face. Bottle after bottle, however cool the product in the bottle, it applied yellow and went more so by the minute.

Thanks to Aislin and the great staff at the Sephora in Windsor, Ontario, we happen upon NARS Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Light enough, with the correct type of yellow and no colour shifting. Face and neck in perfect unison. If we ever shop together and I say, “There is nothing about that that I don’t like.”, buy the thing. We bought this bottle. The coverage isn’t all that sheer and might need mixing to create a less pancake effect.

Here is a nice post showing you the colour with a few others.

Alexandra is best in fuchsia-purple cosmetics. They find the same tones in her hair and eyes. Red can look heavy, partly due to her age, and not as good an extension of the face. Bijou is her beautiful best gloss in the Blueprints makeup line. The eyeshadow palette creates a lovely pearly taupe grey, not as red as MAC’s pretty good Satin Taupe for True Winter.

 

 What’s the lesson?

Season is where you start. Within a Season, the people all share more in their colour reactions and essential aspects of their colour dimensions than they differ. Having this information, when you shop, you know what to look right through, it’s not for you. Inside your Season, the person is an individual. The 12 Blueprints analyst will coach each client in using the palette and cosmetics to best effect for her.

 

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Eyebrow Powder Colours

In previous posts, the eyebrow powder colours have been mentioned among my favourite parts of the Blueprints cosmetics.

The duo powder/wax is among my top 3 products, first because it’s a rare line of cosmetics that offers so many colours choices in a brow lineup, second because the colours look like real eyebrows, and third because the wax is separate so you don’t get little gummy balls of product that streak and are hard to move or remove.

The duo looks like this, though single pots of brow powder only are available also. This is a big enlargement to show you the useful little tools that come in the kit.

 

Brow Duo

The picture below shows swatches of the colours. To match a brow for a client, I have a piece of paper with the colours smudged out as in the picture, except that the colours run off the side of the page.

Running the colours up and down alongside the brow makes the right one easy to choose. You can certainly narrow it down to two. This product can be sampled so you know which to buy.
Brow 4

The ingredients are listed here:

BROW SHADOW INGREDIENTS: Talc, Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Boron Nitride, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid. MAY CONTAIN (+/–): CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 19140, CI 42090, CI 16035:1, CI 77891, CI 77163, CI 17470, CI 77288, CI 77289, CI 77510, CI 77742, CI 77007, CI 77400, CI 77861.

BROW WAX INGREDIENTS: Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Microcrystaline Wax, Caprylic Capric Tryglyceride, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Cera Alba, Boron Nitride, Silica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Ozokerite Wax, Silica, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Mica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isopropyl Myristate, Lauroyl Lysine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbic Acid. May contain (+/–): CI 77891, CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499.

 

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Signature/STYLE: Skirts Shapes and Fabulous Prints

Shopping Days of Old

11AM: Got a coffee, organized my needs, enjoying time alone, love to see what’s new in the stores. I actually like shopping.

1PM: Nothing looked great. Tried on a few but didn’t like the fit. Why are jackets always so stifling in the shoulders? Why do skirts pull across the hips and make my belly look big? Stop for lunch, think about going to another mall but I can’t face the parking. I will keep looking, still half the mall to go.

3PM: Have one item on hold. I could use a jacket for that meeting next week, so that’s an extra thing to look for but my body doesn’t look good in jackets, IDK why. Trying to stay pleasant and finding gratitude in not needing a bathing suit. Tried a lipstick but cosmetic sales employee was not hearing me. Why do they keep saying the same thing? Why do I keep buying the same thing? Who’s wrong? Them or me?

5PM: Bought a skirt and some earrings. I know how to buy earrings, it’s like they just appear in front of me! Already know I will return the skirt, hopefully before the zipper breaks. Ate an ice cream to keep blood sugar up and now feel fat and mad.

6PM: Drive home, happy with the earrings. Watch Netflix. Eat too much popcorn. Try not to think of shopping day. Fighting back tears about having to go back. I actually hate shopping.

This experience is becoming a choice, a thing of the past, a memory of how things used to be.

Summer scene 1

How Today’s Woman Shops

You want to know how to buy everything the way you do earrings, where you picture the right thing so clearly that it appears in front of you. You want to know who was wrong about the lipstick and where the skirts are hanging that look and feel good.

Today, shopping fantasy and shopping reality co-exist.

Once you know your colours, lines, and scale, a parade of clothes can file past while you sit in your favourite chair sipping your favourite drink. Some of them will have a flag floating along beside them that says, Hello Jo Mama, I Am For You.

Google once said (in its early days of hiring the best):

…it’s easier to find what you’re looking for if it comes looking for you.

533 skirts! If there is a more effective way to find and buy, certainly in North America where you click on a link in a magazine that knows you already, someone must tell me what it is. Elsewhere in the world, this resource is the difference between entering stores with no idea what to buy and going in with a checklist in your hand.

For anyone who has learned their colours/lines but can’t picture the pieces, Signature/STYLE opens the curtain. If you can’t picture the skirt, you can’t find it because you don’t know what you’re looking for. How long before you give up on a scavenger hunt where the items are a secret? If you’re me, about 1.0 seconds.

Summerscene2

Skirts and Prints Content

The issue will be released to your inboxes within 3 days. The many links to products will excite your spam folders so check there if you are not happily studying skirts by then.

Readers will find mostly solid colours in the body of the newsletter to appreciate shape and proportion without distraction of print. In some cases, a skirt with a print was included to show a shape especially well, or illustrate an item that might have been placed in another image archetype (IA), if it had a different print.

Solid colours permit easier Season comparisons, for example to illustrate the three Summers’ whites. Solids also demonstrate colours that are difficult to find or visualize. Finally, Season assignments tend to be clearer than with prints where more variables must be taken into account.

The Feature is a look at prints. Our readers will have access to every archetype’s prints to show you the maximum number and how they look in skirt shapes other than yours. As always with this unique newsletter, the Catalogs are a projection screen for the in-depth explanations that Rachel and I offer about selecting prints in an accompanying article.

Wise compromise. Without it, we can never answer deeper questions. Not only does perfect not exist, if it did, it would be fragile and therefore flawed. If we use colour and archetype without intelligent flexibility, we restrict our wardrobes needlessly. These formulas are here to make our lives more beautiful and confident than we ever imagined.

This issue came together faster than any before, about 8 days. And yet, items might have sold out, same situation as with every issue. I fail to understand this, it’s as if retailers buy four of each size. Here one day, gone the next. We compensate for this reality by offering you high volume choice.

True to the real marketplace, Winter colours and prints are over-represented. No big deal. Everybody can find sensational clothes. We found them for you. Plus, we added education in what might be the most important key to shopping growth, learning, and success (and every other kind too): adaptability. In this issue, that means telling you every Season or IA that can wear an item well.

Summerscene3

 Return to Truth

Because I am a colour analyst, I read this poem often. The TED video is truly a journey of introspection and beauty. Architect Moshe Safdie, at TED 2007, reads the poem at the end.

If we seek truth, we shall find beauty

He who seeks truth shall find beauty.
He who seeks beauty shall find vanity.
He who seeks order shall find gratification.
He who seeks gratification shall be disappointed.
He who considers himself the servant of his fellow beings shall find the joy of self-expression.
He who seeks self-expression shall fall into the pit of arrogance.
Arrogance is incompatible with nature.
Through nature, the nature of the universe, and the nature of man, we shall seek truth.
If we seek truth, we shall find beauty.

– Moshe Safdie

 

Summerscene4

We hope that you enjoy this issue of Signature/STYLE. In it, find the truth of you and thereby, the beauty of you.

Information about the newsletter and subscription links are at the top of the right column of every page on this site.

 

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Science, beauty, truth. Transformational results.

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