They’re almost ready. Finding a wide variety of stunning colours for the three Winters that are not all Prom Satin and Wedding Whites in May and June is not so straightforward. I anticipate the end of August when they become available to purchase.
I want to talk today about the purpose of these Luxury Drapes, how they serve your client and your business as a 12-Tone or 12-Season personal colour analyst. They build value for your client, plain and simple, where most of the decision-making should be based. Your service can offer more, the client receives more, your credibility climbs, and your business name earns its reputation for fantastic payoff for the fee.
Before we get on to their purpose, we could talk about what they are.
Before that, we should clarify what the Test Drapes are and their purpose.
The Test Drapes
The Test Drapes are fabrics in colours that are organized into groups. You can call the groups Seasons or Tones or Natural Colouring Type. Each group shares the same or similar dimensions of colour (light-dark range (value), heat setting (hue), degree of pigment concentration (chroma or saturation)). The groups walk us through 12 combinations and controlled levels of the colour properties, moving along through a logic tree, comparing a human being’s colouring to themselves, until the best harmony is found. The tag on those Best Harmony Drapes is the client’s group or Season.
The Test Drapes (those I provide to my students and Terry Wildfong’s) are not intended to be a client’s best colours. There are no catch-your-breath WOW OMG colours in the Test Drapes. If there are some, it wasn’t planned, but OMG does happen because synchronous wavelength feels good to be around. We live on a planet of wave energy. We emit it ourselves. Seeing it feels almost like remembering or reconnecting. It’s a form of recognition, as “Oh, so this is how this is going to happen.”, like when a door opens and something you’ve been trying to figure out is suddenly easy and obvious.
People write to me saying they’d love to be trained as colour analysts because they’ve loved colour so much for so long, but they doubt their ability to see the optical effects I write about. Seeing it takes a little practice to learn what you’re looking for, that’s true. Seeing it isn’t the hard part at all. Everyone sees it. That’s the point. That’s why it’s so important to have it done and know your own colouring. The family members watching see it plain as day right from the start.
More requiring is coordinating how to think with what you see. Learning to plug the data that your right brain (images, impressions, emotions, associations, big picture observations) and left brain (measurements) are collecting as you watch the drapes change on the client
into an impartial deductive process that doesn’t overreach, get overly excited too soon, jump to nervous conclusions, or let in thoughts that begin with “It can’t be…” – I will let newly trained analysts speak for themselves but I would guess this is the harder part.
The Test Drapes are a ruler. A measuring tape. Instead of measuring bust, waist, hips, they’re quantifying hue, value, chroma. It’s hard to do by looking. Our visual system starts overlapping incoming signals. Warm colours often look more saturated than they are, like True Autumn. We can’t look at a blonde-haired blue-eyed person and see that their most significant colour dimension is highest saturation and know that they’re Bright Winter. If we just look, my belief, we literally can not know, as in not capable of knowing, because our eyes are not biologically set up that way. We have to measure.
Client can feel a little discouraged when they watch the Test Drapes, You mean to tell me that these are the colours I have to wear??
It’s natural and normal for the client to see the Test Drapes as potential clothing. They could be, but that’s not the point of them or how they were picked. It’s not the client’s job to understand their purpose. It’s the analyst’s job. We can reassure her that she does not have to wear these colours and yet, with every drape change, she’ll say, I would never wear this colour! The analyst has to keep saying, You don’t have to. You are not supposed to. They’re measuring you. Be just as patient and happy about it as Beyonce when she climbs onto a stage to sing that same song for the 399th time.
The client’s response has some value, but not a lot. Half the people out there are drawn to colours that suit them and half are not. The analyst has to make independent decisions. Asking the client, Is there a colour you’d never wear? tells me more about how permissive she is about colours, how defensive, how open to change, or how adamant about not changing. It does not inform me as the analyst about what colours live in her body. Most folks carry too much convoluted colour history to know which colours do or don’t suit them, much less live in them, and they tend to lump them together. “I can’t wear green.” applies to nobody. Many Light Summers won’t wear yellow – yet, they’re made for the right yellow. It’s in them already.
If Terry and I picked middle-of-the-Season colours for the Test Drapes, you’ll need to be some Hot, Sharp, and Well-Rested colour analyst to make the right choice. New graduates won’t thank me. I would not thank me. If I met me at a party, I would give me the cold shoulder for making my job so much harder. The colours have to be extremes. They should be a very awkward fit for every colouring but one.
The Test Drapes are chosen to be colours no other type of natural colouring, or Season, could wear as well or at all.
Now if it’s splendid colours you’re wanting, I have an answer for you.
The Luxury Drapes
The Luxury drapes are shown to the client once the Season is known and the Test Drapes are hung up. I show them before makeup with the gray scarf still over the hair, since that’s how our eyes learned her colouring, and again after makeup. She sees a selection of her beautiful colours in textile. It helps her make the leap from the swatch book to fabric. This is how she will understand her position within the 3 dimensions of colour in the physical world, how the idea will move from theoretical concepts inside her head to an idea come to life on the stage of her life.
A colour analysis is a huge experience squeezed into 3 hours. The client is taken way back to the most authentic trueness of herself. All the junk and inventions that have piled up over the years get flipped away. The Luxury Drapes are the first step in building her back up again, letting in only what’s real and right about her so she can recognize it forever more.
Sci\ART, the company whose founder, Kathryn Kalisz, developed this most remarkable system, used to sell sets of 8 and 15. I only have the 15s. IDK if the 8s were the same fabrics or not. I am aiming for 12. They’ll only be sold as 12 sets of 12. I would love to find enough colours to offer 15, but it may be a case of, You can have them right or you can have them now, but you can’t have them right now. Offering smaller start-up sets isn’t likely to happen. I’d have to keep track of which colours everyone bought in Round 1. I might have all different fabrics once you’re ready to buy Round 2. Or worse, some fabrics may be too close to what you bought in Round 1. Save up. Do it once. Do it right. Don’t look back.
As with the Test Drapes, the Lux Drapes will be available only within the Sci\ART community, with priority given to those who have taken the training course from Terry or me.
Use the Luxury drapes as a means of developing her understanding of how to wear her colours. We can talk about saturation levels till the cows are home, milked, and fed. When she positions her limits is when she sees and feels them, not when she thinks and hears them. Colour is visual.
Seeing her colours as selected by an analyst helps her understand them. They can be compared to neighbour Seasons. Don’t show her Bright Winter periwinkle without showing Bright Spring’s alongside it, even just in the swatch books. Without visual comparison, our brain is stranded.
The Lux Drapes are her gateway to a world of possibility limited only by her creativity. She steps into a pleasure of harmony between her and everything she wears that she has not felt before. When the client leaves your office, it will be from your script as she met the Lux Drapes that she should be able to say a few words to a friend about these aspects of the new wardrobe that she will build and shape in time,
her darkness range – is she white to black, chalk to pewter, or some other?
her lightest colours as distance from white
importance of contrast for her colouring and how to adapt it in attire
purity of pigment, or saturation, and how to recognize it
the unique radiance or glow that her Tone can achieve more beautifully and believably than any other
use of correct hair and eye colour, explaining why hair colour is not always in our palettes or drapes
her right and real hair highlight
eyeshadows and neutral colours
use of texture and how it influences the dimensions of her colours
most flattering type of shine in fabric and metal
colours of metals that flatter her most
her best version of white and black
what it means to say warm and cool versions of her colours if she’s a Neutral Season
her best red lipstick red
the complementary colours to skin undertone colour
the unusual, unexpected colours
how she will add interest, risk, fun, authority, or imagination to outfits… and look smarter, more trustworthy, and worth more $$
how to begin incorporating the colours she finds more challenging
colour schemes and combinations that work with her and for her
a visual for colours that are not used to test, such as purple
the fact that she has many colours that are not among her swatches, and how to achieve harmonic agreement in shopping situations
that we really mean it when we say every colour goes with every other colour and she doesn’t need to own different makeup for different outfits anymore
what to never put down money for again
feelings of nervousness about exploring a new world she didn’t know existed, of colours that felt challenging, of some work ahead to make this place into a new home, and feeling that she has the tools she needs, will get better with time, and seeing the road ahead going forward and up
how empowered she feels in this moment by all the knowledge you gave her, by knowing the colours of her parachute
Analysts would probably agree that many clients get it for the first time when they see the Lux Drapes, or get how they’re going to do it.
The Luxury Drapes can assist in confirming Season. Some people’s colouring sits on the 49/51 border between two Seasons. Look for the magic. It will only be in one Season. Compare similar colours from each possible Season that the other would not wear as well, a blue to a blue or a red to a red, choosing the extreme versions. Every single Luxury colour has been harmonized to that Tone using the original Sci\ART palettes and the excellent palettes from True Colour Australia. For the client who hasn’t been convinced with the Test Drapes, the Luxury Drapes provide another means of increasing their confidence in their Season.
You can arrive at the correct Tone using the Test Drapes, of which you have 3 more per 12-Test Season than my original Sci\ART sets. You can be in business for a year or two before buying Luxury Drapes, or you may never acquire them. They are the next level investment.
Luxury Drapes are not the place to cheap out. I didn’t skimp on fabric. If it was evocative to me of that Season’s unique and unparalleled beauty, I bought it. This is the analyst’s chance to shine, to be irreplaceable, indispensable, to tell her things nobody ever has, based on all the scientific testing you just completed. This is where you pull it together for your client. They’re your client’s first chance to see and feel how her colour home will recognize, welcome, accept, and support her. As partners, join her in the first leap from the theory of the Test Drapes and Colour Book swatches to the reality of how they translate into clothing, cosmetics, hair colour…every thing she will buy from now on.
As the analyst, they are your best chance to change her relationship with an idea using something she understands. She doesn’t understand the hue/value/chroma package well enough to really use it in stores. That’s analyst jargon. Of course, it’s important to present it as the scientific basis for the process, but she won’t retain much from a crash course in colour theory, let alone call on it to guide her hair colourist. We need to speak to her in her language, not ours. Understanding how the pancreas secretes insulin is not going to help her manage her diabetes. That’s the doctor’s job. Knowing how to choose her diet and adjust her insulin dose, those she can implement tomorrow to make her life better. Seeing how her colours translate into fabric is what she’ll apply in stores at least as well as her chroma level.
The Lux Drapes are the wave up to which the whole colour analysis experience is building. Let them wash over her. Go slow. Let her soak them up. Use them as the fantastic teaching tool they are. Use them to position your business as a part of her life she can no longer shop without.