I’m fascinated by clothes. How they can make people look good, bad, fat, thin, older, younger, powerful, shy, sexy or demure and sometimes even invisible. Not in a Harry Potter cloak kind of way – but you know, in a blending in kind of way.
So, with my new found, must learn, profession in mind, I trawl the web for a seemingly good, reliable, suitable, legitimate Personal Stylist Course. Jeez! That was a mission in itself! It’s at this point that I noted that the style of a website is something that more people/companies should really pay more attention to. Anyway, I did find the right course with the right tutor and here I am.
Gail was kind enough to accommodate my request to pay for the course in two instalments and therefore said she would release the course in two parts. I would receive the Colour Analysis module first.
Now, I’ll be honest, I was, from the start, totally sceptical about Colour Analysis and was disappointed that I would have to start the course with it. I mean, who gets their colours done? It’s so 80’s (reference Colour Me Beautiful). Anyway, I thought, let’s get this section out of the way and then I can look forward to the good bits – scale, proportion, body shapes, wardrobe weeding, personal shopping etc.
A few days later my kit arrived. But, alas the time wasn’t right to open it. I needed space, quiet and the sofa to myself – I needed ‘me’ time! That time soon arrived a day later. Like preparing to open a selection box of chocolates, I get comfy on the sofa and open up the kit.
It’s filled with DVD’s; a printed manual; coloured drapes; material swatches; a colour wheel and an eye analyser. Wow. This is serious stuff!
Time to get started on the Colour Analysis. One of my first exercises was to understand the seasons. All of us are either a Winter, Summer, Autumn or a Spring. Each colour palette is exclusive to that season. My test is to sort 60 swatches of fabric into their correct seasons. I stare, completely overwhelmed by the task in front of me. All these swatches, to the untrained eye (mine) look so blooming similar! And I tell you what, even more similar when you can’t focus because your eyes are full of tears of frustration! I have failed at the first hurdle. This colour analysis, that I thought faddy and overrated, is actually surprisingly technical. I’m going to have to open my mind and take on board the complexities of colour and appreciate their worth.
I take a deep breath and start again. I practice over and over until I can (most of the time) differentiate between a Summer blue versus a Spring blue, and a Winter red versus an Autumn red and so on. Not an easy thing to learn but eventually your eyes do get clever in distinguishing the difference.
The next exercise in Colour Analysis is ‘draping’. This is where you use coloured drapes that are, as the name suggests, draped near the face of your willing ‘guinea pig’ model (boyfriend, mum, son, daughter, Tesco delivery man!) to determine which season best suits them.
Once you’ve got over the fact that it seems quite odd flicking material backwards and forwards from under your model’s chin – the actual art of holding and manoeuvring the drapes soon does become second nature.
During my practice draping sessions, I notice that some colours made my models look tired, puffy - ill even! In the right colours, they looked vital, bright and sometimes, younger!
I could see very clearly that people need to wear the colours that complement their skin tone, eye and natural hair colour. It really makes the world of difference. Every woman (and man) should get their colours done.
I’m eating humble pie. Colour Analysis is NOT 80’s, it’s NOW!
If I could just get onto the set of BBC Breakfast and get Sally Nugent and Louise Minchin into the right colours, that would make me very happy and my morning viewing a lot less frustrating!