Clothes are our second skin
9 May 2019
A few weeks ago I met Brigitte Kessel, a coach/stylist/color expert based in Brussels. The idea was that she would give me a full assessment on what suits me according to who I am and what I look like.
Now I have been in the business of color for a few years, I have researched a couple experts such as Suzanne Caygill, Carol Jackson or Michel Pastoureau at the Louvre, and even contacted universities that work with color in the UK and Switzerland.
Suzanne Caygill is the person that always impressed me the most, because her theory on color has a logic connected to nature:
“Suzanne recognized as early as the 1940's that every person has a unique color harmony that is their birthright. She found that this harmony could be discovered and expanded to create a palette of colors that, when used in clothing and environment, would support the individual's authenticity and assist in finding one's path in life. “
What I wasn’t ready for though, was the full analysis of me, myself and I.
The week before, I had to respond to questions like my birthday, the type of job I had and how that influenced the way I dressed, and who had influenced or educated me in terms of fashion. That got me remembering my grandmother who was extremely rigorous in her morning preparation and almost always wore hats and gloves in the street be it Winter or Summer. I even remembered here perfume and her beige dress with white spots.
After an analysis on my numerology and an intense scrutiny of my face and body, we got down to business. Not only the business of color, but also of fabrics and shapes. Since these three things are intricately woven together and their whole forms our skin. If we know these three elements, they become our second skin.
First I was put in front of a mirror and had several shades of each color put to my face. Of course, and what I already knew, cool colors are for me. Though the personality I had created was a Quetzal-Winter, I realized that it was the tough woman in me wanting to be sharp, perfectionist and impenetrable. When Brigitte told me that Karl Lagerfeld dressed like a Quetzal-Winter but was actually a Blue Jay-Summer, it all became clear to me. It got me thinking at how he always wore sunglasses to hide the fact that his eyes were those of a nice person.
So we were right about the cool colors (don’t ever try to dress me in mustard yellow or olive green), but like the colors, these had to be softer and muted in order to revel the more sensitive person in me.
So we started trying cool color that were softer! I am 42 years old and have a few wrinkles already. Where the stronger color accentuated them on my face, the pale Blue Jay-Summer colors made them all but disappear and my face looked lighter and smoother, and even more harmonious.
After that we began to see different kinds of materials. She placed cottons, satins, jerseys, wools, silks on my shoulders successively and I could just feel the good and bad vibes according to each one. I also discovered that more fluid material with transparencias gave me more drive and made me feel more comfortable. The heavier materials, instead of enveloping me, just sort of dragged me, metaphorically, downwards. Airy materials are the best for me.
In terms of shapes, I realized that though I knew some things on what did and didn’t suit me, I didn’t know that much about myself and had been stuck in categories linked to fashion and to my perception of myself.
By mixing these three elements adapted to who I am, I felt as if I had a second skin, not constrained at all.
It is so rare our days to have someone just looks at you and take tangible and intangible pieces of information from you to revel not your perception but your real self. I mean I have always been a bit masculine, love muscle and sports, and believed that power dressing was the way to go to get anywhere in life. Here I was asked to listen to by femininity, to see my delicate body, to be less hard on myself (and on others), and as she said “to try and do things that don’t have a finality behind them”. I was like, WTF? What’s the use of doing something for nothing? Yes, it’s a challenge.
All this was translated into a way of dressing in terms of colors, materials and shapes, hair cut and style, make-up. I wouldn’t define this as styling, since stylist often impose their own or according to fashion. This was about knowing more about myself to make intelligent and quicker choices when dressing in the morning or shopping.
It is linked to our being and our personality. I forged an agressive, authoritarian person in my personal and social being, blocking out the a more muted self. It’s time, at 42 years old to take the best of the two, stubbornness becoming proactiveness, and quiet elegance being the voice of wisdom.
By identifying one’s palette, we come to terms with our beauty, talents and resources.
We will revolutionize peoples’ lives by helping them reveal their real being in all its splendor!
If you want to know more about our colors and access looks that could suit you, go and discover our Colorbird Styling Coach.
©I-DYLIC. Article by Eleonore Vadon