When I was about 15 or so, getting a color analysis was all the rage among girls at my school. Let alone these "consultations" were usually done by suburban part-time shopgirls who had taken an online weekend class on the subject and whose fashion know-how could have been summarized on a fingernail at best. Me and my friends were new to dabbling in personal style and not only did we feel painfully unsure of our natural color schemes, but out of massive insecurity, we also actually figured that becoming aware of them would save us from at least some of the most obvious fashion faux pas. Hence, having a color analysis done by a "pro" seemed like an excellent, helpful idea.
Being extremely pale skinned, and not in the milky, porcelain kind of way, but rather a translucent, bluish junkie type, I was strongly advised by the color consultant to steer clear of brights, jewel tones and even black. Supposedly, "my" colors were pastels such as peachy orange, mint and powder pink. Not at all being down with this palette at the time, I was immediately calling BS. How could you possibly be better off wearing a color that you dislike and that makes you feel uncomfortable, rather than one of your favorite hues? On the way home, I dumped my personal color chart in the nearest garbage can and decided to keep adding red, turquoise and purple to my black and white basics, regardless of what this online graduate had tried to teach me. If you cannot experiment with crazy colors and shapes as a teenager, then when are you supposed to?
Over the years I learned that anyone can wear almost any color - it is all about finding the right place and proportions for it, not mixing too many colors into the same outfit, and sometimes even about having the moxie to pull it off! While head-to-toe brights are flattering only on a lucky few, most of us can certainly get away with, and even benefit from, breaking up an otherwise conventional ensemble by mixing black or gray separates with colored options. For those who will not part with their signature black and white, and feel content adding only a splash of bright, accessories in your color of choice make for a great alternative.
As for myself, I tend to favor a muted palette for separates, while when it comes to accessories, I am all about brights! I wore red tights with my black and white outfits long before Blair Waldorf hit the screen, and have carried handbags over the years in all shades from lemon yellow to fire engine red to royal blue. However, I am unfortunately a little print-shy unless the design is Tibi or DVF. Moreover, I would never, ever wear brights close to my face.... I am now realizing maybe that color consultant's advice was not 100% lost on me, after all?! Someone, please take me to Pucci for a brain wash!
Below are some current (most of them) examples of color at its best. Photos above: Natalia Vodianova in Comme des Garcons for Vogue Korea, storefronts at American Apparel and Juicy Couture, dresses from Jeremy Scott and Lisa Perry, crazy technicolor lady on 12th Street.
Romantic. Caroline Trentini for Vogue, Lara Stone for Bazaar, Raquel Zimmermann for W.
... Natalia Vodianova as Red Riding Hood for Vogue.
.... D&G fall '09 campaign, Regina @ Marilyn for Tush Magazine.
.... Siri Tollerod for Vogue Italia.
Preppy. Cecilia Mendez for Marie Claire, fall '09 campaigns at Payless, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and United Colors of Benetton.
Cute/whimsy. Emina Cunmulaj and Cecilia Mendez for Marie-Claire.
.... Liya Kebede for Vogue, fall '09 campaigns at Volcom and Coach.
.... Swatch fall '09 campaign, Sasha P for Vogue Nippon.
Hot/sexy. Amber Valletta for... wherever I saw this, Raquel Zimmermann for W.
..... Raquel Zimmermann for W, Bebe fall '09 ad.
..... Valentino fall '09 ad, Kate Moss for Vogue Paris.
..... GUESS and Versace fall '09 campaigns.
Tailored. In color: Raquel Zimmermann for W.
.... Camilla Belle in vintage Dior for Marie Claire, Tiiu Kuik for ELLE Sweden, fall '09 campaigns at Blumarine, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and Trussardi.
.... Chanel boucle runway look, Katie Fogarty and Kendra Spears in Bazaar, Masha Novolesova in Vogue Russia.
Prints. Fall '09 campaigns at Etro and Blumarine.
..... Steven Meisel's 2007 "Vogue Patterns" editorial.
Accessories. Siri Tollerod for Bazaar (image 1-2), Raquel Zimmermann for W (image 3-6).
What about you, dear readers? Are you a multicolor junkie, monochromate, printophile.... or do you stick with black and white, adding a little color here and there whenever the need arises? And how many of you mix hot pink and red on a regular basis? I did yesterday, and I believe my color consultant would have fainted, had she seen me saunter down the street - pale faced and all....
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
5 years ago