Sunday, January 2, 2011

20. Suzanne Caygill, Color: The Essence of You 

NEW color technology has arrived on the scene with precise  personal color analysis palettes created by MyBestColors.com.  Each of the 24 [33, 2012] different color palettes contains 620[380, 2012] colors. Before taking a look at this new system, let’s look at one of the earlier developers of the seasonal personal color analysis system.

Suzanne Caygill published Color: The Essence of You in 1980, the same year Carole Jackson came out with Color Me Beautiful.  Suzanne Caygill is looked on as the pioneer of personal color analysis and image consulting,.  She was a friend of the famous Edith Head who in turn was a wardrobe designer and consultant to in Hollywood.Caygill

Caygill used an expanded and more complex version of the “seasonal” color theory. Artist’s were first identifying this color theory about a hundred years ago. Caygill believed that a person’s color season, and sub-type seasons, should be matched with their personalities, and with their body type. In fact, she believed that a newborn infant’s coloring would then heavily contribute towards shaping the child’s personality.

Her beliefs severely clash with our current concepts.  For example, we believe that women with any natural coloring can look pretty.  Caygill, however, taught that Autumn women naturally have strong facial features that would preclude the possibility of her ever looking “pretty.” If, in fact, she had the misfortune of looking pretty, this quality was to be downplayed, so that her appearance could be in sync with her strong personality.

Caygill espoused a personal color analysis system  that corresponded with the four seasons of the year. She assigned colors to different seasons than color expert Johannes Itten recommended.  Johannes Itten and other color theorists had agreed that summer is a bright season with long daylight hours and bright blue skies and bright colorful landscapes; while winter has much less daylight and is a season of muted colors, such as blue-grey skies. . In other words, she dubbed winter as a bright color category and summer as a muted color category, nonetheless image consultants have continued with this classification system ever since.

3 comments:

  1. Suzanne Caygill, already a noted designer and milliner, had a revelation in 1942 about the relationship between the QUALITY of the color found in a person's skin, hair and eyes and their personality and style. Through painting the skintones, she determined the qualities of "clear," "muted," "sombre," and "sharp" and called these 4 types Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. She worked individually with clients, and closely guarded her methods of creating the Suzanne Color Palette -- a lifetime tool for using color to build your wardrobe and decor, and to know which colors helped you express what you wanted. Further, she developed the innovation of her "Lines of Becomingness" related to the seasonal styles: round/petal-shaped for Spring, S-shaped curves for Summer, swift-lines / leaf-shapes for Autumn, and relaxed lines for Winter. Suzanne developed 12 Courses for her clients that covered a range of subjects from Wardrobe Design to Psychological Style. She had thousands of loyal clients and worked with generations of families.

    As new, more simplified 4-Seasons color systems started showing up in the late 1970's, she recognized the need to provide in-depth training to others on her system, so she launched her Academy of Color in 1979. Approximately 40 people were accepted into her Academy over the next 12 years, with fewer than 30 who actually "graduated." I am one of those graduates, and I was also Suzanne's "agent" in Atlanta from 1982 until her death in 1994. We have a new website now. www.SuzanneCaygill.com

    In contrast to what this blog says, Suzanne never "assigned" colors to different seasons, though she did say that a "Summer personality" was consistent with "muted colors." Every person's colors were unique to their pigmentation. There were no such "rules" of "if you wear black, then you are winter." Suzanne's seasonal identifications were not about color, but about personality and style as REVEALED through the person's coloration.

    Also, when Suzanne spoke of the Autumn women, she emphasized their strength and resourceful nature -- people who "dig deep." She said that the Mellow Autumn women were the most pretty of the Autumn type. "Pretty" and "Beautiful" meant different things to Suzanne. There are many beautiful Autumn women -- in fact everyone automatically looks more beautiful when they wear their true colors. Wearing the correct lines and styles for their Season provides the icing on the cake! For her, the word "pretty" was more related to Spring and Summer women.

    As for newborn infants ... Suzanne would not do a color palette for a child until they were over 2 years old. She said that before 2, the colors were still in development. Once they were old enough, having a color palette became a great resource for both the child and the parents ... as a way of supporting the development of the true nature of that child. Of course the person doing the palette has a great responsibility in “getting it right.”

    Connect with the Suzanne Community through www.SuzanneCaygill.com

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