The Autumnal Lady in Gerrards Cross

‘Experiencing the alchemy of personal transformation with colour’

Autumn ladyShe arrived for her colour analysis appointment looking quite stunning dressed in autumnal shades. Her age must have been mid sixties but she was still extremely handsome. Her clothes were expensive and her grooming immaculate.

I felt a little underdressed when I saw her and I couldn’t imagine how I could help her with her colours. While filling out her client record form she told me that she hated the colours she was wearing. She knew they looked great on her but she felt frumpy and old in them.

Instinct told me to listen to the words I always shared with my students – to start at the beginning and trust the progress – keep an open mind as one ever knows what will transpire – and never try to guess a clients’ colours.

At the beginning of her colour analysis we placed a hair cape over her coloured hair and remove all of her make-up and her earrings. This is to ensure that we are comparing the colours of the drapes we were placing on her with her natural colouring. We as Image Consultants need to be able to observe the balance between the characteristics of the reflective light of the colour drape to the reflected light given off by the client’s natural features. The closer the characterises of the colour of the drape and the client’s natural skin, hair and eye colour, the better the colour looks on a client. Hence why a colour analysis consultation cannot be done under artificial light, when the client is tanned, ill, wearing make-up or has coloured hair. These are all unnatural conditions.

As the session progressed we discovered that the more vibrant and clearer colours of the cool winter pallet suited her much better than the warm autumnal colours. She was thrilled because those were the colours she wore as a young woman. She had only started wearing the autumnal shades in later years. We worked out that the change had happened very slowly over the years and was nobody’s fault. As her hair started to grey, her long standing hairdresser began to put highlights into her hair to disguise the early telltale signs of white strands of hair. As the years went by she started unconsciously matching her clothes colours to the gradual warm being placed in her hair. As her hairdresser saw how good she looked in the warm coloured clothing, he added more warmth to her hair colour. The end result was stunning, not because she was wearing the right colours but because she had good dress sense, money to buy exquisite clothes and the strength of attractive appearance to carry them off.

winter inspiration

She was delighted with the result but concerned about how to tell her hairdresser about changing her hair colour. The answer was simple. We decided she would wear the blue undertone clothes when she next went to the hairdresser and tell him that her coloured hair seemed to be clashing with the clothing that she was choosing at that moment in time. We were taking a gamble that he would change the hair colour and he did. He loved the challenge of blending the new colours together and the result of the cooler and more complementary appearance. I saw her years later and she looked younger and more alive. She was more elegant than handsome and even more stunning. She was thrilled with the transformation!

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