Well, Thursday I had my consultation with John from PSC. It was so fascinating to watch this man work. I went in with no face make up (a little eye makeup in neutral tones was fine) and a beige and cream top. We spent a little time talking and he explained how the process would go. He opened each drawer of his massive cabinet of fabric colors and picked up different samples, talking to himself and to me through out. He had great natural lighting in the room, plus additional color corrective lighting above. He held the different fabrics up to me and as he chose them he would put them on the table in between us and keep moving them around. He went through this process with each color family. He held the swatches up to my face and checked my eyes.
After we finished with all of the colors, he taped them onto cardstock pages grouped by categories such as Powerful, Playful, Reserved, Romantic, Sophisticated, and so on. Each color group was in an order so that I would know "Go no more yellow than this or more blue than that. No darker that this or lighter than that. This is the edge of how bright you should go" Each page is set up like that. As we were going along he note how different colors made me show up more and which were too pale or bright. He also kept expressing that he was a little surprised at how warm I actually was. So are you ready?? I am....
75% Earthy Rich (most of us know as Autumn) and 25% Striking Contrast (AKA Winter.) This means that I can wear mostly warm colors either muted or jewel toned (ie some of the plums, teals, and coppers) but I can also wear full on black, but not black and white. He went over some color combining techniques for my individual coloring, and I was really glad to learn that I can wear ALL of the metals other than rose gold (too pink). He even went over what some of my best fabrics would be - Linen, silk noil, courderoy, velvet, crepe, some tweeds, herringbone. In other words, some texture, but for my stature, not lots of texture - or if there is a lot of texture to a fabric, just in small amounts. He also went over what shapes for necklines and accessories would suit my coloring best.
It is going to be fun learning to use and mix the colors. I was surprised that my lightest white/ ivory was darker than I had expected.
The next part of the consultation was the style essences. Of course, we had been chatting all along, so he was getting to know some things about me. Then, he had me stand a few feet away from him so he could check out my body shape and proportions. (no measuring) I'm not sure how he figured this part out, but he did some kind of mathematical calculations and determined my style essences. This rung so true for me and let me know why sometimes I think my style is all over the place. Although people are rarely, if ever, 100% all one essence, I was kind of all over the place. I am 10% natural, 10% high spirited, 10% dramatic, 30% romantic, and 40% classic. They two types of which I am zero, I had already ruled out myself. Those were Youthful and Ethereal. He went over what those things meant and how they would fit into my color pallette and wardrobe. He did go over what fashion shapes match these essences, but we did not go over which styles of clothing would look best on my body type. This was fine because I already know most of that from so many things I have read and personal experience. (for example, jewel necks make me look like my bustline is at my waist, straight skirts make me look wide all the way down, etc.) There are lots of good, inexpensive, easy to find resources for that kind of information.
All in all, I was very impressed with the whole process and couldn't believe the time went by so quickly. My appointment was at 1:00 and I didn't leave there until after 5:30!
Since it was about a 5 hour drive from my house to Oakland, I was so happy to have my friend Kathryn go with me. Of course, we made a fun road trip out of it! Even though Kathryn does not really sew, she was more than happy to go with me to Stone Mountain Daughters, one of my favorite fabric stores! I took my book into the store with me and it was really helpful to pick up colors. It was a beautiful day and they had all the doors open, so it was easy to take a bolt and my book over to the natural light and check out the colors. One thing I found was that I was picking out fabrics that were too bright. I stuck to my fabric swatches and picked what blended in color, depth and value with my palette. It's going to take me awhile to get my head wrapped around wearing some of these colors that I've never warn before. Some I have always been drawn to like the more jewel toned corals, teals, and greens. I have also always liked olive and Khaki green. The challenge for me will be the more muted tones. I could have easily spent megabucks in SMD, but I limited myself to just a couple things. Then I realized I needed thread. The remnant shelves were by the thread and I found a beautiful silk. Then, there was a beautiful (and expensive) fabric by the cutting counter that I just had to have, so I didn't do so well at controlling myself after all.
Now the "fun" will begin. I have massive amounts of fabrics that I will be getting rid of. This is good because I have too much and that makes choosing a lot harder. Also, knowing now what I know about my colors, I realize why I am not motivated to sew some of these fabrics. Some of these fabrics I can overdye, but some I will sell or give away. Any that I sell, I will use that money toward my next ministry trip to Uganda. I'll be keeping you posted on that.
Oh, another thing. I was supposed to get my hair cut and colored the day before my appointment with John, but I decided to postpone it until after my appointment. I'm glad I did, because he gave me some suggestions that would help particularly when I am wearing black or very dark colors. I have my appointment on Tuesday, so I'm excited to see how that works out.