by Camilla Ridley
Ahead of her event at Ridley & Co tomorrow, Fashion colour Guru Jules Standish talks about the transformative power of wearing your right colours this season
Spring is in full bloom and if you’ve been flicking through the fashion press or indulging in a spot of window shopping, you’ll be well aware that colour is seriously in this season. And when I say colour, I mean the ‘veritable Rainbow’ summed up so well by Vogue in all manner of shades. From the brightest neons, sunshine yellows and hot pinks to a plethora of pastels, lilacs, sages and of course beige. Not to mention forecasting colour expert Pantone's’ top picks of ‘Living Coral’, ‘Fiesta’, ‘Mojito Mango’ and ‘Peacock Pink’. Add print trends into the mix including colour blocking, tie-dye, bold florals, new animals, and of course clashing prints and you literally have a full-on psychedelic riot not seen since LSD went mainstream back in the summer of love.
Pantone Living Coral 16-1546 TCX is one of the hottest colours for this season and with the right skin type is incredibly flattering as shown by colour Guru Jules Standish (top right) and an example of our new Ridley London Martha Midi Dress shown here in coral pavilion silk
If you’re a natural extrovert or a colour junkie like me, this is your time to celebrate. However, I can fully appreciate that one person’s moment in the spotlight is another person’s living nightmare. And if you’re more on the conservative side and looking to subtly update your wardrobe for this season, or searching for a unique outfit for that special occasion, be it a Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, a wedding, special anniversary or family celebration you are of course going to want to look fabulous and feel your most comfortable and confident. But with all this choice, there’s a strong possibility of becoming completely colour saturated and colour-blind. And lets’ face it, the last thing any of us want to do is step into the Royal enclosure or our daughter’s wedding looking like a children’s party entertainer or Barbara Cartland on speed!
There is a solution. A proven way to navigate this season’s surreal spectrum so you end up in a shade and style that’s both on-trend and makes you look and feel fabulous. A colour that literally strips the years off you, helping you look, younger, thinner, healthier and feel energized, invigorated and ready to take on the world. This solution comes in the form of our friend and fashion colour guru Jules Standish. She wrote the original bestseller ‘How Not to Wear Black’ and is Senior Colour Lecturer at The London College of Style, a broadcaster and has worked as an image adviser to governments, numerous celebrities, charities and well-known corporations. In fact, we don’t think we could find anyone more qualified or with more expertise to guide you through the minefield of choosing your perfect colour this season.
And the great news is Jules will be running an exclusive workshop at our Ridley London store as part of our Seasonal Styling Event happening tomorrow evening on Wednesday 8 May. To help you find your perfect colour and print for this season. But without further ado, here’s Jules to give you some brief, expert insights into the power and science of colour.
Yellow is a fantastically energising colour for spring and Pantone's Lemon Verbena 12-0742 TCX is bang on trend. As worn by Jules Standish (top right) and our new Ridley London Vinia Wrap Midi Dress shown here in the yellow Jannah satin print
Wow, thanks so much for the amazing and somewhat humbling introduction, Camilla. I’m really excited to be teaming up with you guys at Ridley London to give your customers and subscribers a fresh perspective on dressing with colour and helping them to successfully use colour as a fashion tool to make the most of themselves. The thing I’m most excited about working together is our shared belief that everyone is completely unique and only by understanding and flattering our individuality can we make the most of ourselves. And I believe wearing the right colours is a huge part of this. I love the fact that at Ridley London customers can have any dress, skirt, top or jumpsuit made to measure in any of your colours and prints. How can you fail to look fabulous. what an amazing offer.
As an image consultant, stylist and colour specialist, I’ve experienced the ways colour can transform how a diverse spectrum of people look and feel about themselves on numerous occasions. In fact, the effect of simply matching the right colours to the right person is incredibly profound. And this effect is only magnified with age. Equally, putting someone in the wrong colours can have a profoundly negative and draining effect. For example, black is often associated with fashion and the designers who adorn themselves in the colour season after season, brainwashing us through the media that black is always the colour to be seen in. It is associated with both edginess and elegance as well as giving the illusion of women looking slimmer. However successful styling isn’t purely about getting your body dressed in the right shapes or projecting the desired image. It’s also about making sure your face is not being aged dramatically or being made to look tired or unhealthy by wearing the wrong colours. And while it may create the illusion of being slimming, if black doesn’t match your genetic colour profile it will have a profoundly negative effect adding years to your age, diminishing skin radiance and accentuating features like eye bags and wrinkles. How would you feel if you thought the colour you were wearing was ageing your face by ten years?
Beige is big this season, epitomised by Pantone Sweet Corn 11-00106 TCX and our couture edition Jodi Maxi Dress (top right) in amethyst hand beaded lace
Women now more than any other generation are looking at ways to reduce the effects of ageing and look younger and colour has such a positive transformational effect. With age comes a changing face, which can have a huge impact when it starts to happen. Particularly as your self-image is inextricably linked to appearance, which for most people is central to their identity. Women today are expected to look fashionable, slim, perfectly groomed and young all of the time, as celebrity role models are idolized in our society for their looks and lifestyle. And while none of us wants to age, it’s inevitable and it’s better to do it gracefully and try to keep looking good for as long as we can. Colour and material texture have an incredibly powerful effect both in terms of the perception of size, age and image. This effect is especially pronounced when it’s placed directly up against the face. The correctly matched shades work like an instant natural facelift, emphasising natural colouring, smoothing perceived imperfections and bringing a healthy radiant glow to your face. If you knew just how powerful the effects of colour were against the face it would save you a fortune in future in buying the wrong outfits, ineffective skin products and even cosmetic surgery. But how do you identify your perfect colour match?
A great deal of contradictory material has been written about colour analysis. And while there are numerous colour theories and programmes out there, most of them don’t take the in-depth, holistic and personalised approach necessary to provide effective results. For example, although hair and eye colouring are an important part of the overall impression created by colouring, they are by no means the deciding factor in identifying the colours that flatter and bring a healthy glow to your complexion. Like many of the systems out there, this ‘Type Analysis’ relies on appearance-based stereotypes and simply isn’t applicable to every one of us. For example, hair, in particular, is an extremely unreliable guide to the underlying skin tone as this can change with age and can be altered or even damaged by treatments and lifestyle.
To provide accurate results and positive lasting effects, colour analysis needs to take into account multiple variables including your personality, health and wellbeing, your facial features and imperfections, as well as your genetics, your eye and hair colouring along with your perceived and desired image and lifestyle aspirations.
I start colour analysis with brief personality profiling which is based on the work of leading psychologists Jung and Steiner. For those of you planning to attend the Ridley London styling event next week, you may like to complete a copy of my profiling questionnaire in advance which can be found here. It can be fascinating to discover that there is a strong connection between your genetically inherited colouring and your personality. For instance, are you a fun loving, outgoing person who loves change, or someone who always finds themselves in charge of organisations with a determination to get things done? You might prefer working alone in a creative environment and like to analyse projects or be a real perfectionist who values their privacy? If you fill this in I can provide you with more accurate personalised advice and transformative insights on the day. I like to spend time with each client to get a feel for their personality and understand their aspirations as well as their lifestyles, health and wellbeing which can have such a profound impact on the way each of us holds ourselves and how we are perceived.
Shades of sage and muted green are big this spring including Pantone Pepper Stem 17-0542 TSX. Shown here (bottom right) in our new Ridley London Maxi Skirt in Sage Regent Silk Chiffon
Next, I analyse specific genetic features using a number of specialist scientific processes and technology not normally associated with fashion and styling. However, these enable factors including underlying health levels and ‘natural’ colouring to be determined with a far greater degree of accuracy. For example, using Iridology and a specialist optical grade magnifier, I take a detailed look into the eyes, particularly at the colouring, fibre structure and features of the Iris. These are not only a recognised indicator of health, but have you ever truly seen the colour and pattern of your own eyes? Are they blue but sometimes can look green depending on the colour you are wearing? Do you have clear bright eyes or petals and crypts inside the iris? This fascinating insight not only reveals the main seasonal tribe you belong to with absolute accuracy but indicates your health, temperament and underlying skin tone. I’m also able to share visuals of this with each client.
Finally, putting certain colours (known as draping) up against the face helps to confirm the correct colour tribe a client belongs to. Skin tone is inherited and whilst it can fade, tan, look unhealthy or age throughout your life it always remains in the same colour palette because it’s genetic. So once you know for sure, this stays with you forever but should be toned up or down at these different stages. However, hair colour can change which sometimes means you need a ‘secondary’ colour base to wear away from the face so as not to upset the harmony with the complexion. This creates an individual look for everyone that truly belongs to them
So which of the four colour tribes do you belong to and how will this affect what colours or outfits you choose to wear this season?
There are two cool seasonal types of pink based skin tones; pale pastel Summer and strong dramatic Winter (the ONLY colouring who can wear black really well up against the face). And two warm seasonal types of yellow based skin tones; bright vibrant Spring and warm muted earthy Autumn. There are then subtle Individually matched sub palettes with each of these main groups to reflect the unique colouring, personality and desired image combinations for each person.
Tangerine dream, orange is on trend for SS19 shown here in Pantone Turmeric 15-1264 TCX and one of our new Ridley London Honour Blouses in Tangerine Crepe Silk
Discovering this will totally transform your looks, your wardrobe and your wallet forever. To start with it will enable you to consciously and intelligently choose fashionable colours each season and build a versatile wardrobe of ‘go-to’ garments that really flatter and celebrate your individuality that will outlast disposable seasonal trends. Putting together all these aspects of yourself and discovering your true colours can be life-changing. It means that you always choose to wear the colours that highlight your features and make you look your best and also ensures that you feel confident about your image whilst you work, rest and play. What could be more empowering than that!
Save the date- Join us for our in-store styling event with Jules Standish on Wednesday, May 8th.
At my Ridley talk next week you will learn how to discover your true colours, what the key fashion colours are this season, and which ones will help you shine brightly. I’ll also teach you how to wear them if they don’t naturally harmonise with your own personal palette. For instance, Yellow is a top trend this season, from pastel to neon and everything golden and canary in between, but it's also the colour most feared by women. So is it for you? Perhaps not in a big bold block colour, but there are other ways to ensure you are not missing out on the glorious positive benefits of joy and optimism that the colour yellow provides you with on a psychological and emotional level.
Then there's’ hot pink another top fashion favourite right now, from Summers dusky shades to Winters magenta, pink is the colour of compassion, love and fun loving, but if you are part of the Autumn tribe then pink is not top of your palette, so maybe it will be Pantone's colour choice of the year, ‘Living Coral’ that suits you best, and I will show you how to wear it all year round and not just this season.
From dusky summer shades and 'Soft Lilacs' to punchy 'Peacocks', pink is without doubt a key colour for this season. Shown here in our new statement prairie style Carmen silk maxi dress in Josephine chiffon
My talk tomorrow evening will include live colour demonstrations on ladies with different colourings and skin tones, so you can visually see how powerful the effects of the colour in fashion can be on individuals. I will be highlighting how to use colour intelligently and mindfully to look youthful, slimmer and healthier, and how to use ‘neutrals’ to best effect with your colourful outfits; is current ‘beige’ one for you, or will navy blue be replacing your beloved black? Aside from discovering how to look amazing in your own personal colour palette, I will be talking about special colour trends this season and whether you are a block, bold or print kind of colour girl how to work in your own colour/style preferences to outfits for special events, like Ascot so that you shine brightly, in your own beautiful light. I look forward to hopefully meeting you tomorrow!