May 31, 2021 3 min read
Meet Light Summer, Lisa Swisher. Lisa and I met each other years ago watching our son's play baseball. We were always interested in each other's businesses so I welcomed the opportunity to speak about color harmony at an event at her fabric shop, Sew Creative in Fairport, NY. The audience attendees were primarily experienced sewing enthusiasts who made their own clothing.
Sew Creative is an excellent setting for a discussion about color harmony because the shop is filled with gorgeous colorful fabrics surrounded by beautiful quilts, table cloths, clothing and other creative projects that provided the perfect visual in explaining the difference between a masterpiece and one that doesn't quite work.
When you spend the time to create your own clothing, it is particularly important to ensure that you get the right colors, styles and understand the science.
I have been working with color my entire career. As the owner of Sew Creative, I am constantly dealing with color in both merchandising and product selection. Back in the 80’s my mother also did color analysis for our customers. Does anyone remember Color Me Beautiful?
Carole Jackson's Color Me Beautiful and her home-based 4 season color analysis system were a 1980's pop-culture phenomenon. We have Color Me Beautiful to thank for bringing personal color analysis to the mainstream. Because it was over simplified into a 4 season system and structured to accommodate home parties and quick determination of a season, it made personal color analysis a frivolous trend.
Professional color consultants are still overcoming that stigma and the misleading information cultivated decades ago. Many people, including me, struggled to figure out what colors suited us until discovering the more fine tuned 12 season personal color analysis system based on Albert Munsell's color theories.
Lisa and I had typical experiences in the 4 season color system. She was told she was a Summer and I was told I was a Spring. The colors were close but just didn't give the magic of our Light Summer seasonal tone which falls between Summer and Spring. For her, the Summer colors from the 1980's were just a bit too muted and cool. For me, the Spring colors were too bright and warm. With the 12 color season system we now have the perfect balance of all 3 dimensions - light, cool and soft.
When I came to Kerry’s studio with our group to have our colors done I had an idea that I would be in the summer range. I was amazed at how precisely Kerry was able to define our color palettes. It was really an exciting experience. It really is empowering to know what color will be the most flattering and I always get compliments on what I am wearing when it is in my palette.
I am now much more conscious of choosing fabrics for the shop in a wide range to allow all of the seasons to find something that will appeal to them. I really enjoy watching my customers wandering through the fabrics and seeing what colors they are drawn to whether it is for a garment they want to make or a quilt they are imagining.
Sew Creative offers a wide variety of classes and special events in addition to fabrics, notions and equipment.
Read about other's colorful journeys in these recent blog posts!
Financial Wellness and Harmony Advisor, Light Spring, Erica Cummings
Capsule Wardrobe Specialist, Warm Spring, Andrea Bonawitz
Personal Stylist, Bright Spring, Kelly McCarthy
Community Educator, Bright Winter, Danielle Raymo
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September 07, 2023 6 min read
It’s a treat to introduce you to this month's colorful lives feature, Soft Autumn Tim Stich who is also my son!! Tim’s experience with shopping for clothing and wearing color is unique as I become a color analyst when he was quite young. When he and his sister Clare were little, I tried dressing them in bright colors with strong patterns as was the style then.....but even before learning about personal color harmony, I started to sense that the clothes overwhelmed them and began dressing them in softer colors and solids. I was even shocked the other day to discover when I pulled out his school photos that every single photo (even before I learned of his color palette) was taken in a Soft Autumn color. You can see how his life has evolved wearing the soft, earthy colors that suit his ruddy hair, freckles and soft blue/green eyes.
Over the years, he has mostly been very eager to wear what suits him and looked to me to help him distinguish soft autumn colors from the two seasons nearby - warm autumn and soft summer. We enjoy shopping together, especially now that he lives in Manhattan and the shopping is abundant. It can be a challenge to find his colors in sizes and style that fit but when its perfect, it feels great and he knows it. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a guy whose mom is a color consultant!
August 01, 2023 7 min read
I am so excited to introduce you the “entertainingly irreverent” (Associated Press) Soft Summer, Valerie Peterson. Valerie is an extraordinary storyteller in a variety of media including scriptwriting, screenplays, fiction, non-fiction and book publishing/consulting. I analyzed her colors years ago in Rhode Island at a girls weekend hosted by a mutual friend (color analysis and girls weekends make a great combo!). In the years since, Valerie has embraced her Soft Summer colors in spite of living and working in New York City where black is a standard and practical.
It was a thrill when her publisher chose a photo of my family for her wonderfully spirited book, Peterson’s Happy Hour. On page 46, you can find me with my family - brothers, Mike and Tim and my parents Marcia and J. Michael Jones circa 1970. The book features many more photographic gems and recipes for a fabulous social gathering!
In this month’s colorful lives blog, Valerie shares her journey with her color palette. As with all her writing projects, she is humorous, colorful and entertaining! She has kept in great condition and still uses the Sci Art swatch book that I provided back in those days!! Be sure to check out her large body of work on valeriepeterson.net and read more in the blog:
July 25, 2023 4 min read
While doing color analysis in Boston in June, I had the pleasure of meeting Danielle Burton and giving her a 12-Season Color Analysis. Danielle had recently experienced a 4-Season Color Analysis with a House of Colour consultant and was told she was a Winter. I was skeptical that she was any type of Winter (in the 12 season system, there are actually 3 Winters - Dark Winter, Cool Winter and Bright Winter). Her light eyes, natural lighter and soft brownish hair and skin tone were much more consistent with my clients who fall into the lighter seasons, especially Summer.
Since her hair had been highlighted, we covered it with a neutral gray cap to do the testing portion of the analysis, ensuring that the lighter color did not sway the results of the analysis. It was clear from the beginning that Danielle was responding more harmoniously to the cool tones even some of the lighter cool winter drapes which was consistent with her 4 season color analysis.
But, while she contrasted with any drapes that were dark and bright, she was softened and balanced by the lighter cool tones, particularly Summer. The dark colors brought out shadows under her eyes and the brighter colors overwhelmed her and brought attention to themselves. In the end, she looked lovely and perfectly balanced and harmonious in the Cool Summer colors!
"While I had a great experience at House of Colour, I do think they are missing out on a ton of research and color science by not including the 12 seasons and variants. The added layer of cool vs bright vs dark was a huge difference for me and really solidified which category I best fit”.
Enjoy reading more about Danielle’s experience with both systems and her reaction to her diagnosis as a Cool Summer:
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