Remember when the four season concept of color was “hot?” I certainly do, because I was one of those early, certified Beauty For All Seasons, Image Consultants. The basic concept is that each person has distinct coloring (two warm ranges, two cool ranges) that they were born with, and they will find that they will look best (and generally favor) a range of colors that are evocative of one of the four seasons of the year. Although this may seem a bit restrictive at first, most everyone can wear most every color –it’s just a matter of tone and intensity. The concept works, and works well. It’s especially great for men, who can’t “fake it” with makeup and hair color as much as women can. For a guy, wearing just the right shade can make a huge difference in how he looks, without doing anything else! Of course, it works just as amazingly well for women.
Well, the concept fell out of favor for a long while, but I am a firm believer in it’s value. Now, Oprah darlings Joe Lupo and Jesse Garza are bringing the color concept back, with a few modernized bells and whistles (e.g. readers in our celebrity-obsessed society can consult the book to match their color types and style preferences to the favorite celebs, instead of just color patches and line drawings. If I hadn’t been one of those legions working professionally with the four season concept of color, I’d find Garza and Lupo’s book: Life in Color: The Visual Therapy Guide to the Perfect Palette–for Fashion, Beauty, and You (Chronicle Books, 240 pages $24.95), fascinating. The authors have done a great job of providing an eye candy book full of gorgeous, glossy fashion photos that illustrate the various points of color typing and style analysis. The authors have A-list Rolodexs (do they still use those?) and obviously, their connection with the Oprah Winfrey show and celebrities will entice many readers, but the basic content is well done.
My personal opinion is that a book can only instruct to a certain degree, even if the printing is very true to color (I can’t tell if it is or not because I got a Xeroxed galley proof). Consulting a color typing expert who uses fabric drapes and can really discern nuances in color and style, is really the best way to figure out what works for your coloring, body type, lifestyle, and fashion preferences (not to mention budget). If your budget doesn’t allow for Jesse/Joe to pop over and check out your closet, this book still does a good job in outlining the first steps to color typing and style. For the true beginner, this book is a good place to start.
The downside, if there is one, is that apart from the celebrity models, good photography, and some style tips, I didn’t find any fresh, brilliant secrets revealed in this book that you couldn’t find in the original Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson back in the early 1980’s. But as Bennett Cerf said about jokes, if you haven’t heard it before, it’s all new to you. I’d give this 8 out of 10 “AdviceSisters” stars!