How I’m Using Fantastical Beauty

In my most recent Zyla Update, I had settled on Mellow Autumn. But Mellow Autumn wasn’t working for me any better than Gamine Autumn had. While my personality tends to score as very Autumn, and the Dark Autumn palette is the one that works best for me out of the 12-season palettes, Autumn textures and styling tends to be just too heavy for me.

Mellow Autumn is a lot lighter in feeling than other Autumns, but still, it wasn’t getting me where I needed to go. It is, after all, the Sexy Librarian. It was a little too serious for me. I have no idea where Zyla would put me. I think maybe Tawny Spring, but it’s too hard when recommendations are so personalized.

As I’ve been examining my gamineness, I’ve been thinking a lot about what works and what doesn’t. And I realized that one thing that has been missing from my wardrobe is fun. The brighter, juicier colors of Dark Autumn are where I try to concentrate my clothing purchases anyway, and I try to restrict my darker colors to pants, outerwear, and accessories. Emphasizing heavy textures, natural materials, and prints from nature don’t work well with either Flamboyant Gamine or my version of DA.

I’ve been interested in Fantastical Beauty lately, as you might be able to tell from my last post. I did end up buying the Maenad guide as well, and I can say that I did choose right with Fae as my primary type, but that Maenad fills in a lot of holes.

Sometimes, when I look at other systems, I feel like I’m looking for something that just replicates Flamboyant Gamine recommendations, because they do fit me really well. But I wish that we had a Flamboyant Gamine workshop tape transcript, like we have for Theatrical Romantic and Soft Dramatic. The jewelry recommendations are a section that I find particularly vague. Kibbe doesn’t even indicate jewelry scale for us.

So I’ve looked to other systems, namely Zyla, to fill in the gaps. But I basically haven’t been wearing jewelry at all since I decided I was some kind of Autumn in Zyla. I would buy things, but they’d just sit unworn. I decided to at least temporarily abandon Zyla altogether, and look at Fantastical Beauty for inspiration.

What I’ve taken away from Fantastical Beauty is that I need to lighten up my wardrobe. Not in color, but instead of seeking out heavier fabrics and jewelry, I need to go the opposite direction. I need to concentrate on making sure my outfits have fun, in addition to edge.

I went jewelry shopping yesterday, and it was actually a relief to look for jewelry without looking for heaviness. Instead, I concentrated on looking for sharpness.

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I will keep some heaviness–no style system can take my leather jacket away from me!–but I will try to always make sure to keep mischief, fun, and a sense of humor–which Kibbe also emphasizes for FGs–in my look. I think the lightness and fun is something that is also present in the FG recommendations if you read them carefully, but it’s good to be able to have a strong image and an additional set of recommendations to look at.

Have you mixed in this system or any other with Kibbe’s recommendations? Or do you find that one system and set of recommendations are enough?

Know your type in several systems but having trouble putting it all together? My workbook can help.

8 Comments on How I’m Using Fantastical Beauty

  1. Jenna
    March 23, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I’ve had a similar experience; I love Autumn colors, but I don’t want to wear popcorn tweed or fringe (both Kibbe and Zyla recs for me.) So it’s nice to have a system where fabric is based on type instead of season. 🙂

    • stylesyntax
      March 23, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      I’ve bought fringed things before, but they just stay in the closet. Can’t stand to have things swishing around! But yeah, I’m glad to have an emphasis on lightness that holds its shape.

  2. Dianne Pearson
    March 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Hi! I joined Fantastical Beauty and it is definitely fun. All of the images seem to have a strong theatrical romantic/ soft dramamtic streak to me.

    I would really love to see more boards there with the pinner showing their interpretation in real clothes. What do you think. Also I can’t get past Maenad (sp?) being associated with bachannalia – is that bohemian?

    • stylesyntax
      March 23, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      I think boho is one way to go with Maenad, but not the only way.

      People have been posting their own pinboards in the official group, which may help, especially because they’ll generally involve more examples of concrete recommendations.

  3. Cory
    April 12, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    I have a question about Kibbe-influenced (or I guess yin-yang-influenced, ultimately) style systems. You’ve probably looked at this person?

    I don’t agree with all of her ideas… for one, I don’t agree with some of the language that is very gender-oriented in a way I don’t find useful. For another I am unsure that, say, “ethereal” is not just alternately a “narrow, light-season FN” or “light-season D”…? But I get that people are going to have different opinions about these sorts of thing.

    BUT, anyway, here’s my question. The TIB person has the idea that people can be blends of up to 3 style types. So someone could be “Dramatic/Natural/Gamine”=”Casual Punk”, etc.

    What do you think of this? On the one hand, I feel sort of unsure, particularly when I actually look at the sample outfits, that this is a helpful way of thinking about things. But on the other hand, it is a solution to my own “???” about a style conundrum I’m unable to otherwise solve.

    But her style guides are 15 bucks for a single page, plus another 15 if you want to take her style quiz, and to be honest I don’t find the sample images on the pinterest pages that convincing.

    Thoughts? Experience? Thanks!

  4. Kathryn
    April 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Wow! I accidentally stumbled onto your site and I love your thoughts. I’m tracking with them. I had an essence consultation done with John Kitchener and, to me, it was life changing. Actually, it affirmed things I sort of knew, but had come to doubt, so that when someone else noted my structural qualities it riveted me back into place. I’m never doubted my lines and features since then.

    Truth and Beauty is an awesome site and Rachel over there has done a great job of trying to synthesize multiple essences. I, too, take some exception to a few suggestions, though I suspect it may be that it’s really hard to suggest an ensemble that you find on the Internet that is 100% the essence blend described. But it’s enough to get the general drift. Also, I have a feeling that how perfectly and authentically framed you feel by an essence category may have to do with the percentage levels that landed you there. I don’t sweat too much over the fact that my dominant essence blend is only 55%, compared to other women who may have 70-80% of the same. It’s still enough that I can dress in the same essence, head-to-toe if I want. I find that my high doses of other essences simply mean I can individuate the overall look with details and touches in a way that my higher % essence sisters can’t.

    I know a lot of women who have seen David Zyla. I’m sure he is immensely talented–and I frankly prefer his work, overall, to that of Kibbe. I’m less sure about his work as a color analyst. So far I’m more impressed–overall–by John Kitchener when it comes to color analysis, though Zyla does do some impressive work, admittedly. Kitchener once remarked that Zyla still makes use of the “bad” side of Caygill color analysis–and I think he may be right–though the “bad” side still doesn’t look truly bad. Both Kitchener and Zyla were trained in the Caygill method, but it appears that in later years after Caygill passed, there were other aesthetic discoveries that refined her system and eliminated some of the thinking that Zyla still follows. Maybe it’s a matter of preference….

    I came to a sort of peace about my own preferences second-hand through Carla Mathis (another Caygill trainee). There is something to the spirit of the individual that brings to bear on the color palette and only the individual can really say when the palette is “perfect.”. Jennifer Butler’s system also operates on this basis, and sometimes she re-does a palette when the client feels not quite right about the original palette. That’s why the Butler clients do so much work on the inner person to come to terms with what the soul is really speaking.

    Objectively, you can only use common sense, a trained eye, and the best tools available to create a palette from outside observation of a person. I’m convinced that this is still the best place to start. I’m equally convinced that the essence(s) and also the soul and temperament of a person have a bearing on the empirical data that goes into creating a palette.

    • stylesyntax
      May 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      I think I would have a hard time ever seeing beyond comments like that from John Kitchener–i.e., Zyla using the “bad” side of Caygill. Your work should stand for itself, without having to denigrate other analysts. I’m also not a fan of the idea of breaking people down into percentages, generally; I’ve seen people be told by him that they had “natural legs” and things like that, and not only can it give someone a complex, but how exactly are you supposed to use that information to create a cohesive image? But in the end, different systems work for different people and if his methods have worked for you, that’s what it’s all about 🙂

  5. DappleRose
    May 12, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I had a consult with Kati a year ago, and I loved it! The only other style consult I had was with Kitchener (online). What I really like about FB is that it really does feel different from other systems, and I love that everyone gets a magical type, as I think the traditional terms of “classic”, “natural” etc are so familiar, we get our own fixed ideas that are hard to break out of.—I know I had. I had already explored a lot of style trough Kibbe, Zyla, DYT, seasons…and I just felt like I was in a rut. I am an SN, soft summer, but I just have been so entrenched in the default stereotypical SN boho style for the past 10 years I was getting tired of it and wanted a fresh change. In FB, I’m an Angel Soul Guardian, with a Lion familiar. Trying to redefine my style can be hard though. I fall back on my boho rut where I really should be going more elegant and even a little classic. I still cringe because lots of people still say I have a boho style lol—it’s like Stop! I don’t want to be boho anymore! I would say my FB recs are a mix of ethereal/natural/classic if you use those terms. A bit different from my Kitchener recs, and I always felt I didn’t get enough Ethereal from my Kitchener consult. I love the Ethereal vibe—it’s one I’m very naturally drawn to…Anyway, the challenge I have now is to keep the style elegant and graceful, but the line relaxed, yet also aligning with my casual lifestyle. I wear a tee shirt and jeans the majority of the time, so I’m probably going to have to find a lot of tee shirts with elegant details, like a minimal bit lace or crochet.


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