Posts Tagged ‘David Zyla’

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.

Dark Autumn Blonde, Part Seven: Revisiting My “Zyla” Colors

A while back, I created a DIY Zyla palette for myself using the instructions in his book. Instead of using paint chips, I used my Dark Autumn palette, since I was already using that to guide my wardrobe. I found it easy to find my literal body colors on the palette, and my result looks like this, approximately (since the colors don’t render properly on the screen):


While I find that the top row is perfect as it is, the bottom row was giving me some trouble. I would never wear the Third Base. The Tranquil didn’t connect with me one way or the other. The Second Base is the only one I really liked.

I asked for feedback on my possible Archetype in the Zyla group. There was a general consensus that my most likely type was Gamine Autumn, with Mellow as the runner up. With the help of some very educated Zyla eyes, I realized that the ring around my iris connected more with dark gray, rather than the petrol blue I had assumed would work. I thought more about the colors in Dark Autumn I’ve been drawn to since I claimed it as my season.

Zyla palettes are rarely literal. Zyla is not looking for exact matches, per se, but evocative colors, I think. So he’ll give people a purple base, even though they don’t really have purple hair or eyes. With that in mind, I thought about how colors function on me, and came up with this.


Essence: 1.1 FN (unchanged)
Romantic: 2.8 A, 2.7 A, 6.2 A
Dramatic: 4.9 A, 4.8 A, 4.7 A, 4.6 A
Energy: 3.9 A, 2.8 A, 3.7 A
Tranquil: 5.3 A, 5.2 A, 5.1 A
First Base: 3.3 FN, 3.2 FN, 3.1 FN
Second Base: 6.10 FN, 6.9 A, 6.7 A
Third Base: 7.8 A, 7.7 A, 7.6 A

(Numbers correspond to the True Colour International Dark Autumn Classic fan)

These are the DA colors that have resonated with me the most, and the ones that have made their way into my wardrobe already. My favorite casual outfit this year has been a cropped sweatshirt in my lightest/brightest tranquil over a tunic tank top in my darkest 1st base with some lighter 1st base shades thrown in with jeans in the middle Second Base color. Yellow and purple may sound a bit garish, but I don’t think it reads that way on me at all–a good case for deep purple being a neutral for me.

I did have to sacrifice the base color I liked, but it can still act as an alternate. In this new version, with the addition of yellow and purple, I can see myself. It feels more like me. If you are going with a limited palette for wardrobe planning, it has to speak to you. If you’re looking to do the same with your own 12-season palette, I recommend starting with what you already own and love, and see if these colors don’t somehow fit into a framework like Zyla’s.

Dark Autumn Blonde, Part Four: DIYing a Zyla Palette

My views on color analysis have changed drastically over the past few months. I used to believe strongly that Sci\ART and Sci\ART-based systems were the absolute Truth when it comes to color analysis. Stuff based on energy or body colors, or even the 16-season system, rang false to me. I believed that the absolute best results possible could only be found in the accomplished hands of a trained Sci\ART analyst. I believed that anyone who did not go this route was doing themselves a disservice, that they would never unlock their true beauty.

But after spending a lot of time in the online color and style community, I’ve learned that Sci\ART is just one way of looking at it. Some people don’t like the look that the Sci\ART result gives. Some strongly prefer their Zyla or Beauty Valued or 16-color result, and their Sci\ART palette sits and gathers dust. Some get a draping result they don’t like or don’t agree with, and spend hundreds more dollars getting redraped or getting custom palettes in other systems.

As someone who hasn’t been draped, I’ve come to a place where I feel like getting draped isn’t something I need. I was reading a blog post by Light Marigold Spring today. This blogger has been draped in Sci\ART/12 Blueprints twice, has a Beauty Valued fan, had a Zyla consult, and has some other fans. Anyway, she made the point that it comes down to personal preference, and in the end, you just choose which approach and which result you like best. No one way of looking at coloring is more right than the other. No system is “more correct” than all the others.

My approach to my own colors has been haphazard at best, and would probably make a professional color analyst shudder. I’ve simply deduced, from trial and error, that some colors are really, really bad for me. Too light and bright I turn red. White makes me puffy and gives me a fuzzy beard. I need some darkness. These factors have led me to Dark Autumn.

Would I be draped Dark Autumn? Maybe, maybe not. But the very worst thing that happens to my skin in Dark Autumn is that the line between my chin and my neck fades a little, and if that’s the worst thing that happens to you in a season, you’re not doing too badly. I can look at my fan and pick out my body colors. It connects with me energetically–maybe Dressing Your Truth is on to something with colors and energy, rather than draping. I love the colors and feel like myself in them.

Another advantage to using a palette like this is that the colors all work together. So I can create a wardrobe where everything matches, and I don’t have to think about it. That was what kept me in black for the past ten years or so: I found color selection intimidating. Now I just look for the slightly burnt, rich, and slightly warm colors of Dark Autumn, and everything looks good together.

In the interest of minimalism, I got to thinking about capsule wardrobes and color. Zyla is a system where you get a series of colors to use in certain ways in order to achieve different aesthetic goals. I decided to take my Dark Autumn palette and use it to create a Zyla palette. As I mentioned, my body colors are found on the Dark Autumn palette, so pulling the correct colors was pretty easy. Of course, Zyla could potentially give me something totally different if I ever do see him. But I think this is a pretty good approximation. (I didn’t do metals or pastels because I don’t know how to choose them, and I feel like pastels are something I wouldn’t be able to use much anyway.)


The colors are not true to fan, obviously, but here is the list of what I used from the Classic True Colour International fan:
Essence: 1.1 FN
Romantic: 6.2 A
Dramatic: 4.9 A
Energy: 3.8 A
Tranquil: 2.5 A
1st Base: 5.10 FN
2nd Base: 3.5 FN
3rd Base: 2.3 A

Some of these colors, like my Energy color, are ones that I know are special on me. My Romantic is a great lipstick/blush color on me. I love the 2nd Base. And I managed to get these colors by following Zyla’s instructions, no cheating to get my favorites on there. (Although I think in my Dramatic “extension” I’ll give myself one of the purples!)

To me, my Dark Autumn palette is simply a way to make my life easier. I’m not seeking my absolute true beauty. Simply put, they seem to work and I like them, and that’s good enough for me.