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12-Tone Spring Style Hypothetical Part II

This series is an attempt to look at how four very famous women might have interpreted the one tone (in this case we have used 12-Tone True Spring) in terms of their individual style as they dressed for the office.  In Part I we looked Katharine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.

Spring Style III – Ingrid Bergman as True Spring:

Ingrid Bergman’s relaxed and open look was more naturalistic than many of that era and in some ways feels the most contemporary, as the travel and leisure wear that formed the basis of her wardrobe favours function over form and so has changed less over the years. Although this collage is rendered in true spring colours, it feels almost autumn-like because of the fabric choices and textures. The overall impression is a little more casual than the preceding two, and again could be pulled closer to the formal corporate norm with different choices of fabrics and slightly more formal accessories. Our goal with all of these collages however is to show a given spectrum of colour meshed with individual style, and to convey the credibility that results when the overall message is consistent and coherent, whatever that style may be.

Spring Style IV – Audrey Hepburn as True Spring:

Although Audrey Hepburn was a winter (probably the only completely safe seasonal bet of the four women we’re thinking about here), her style looks just as good on a True Spring of like spirit and would work as well for anyone of the other seasons who happened to be most at home in similar lines. It is youthful and innovative in feel where a heavier-suited or more flowing look might feel restrictive and almost “drown” someone who identifies with her style. As with the other collages, this is interpretation, not a literal copy – Audrey herself could wear sleeker and more minimalist styles, for example, and often did. And once again, her style themes could be worn more formally, keeping the basic shapes but refining the fabric choices and choosing other neutrals, perhaps from the cooler side of the palette. It is easier to move your look towards a given dress code and vice versa if you start with reasonably clear ideas about both.


In this brief collage series we have looked at how four distinctive personalities might wear and enjoy the same area of 12-tone seasonal colour space. If you are a True Spring yourself you might identify with one of these examples or with none of them, or you might have mixed feelings, thinking “I would wear that and that but not that, and I’d go for that if it were different in this way.”
And this is the first point of this digital experiment: that style and season can shake out independently and in very individual ways. When you understand your colours you have reduced the potential for confusion and removed a potential barrier to clarity about your style (and by the same reasoning, if you start by knowing your best look then knowing your colours will give it renewed confidence and consistency.)

Each of our four movie-stars’ styles were an inseparable part of their public image, and all four wardrobe directions still work well today for those of similar style bent. This is the second point behind this series: that our own colours worn in our best personal style will feel just as timeless on us. An individual item may be dateable to an era (or remind us of a given decade if viewed on its own), but if it ticks all the boxes that make it perfect for you then it won’t date on YOU and will work as your own personal “classic” (and let’s be clear, quirky or edgy can be “classic” on the right person even if not considered “classic” in a more general sense).

We are most convincing when we give a physical impression that is consistent and harmonious with the person we are. Regardless of our roles in life we (usually) want to give a sense of a real person occupying a position. We want to come across as someone who is secure, authentic and believable, and not someone playing a part. Our personal style comes across more coherently and with enhanced credibility when we use colour harmony to best effect.

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