Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Body types and David Kibbes Metamorphosis

What would the world be without variety?  A uniform place, full of clones, that's what.

Some things have universal appeal and this is why they keep coming back in cycles, like body types and human colouring.

David Kibbes, with his book Metamorphosis, has done a good thing.  And although it's from the 80's, and the book itself has a lot of 80's style photographs, the style guidelines contained within are enduring.  His style theory follows the principles of balance and yin and yang (ie: what we consider to be "feminine" and "masculine").  He did not invent this concept, as it already existed quite a few years before then- maybe 20 to 30 years previous?  He did complete it and elaborate upon it somewhat though, ending up with 13 categories of "image identities", one of which every one who takes the "test" within it's pages should be able to find themselves.  It's a LOT better than the whole "are you a triangle or a column or an hourglass?" thing, because it's more complete, and it takes EVERYTHING into account. 

Each of us have certain lines and shapes of which we are composed.  In our faces, our bone structure, and the way our flesh is arranged upon our frame.  For all the possible combinations, there is a Kibbe type that we fit into very nicely.  The wonderful blog, Truth is Beauty, describes this quite well, so I'll put the link here so that you can see the breakdown and you'll also find all the online resources for finding out your type: http://www.truth-is-beauty.com/1/post/2012/10/you-know-the-truth-of-your-colors-find-the-truth-of-your-lines.html
There's no point in me rewriting it and going through it all when someone has already done it perfectly. 

I would like to list the 13 types though, just to throw the words out there:
Dramatic, Soft Dramatic, Natural, Flamboyant Natural, Soft Natural, Classic, Dramatic Classic, Soft Classic, Romantic, Theatrical Romantic, Gamine, Flamboyant Gamine, Soft Gamine.

I must admit that it's taken me a while to get a real handle on the types, because you only really figure it out when you realise the differences between them.  It's not easy to really SEE the subtle differences between two nose shapes and arm shapes or whatever, because everything is relative.  But I absolutely love this system, because to be honest, if it was too simple, you wouldn't find yourself within it - there is so much human variety that if you oversimplify, you lose those lovely little aspects of an individual that set them apart and make them special and beautiful in their own unique way.

Something that learning about this system has taught me is that you can't really take anything at face value.  When you see a woman looking really, really sexy, if you were asked to describe what it is that makes her so sexy, it's not necessarily that she has big breasts or an hourglass figure.  Most of the time, it's because she has BALANCE, and a certain "something" about her.  Something that allows you to really SEE her, the person.  Take Kiera Knightley: she is very lean, very flat chested, has a very straight and narrow shape.  Not usually the definition of sexy.  And yet, she is breathtakingly beautiful.  She's probably a "Dramatic" for all her long lean slim frame and sharp bone structure and features.  And when she wears long, sharp styles, not all this boho stuff, she looks amazing.

Not everyone is shaped like Elizabeth Taylor you see, but it doesn't mean that you can't be sexy in your OWN way.  Not everyone suits having their waist cinched in, like most stylists seem to think (in fact, it's always the first thing that stylists do- cinch peoples waists in) instead, some people, especially the Naturals, suit more loose fitting clothing, the kind that sort of falls loosely and comfortably around the frame, befitting of who they are as people, more relaxed and easy going than say, the Theatrical Romantic who requires a style so ornate and so fussy that it would be head ache inducing on anyone apart from them!

I love Eva Mendes.  She is a beautiful woman.  Yet she always wears these trussed up bodiced gowns on the red carpet, with her hair tightly pulled back.  That would probably suit a Dramatic, or a Classic Dramatic, but on her it actually takes away from her beauty.  You don't always need to "show off" your figure, to really flaunt it.  Sometimes it's nice to leave something up to the imagination.  Not always- a Romantic looks best flaunting everything they've got!  But Eva Mendes, I suspect is some kind of Natural (either a Natural or a Soft Natural) because she looks so utterly sexy in looser fit clothing and more natural fabrics like cotton shirts, accessorised with wooden beads.

I wanted to write this post to kind of put out the message there, because there is only one thing in this world that enjoy doing as much as figuring out peoples colouring, and that is, figuring out their Kibbe Type.  Once you've guessed your own, it's fun to see what other peoples types are because it's nice to enjoy and appreciate to it's full extent the endless variety of human beauty.

1 comment:

  1. Kibbe is conducting Style consults in NYC. You can finally get an answer to all of those nagging questions, AND even get to go shopping with him! He has lots of information on his facebook page :D. https://www.facebook.com/davidkibbemetamorphosis

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