|The lovely couple on their wedding day|
So what kind of light is most suited to our beautiful Princess Mary?
What I observe from this picture is that contrast is a very important factor here. The question was asked Cool Summer or Dark Winter? and my immediate sense would be that any kind of summer would never be able to project such blinding clarity, such strongly defined contrast. The nature of summer beauty does not reside in contrast, but in a hazy, more blended and subdued world.
Notice also how stunning the top she's wearing is against her skin: absolutely saturated and slightly warmed, very deep royal purple. My immediate reaction upon seeing this picture would be that this woman is a Dark Winter.
This is a bit of a relief to look at after that last one due to it's clarity and depth! However, the colour actually seems a bit more Cool Winter to me, and with the addition of the light blue sash, the whole effect is ever so slightly off kilter. It's not bad, but it's not perfect. It just feels a bit too cool, a bit too stark, and I feel like my eyes are searching for that ember of warmth to deepen and enrich the whole effect. If the material was velvet rather than satin, it would already be a lot better.
Whereas THIS is what Dark Winters were made to wear! Especially royal Dark Winters! I love this so much I can't even tell you! Deep regal burgundy red velvet dress with gold jewellery is the perfect combination for a Dark Winter. And I mean, perfect. Notice how she isn't even wearing that much makeup. Notice also how she can get away with slight warmth in her lipstick and it still looks good- a Cool Winter wouldn't do too well with any warmth in their lips. Why not Dark Autumn then you might ask? Go back to the picture of her all in black. Dark Autumns can get away with black, but they don't look stunning in it as they would in a deep chocolate brown. Autumns need warmth, period. Dark Winters only need slight warmth, and lots and lots of darkness along with a good deal of saturation, ie: not too much softness. Lines are very well defined in Winter.
The reason I wanted to show you this photo is so that you can see how much warmth is present in her skin, in a manner that is noticeable to the eye. Skin is complex because it's made up of many, many colours. What matters is not how warm or cool you appear, but how warm or cool you actually are, which can only be identified by the contiguous colours you are wearing, or that are surrounding you. You'd be forgiven for thinking that she could be a Dark Autumn by looking at this picture, and yet... look at her skin: notice how shiny it looks? It's interesting to note that Christine Scaman in her excellent articles about "Best finish on (...) skin" for all the 12 seasons told us that she equated Dark Winter skin to Vinyl. I don't really like comparing anything human to anything artificial, but just take a moment to ponder this: in all the photos of Princess Mary, her skin gives off a very smooth, polished shine, which is not oiliness. We talk about undertones, but the texture of our skin itself goes a long way to determining how light will behave when reflected off of our skin, and therefore, how it will impact the way we perceive "our colours".
Look at how the light bounces off her face in this picture. It's absolutely light, and yet her hair looks absolutely densely dark, creating extreme natural contrast. A living, breathing person will cause the light to react in a certain way because of the very fabric of their physical being. This is why there are certain types of colours that will look better than others. We're not looking to match colours per se, were looking to match properties of colour. I cannot stress that point enough. Once we stop looking at it in terms of which colours we can or cannot wear, we will cease to feel so limited by our palette.
So we've looked at how Princess Mary is most likely to be a Dark Winter. Now, just for my own enjoyment, a few of the colours from her palette to see their effect:
Dark Winter blue, you just can't go wrong with this!
Delicious, regal, gorgeous deep wine red. To me, the Dark Winter colour par excellence!
A very fetching shade of green. Look how relaxed it makes her look, and how relaxing it feels to look at!
Dark Winter yellow. A beautiful shade for summer. Has enough brightness to not be pastel. It enhances the light in her face beautifully.
And then you plummet deep down into the depths of the mysterious Dark Winter purple. Gorgeous!
And how vibrant is this wonderful shade of coral/rose? So refined and distinguished yet utterly romantic. I love!
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to look at her colours, because each time I see a palette in the context of another person, it's like seeing that palette afresh, with new eyes, and it makes perfect sense.
Till the next time! (I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately, but life suddenly got super super busy! I hate it when anything pulls me away from doing this, but I'm not going to stop!)