RAINBOW IN YOUR EYES by Bernice Kentner (1981)
The first discoverer of the "pot of rainbow color" was, I feel, the unsung hero of color analysis, Robert Dorr. An artist born in New York, he looked at people with a new eye and discovered the beautiful difference of skin tone. His trained eye for color saw blue and gold undertones in the complexions of people.
This, to my knowledge, was the beginning of what we now call color Analysis. In its first conception, people were placed in two categories with some basic similarities for their Color Key area.
Mr. Dorr named his system "Color Key". He placed people in Key 1 or Key II colors. He recognized that all of us can wear any color of the rainbow as long as it has enough of the blue or gold pigment added to it.
The only two colors that are excluded are orange for the Key 1 spectrum and magenta (reddish purple) for the Key II. These two colors are used by those working with the Color Key System to discover which color key you fit in.
If you lie in Color Key I, your skin tone will harmonize with magenta. In Color Key II, orange is more compatible.
In 1974, the Ameritone Color Key Corporation copyrighted the Color Key System and created a pocket dictionary of the two color areas of color. Their
emphasis of course was to encourage the use of right color for interior decorating. The added bonus is that people also use these for clothing colors.
The experienced colorist will appreciate this scientific approach to color in the realization that each color can be calibrated to harmonize with a surrounding or underlying background. In the case of color analysis, the individual becomes the background for the color. All color placed on the human body either harmonizes, compliments or competes with its coloration.
The Color Key System thus offers to us a means of finding correct colors to harmonize with our own coloring and to decorate or paint our homes in.
Mr. Dorr is not credited with the Seasons' Harmony of Color. There are some differences in the colors involved, but basically Summer and Winter people fit in Dorr's Key 1 colors and Spring and Autumn into Key II. Season's Harmony is a more sophisticated method of color analysis which breaks the color keys into four areas instead of two. However, a few colors in Key 1 work very well on Spring (Key II) individuals.
The reader must realize that the system of "finding your Season" has evolved over the last forty years and that it still remains a concept of color that has literally been stolen, or in better terms, borrowed from one colorist to create another.
There is something intriguing about being able to charge someone a fee to tell them their correct colors. Every colorist creates their own audience or following who invariably will have several people who see a good thing and want to get in on doing colors too.
It has been my experience to have people pay to have me color code them who are attending their own "school of color analysis" by going to every analyst in the area picking up ideas and trying to get some credibility to begin their own color coding business. One can hardly blame them when the fees charged for getting your colors done are so large.
The public itself must accept some of the blame for higher fees of color analysis. It is quite fashionable to have your colors done by those who charge large fees.
Suzanne Cagill, a gifted color analyst from San Francisco, helped people find their best colors for thirty years. Suzanne has written her own book on color analysis entitled Color The Essence of You. Her book is a treasure of beautiful pictures and terms about the seasons of color. Her name will surely go down in history as one of the pioneers of the new profession. Every public library should have this book in its reference section.
Suzanne created her system of doing people's colors by observing the actual skin coloration and painting it with an artist's eye. She paints light to very dark tones of complexion and uses coloration found in the hair and eye as other choices of becoming colors to wear. A few complimentary colors are given that go with body harmony. Assistants assemble fabric swatches to match Suzanne's color choices and a very sophisticated color pallet is given.
Over the years Suzanne has taught very few persons her method of color analysis. As her fame grew, many people came to her because of her reputation. As she herself has said, "Many people may copy me but they cannot take away my gift."
It is my opinion that since Suzanne is a trained fashion designer that it was she who created the Fashion Looks for the Seasons.
Several people have copied Suzanne's system of doing colors. Some of these persons may or may not have the same gift of seeing color and thus evolves some problems with the method she created, choosing colors to match complexion, hair and eye coloring. Many of our self-made analysts do not understand even the very basic concepts of Dorr's Color Key causing a disharmony of color choices.
There are those individuals who really do have a talent for finding colors for other people. The only thing they lack is a legitimate place to learn this new profession. It is with this in mind that I write this book. At the present time, color analysis is a much sought after service on the west coast. Some mid-westerners also recognize it as a valuable asset to know your colors. It is sweeping the country and will grow as analysts may be educated correctly.