When considering seasons, one might think of temporary weather that changes with the Earth’s rotation around the sun.
However, if one were to ask a professional color consultant like Laura Frantz what she first thinks of when she hears the word “season,” she will likely pull up a chair and launch into an enthusiastic speech about the importance of wearing colors that best compliment one’s skin tone. Frantz is an expert in color theory, which states that everyone on Earth, whether brown-eyed, towheaded or otherwise, falls into one of four color seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.
Frantz and other color consultants with House of Colour, a United Kingdom-based color analysis firm, begin conducting their appointments by determining a client’s season using color theory — the idea that certain colors are paired better with others based on whether they are cool, warm, muted or bright. Though color theory is often applied in interior and graphic design, color consultants believe that this theory doesn’t stop with furniture or images on a page. Frantz said each person has a natural tint in their skin’s undertones, hair and eyes that pair best with certain colors of clothing.
Much like the planet’s seasons, color seasons deal with temperature and brightness. Winter and summer color schemes include cool colors or pigments with blue undertones. On the other hand, spring and fall have hints of warm yellows beneath every color in their pallette. Fall and winter colors are more rich and bright, whereas spring and summer err on the more soft and pastel end of the color wheel.
As a color consultant, Frantz utilizes a color analysis studio in her house to help people find their natural color season. She provides advice on what colors of makeup, clothing and hair makes each person look their very best. Frantz said when a person who was once blind to their season learns their true colors, their life is transformed into a world of new, radiant hues.
“People leave here like peacocks,” Frantz said. “They have thought they’ve never looked prettier. It just makes women feel so good.”
Before Frantz can dress someone in a symphony of chromatism that best harmonizes with their skin tone, she must first drape her clients in either a yellow or blue-based color. Then, she figures out which color of drapes best compliment one’s natural coloring by taking away certain colors and adding others, all while watching the hues in their face and eyes change. Frantz said that when the correct color is chosen, the customer can see a noticeable difference in how striking their features look.
“When you surround yourself with the right colors, your natural coloring looks its best,” Frantz said.
After a customer’s season is determined, Frantz knows what color of makeup looks best and can recommend hair colors that properly compliment his or her features. The remainder of the appointment is spent discussing how the client can live out their season through their clothing choices.
Frantz said she wants any doubters of her process to sit in her salon chair wrapped in drapes so they can see the results for themselves. Frantz said she can empathize with naysayers because she too was once a skeptic.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Fashion Department alumna was certain she knew what looked good after her formal training in design. When she received an appointment to get her colors assessed as a gift, she said she went begrudgingly, with hopes as dull and muted as her poorly-pigmented outfit. The results of the appointment left her wearing a glamorous ensemble and a stupefied expression on her face.
“I would've bet one million dollars I was a spring,” Frantz said, “I thought I was going to sit at my appointment and she was going to tell me how good I looked in coral … I look terrible in coral.”
After her appointment, Frantz immediately began wearing winter colors and was determined to start training with House of Colour. Three months later, she was ready to begin working as a color consultant herself.
Frantz said she has picked up many happy customers along the way, including Melissa Person, a spring who stays true to her colors with each outfit she pairs. Person also recommends that everyone get their colors analyzed and holds to the idea that one must see a professional to determine their correct season.
“I got rid of all of the clothes that weren’t in my season,” Person said. “I had my husband do it, my kids do it, pretty much everyone in my whole extended family has done it ... I wish I would’ve known it my whole life.”
Though there has been much discussion about whether or not color season theory is accurate since its rise in popularity in the 1980s, Frantz remains confident in her system and happy in her business success.
“I think the reason this has gone so well is because I do it completely because I’m in love with it,” Frantz said.