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By Harlan Yaffe
Fashion Editor for Todo Ahora
June 5, 2002

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"Here's our theme, here's our answer: Pink!" proclaimed Kay Thompson while portraying fashion magazine editor Maggie Prescott in "Funny Face," the 1956 ultra-chic musical movie also starring those icons of style, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire.  It may have taken forty-four years for the echo of her decree to reach the ears of designers, but now they too are joining the chorus, touting pink, in addition to lavender, green, orange, and blue as the must-have shades for the very vibrant summer 2002 season.  This is an array of colors we have not seen since the days when the NBC peacock was spreading its plumes to the opening strains of the theme of
St. Elsewhere more than a decade ago. The last ten years amounted to little more than a montage of black, so there is quite possibly an entire generation who has never navigated the color wheel outside of the Home Depot paint department.

Those of us with the seniority to remember the eighties can clearly recall when having your personal colors charted (does the name
"Color Me Beautiful" ring a bell?) was as important an ingredient to getting dressed as a copy of Vogue with Brooke Shields on the cover.  If you don't know where you stashed your little book of fabric snippets, that may be a blessing.  Even if you still had it handy, the swatches have likely faded quicker than the career of David Carouso, and loosing most of their usefulness in the process.  Experts differ in how personal colors are identified, but basically, they are established by analyzing the colors of your skin, hair, and eyes. Most consider the skin as the most important factor.

Since the combinations of personal characteristics are near limitless, this is not something we can determine for you here with any accuracy.  You can look in your local yellow pages or search on line for "personal color analysis" if this is something you would like to, as millions of women have, pursue. The good and bad news is that there are no absolute rules here.  The better news is that just about anyone can successfully wear any color.  It is selecting the most flattering tone that is best suited to your coloring that determines why one green blouse makes you appear vibrant and another imbues you with a sallow pallor decidedly funereal. With a bit of trial and error and taking a little extra time when shopping, you will be able to leave your mistakes in the fitting room rather than display them on the street for the whole world to see. 


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