I had occasion not long ago to drape a bunch of teenagers and adults in a group. I had my drapes with me and we were all sitting around, not doing anything in particular. Mass draping ensued.
I was surprised to discover that coming to the right decision was easy with so many other eyes watching. You wouldn't think that would be the case, but it was. What worked and what didn't work was apparent much more quickly because lots of people noticed it. Several drape-ees, I was able to figure out ridiculously fast - like, in under five minutes.
Draping sure is easier when there's not much at stake. Most of these people didn't give a darn what their season was. So of course it was almost immediately obvious.
(I was reminded of Christine Scaman telling herself "Let this be easy." Because it's so expensive, and because we're all such unique, special snowflakes, we think discovering our season has to be really hard. But sometimes season is actually... easy.)
I saw several cases that were just what you'd predict: a couple of dark-skinned, dark-eyed Dark Winters; a pale, blonde Light Summer; a pale, blonde Light Spring (though the Light Spring's lightness was more intense, as if drawn in Crayons rather than painted in watercolors.)
The most interesting cases, of course, were the surprises.
One girl, a tall, thin, pale redhead, surprised the heck out of me when she turned out to be a Soft Autumn. I've been looking at her for two years and thinking she was a Dark Autumn. After draping her, I realized I'd perceived her as high-contrast because her lines are dramatic. But her coloring is not.
A dark-eyed young man with an olive complexion and brownish-black hair seemed likely to be a Winter. In fact, Soft Summer was best for him. His hair was close to Soft Summer's charcoal.
I was expecting a Korean-American friend to reveal herself as a True or Bright Winter, having seen her look great in saturated color and pretty good in black. She actually came out as a beautiful Bright Spring. Yet another case that gaves lie to the idea that only White women can be Springs.
I saw a handful of True Springs. In a couple of them, I noticed a phenomenon I'd seen before: their faces were quite ruddy, and the proper True Spring drapes toned that ruddiness down a good deal.
One friend who has medium brown hair that she highlights blonde (and I think wears pretty believably) came out as a Bright Winter. I'd suspected this for a while because she has strikingly dark, almost-black eyes combined with very fair skin that has a sort of opacity, as if she's wearing matte powder, that I associate with Winter. Even with blonde hair that doesn't look completely unnatural, she still pulls off super-bright colors. I hope that one day I'll get to see her in her natural hair color. (No pressure though, Friend!)
We took a picture of us side by side, both wearing the Elea Blake lip drape color for Bright Winter. It was hilarious how different it looked on the two of us. On her, perfectly natural. On me, clownish - sort of like this.
The best part of the day was finally figuring out the season of a special friend I'd mistyped about two years ago. Since that initial draping, I've been watching her in the Soft Summer colors I prescribed and experiencing a growing feeling that something was off. But I had personally observed how other drapes overwhelmed her, and I couldn't imagine what else she could be. Turns out, she is also a Bright Winter. What a relief to get it right! In the proper colors, she looked more alive than I'd seen her for a long time.
How did I mistake a Bright Winter for a Soft Summer? The most likely explanation is that I just totally screwed up. After all, what do I know?
Buuuut... she was also quite sick a couple of years ago, and has slowly regained her health since then. So maybe Soft Summer colors actually were her best when I draped her. Of course, I'd prefer this explanation. :-)