Hi, everyone! Hope your summer was awesome. Mine was relaxing and rewarding. I'm sorry that it's over, but happy to have made a lot of memories for my kids.
I also enjoyed a little extra time alone this summer. During which I was able to watch all three seasons of Downton Abbey on Netflix.
In the first episode, Michelle Dockery as Mary declares "I hate black!" So of course I started wondering about her season.
Now, Ms. Dockery's coloring - dark hair, ivory skin - had me immediately suspecting Summer or Winter.
The saturation of her hair and eyes seemed to suggest Winter was more likely. But I had to agree with Mary that I didn't love her in all black. It just doesn't feel right, does it? I don't see it connecting to her.
Since black wasn't lovely, I leaned away from Winter and started considering Summer for her.
But I couldn't find any examples of her looking great in a Summery hue. For example, this dusty purple should work on a Summer, wouldn't you think? But it doesn't. Her hair and eyes are more intensely saturated than the dress, while her skin seems both colorless and waxy.
As I got more and more sucked into the series, I'd periodically return to considering Ms. Dockery's season. I was stuck on the idea of a cool season for her, but couldn't find any examples of her looking fab in cool colors. They always seemed too meh for her.
You would think that I would have gotten a clue at some point, but I was too absorbed by the drama to think myself out of the circles. "Must be Summer, but no... ok, must be Winter, but no... ok, must be Summer - wait, did Thomas really just do that?"
After finishing the last episode of the third season (OMG!), I disn't consider the question again. Until Erin, a fan of my Facebook page and clearly a brilliant woman, posted a comment suggesting that Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey might be a Bright Spring.
Well, that would explain a lot.
Why Summer colors seem too muted but Winter colors don't bring out any healthy color. Why all black was more boring than overwhelming.
And, hello, aren't Bright Springs often dark-eyed and dark-haired? Don't I love to point this out? Why didn't I think of this?
Here's the pic Erin shared to support her case:
Holy moly, that's good. A seriously bright red-orange, but the skin looks healthy, not deathly pale.
Googling revealed that Ms. Dockery is almost always photographed in cool colors and Winter colors in particular. They're not great for her. As on the show, they make her skin seem colorless.
But I was able to find a few shots of her in Bright Springy colors, and I thought they were fantastic.
Here, the lip is too dark to be natural (better for Dark Winter, maybe), but I love the orange and the electric blue for her. That skin is alive, not pallid.
This makeup is lovely; it's not a nude look, but it's harmonious, not jarring. And the colors on her cheeks and lips? Bright and warm.
Just goes to show that even an outside-the-box color thinker like me can get led astray by lazily falling back on seasonal stereotypes. Dark hair + dark eyes + ivory skin does not always = cool season.
Thank you, reader Erin. :-)
Don't have access to a color analyst? Try draping yourself at home.
9/14/2013 05:25:11 pm
Beautifully analyzed. And she does look great in the Bright Spring colors!
9/15/2013 09:26:52 am
The BSpr colours really seem to fit :)
9/15/2013 10:41:06 am
Claudia, I didn't seriously try to figure it out, but I did think a few times that she could be Light Spring. Soft Autumn would be my second guess without going through pics of her.
9/18/2013 03:23:38 am
Excellent post! I can totally see this in the photos. We have series 4 starting this coming weekend so now I'll have to keep an eye out for colours too. :)
9/28/2013 06:59:04 am
Oh! That explains why I always got the feeling there's something wrong with her playing Susan Sto Helit in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. The blond wig is wrong on her, but just by looking at her snow white like features I always guessed she would be one of the winter types (but a blond wig would be wrong on them, too, i guess).
10/21/2013 01:57:46 am
Oh, Michelle, I think she is an absolutely pure and beutiful WINTER, not spring. There is nothing warm in her skin, or hair. She looks perfect in black and in true red, lilac, greys etc.
10/30/2013 02:33:42 pm
But, remember, bright spring is actually a neutral season- it's not as warm as true spring and often high contrast that can be mistaken for winter. My mother is bright winter and I am bright spring, but we actually have very similar coloring. We both have fair skin and very dark brown hair and dark eyes.
1/29/2014 10:13:03 am
Hi Erin! Here are some pictures, why I think she is a bright winter and not a bright spring.
1/30/2014 01:41:41 am
...The pics you post below (sorry, Weebly won't let me respond to that post) are fantastic! Nice editing! They're certainly making me think.
1/30/2014 11:33:06 pm
I don't think it's very helpful to change Michelle Dockery's hair color in any of the pictures as Bright Spring can look very good with dark seemingly cool brown hair. My BSp sister has that color naturally.
3/17/2014 11:19:21 pm
I have very similar colouring to Michelle's and Irish ancestory as well. I have been to numerous colour consultants and all came out with different conclusions - dark winter, bright winter, spring of some kind, soft autumn, deep autumn.Ivory skin does have some warm to it and her eyes, like mine have warmth plus depth. But we have that strong contrast between deep and light going on too. A few winter shades work on me, a few autumn and a few spring - but not really all of them. For the most part I stick to the cooler side of deep autumn and the warmer side of deep winter with a bit of brightness often thrown in too. Unfortunately not everyone fits easily into categories, colour analysis deals with real people and we are all different so interpretation needs a high degree of instinct and knowledge as well as flexibility and intelligence, plus, importantly, the person sitting infront of you in good light.
3/17/2014 11:08:44 pm
But sorry, ivory skin is warm, even if only slightly - that is what ivory means!
6/18/2014 05:31:51 am
Yes, I have said that above, have I not? When all's said and done, I still feel you can't group someone except by having them sitting in good light infront of you and trying drapes or different colours on and seeing how the skin and eyes react. I go along with Christine of 12 Blueprints on that one!
11/2/2013 10:24:34 pm
She's a bright spring, playing a wintry character. They are dressing her character rather than her colouring.
11/3/2013 08:59:52 am
Her make up and gold top of her dress from the golden globes looked BSp to me and I found the look quite harmonious on her.
11/21/2013 12:43:36 pm
I totally agree; that's when I realized she was probably a bright spring.
11/18/2013 06:20:15 am
How about the other characters/actors? I did not guess that Mary might be a bright spring, though I did think her mother Lady Cora Grantham might be. Edith appears to be a soft autumn, but Sybil ... absolutely not a clue.
11/18/2013 06:22:03 am
Btw I still think bright winter is an option, that was my initial hunch. In season 4 she wears a bright purple gown that is simply gorgeous on her.
1/5/2014 02:13:17 pm
Wait a minute. I am a bright spring with blue green eyes light skin and brunette hair myself. We wear black, ivory, grays very well. We basically have the same palette as the winter with winter neutrals plus spring brights minus the burgandies. Because this actress can't wear those neutrals you must consider deep autumn for her. This palette has intense colors too but they are warmer as are the neutrals. Like the winter she must wear high contrast warm. She is not a bright spring.
1/30/2014 10:16:15 pm
My sister is a Bright Spring (SciArt) and no, you do not have the "same palette" as winter plus or minus whatever. Bright Springs are able to wear black and ivory (not gray, not cool or true gray like my LSu grays anyway) very well... WITH a bright color. The fact that she can't wear black very well by itself doesn't mean she can't be bright spring. Sorry, but black isn't BRIGHT (as in highly saturated). Michelle Dockery is very likely to be a Bright Spring. And a Dark/Deep Autumn would pull off black by itself a lot better.
1/27/2014 06:30:34 pm
I thought of this post when watching last night's episode on PBS :) Mary definitely looked more alive in this blouse than she has the entire season: http://i.imgur.com/0gy29lO.jpg
6/16/2014 01:40:07 am
I always thought of Michelle as of either a Dark Autumn or a Bright Spring, her colouring looks a lot like mine, and I'm a Dark Autumn.
12/10/2016 11:18:54 pm
Some bright spring possible candidates. They glow in colours I think:
12/13/2016 12:02:36 pm
I have been diagnosed twice (face to face) by different people as dark winter, but have that same clear, transparent Irish ivory (slight yellow) skin and dark hair, with dark olive eyes. Reading from a distance, I look high contrast and so had previously been done twice as dark winter! However, I cannot take the blue coldness in many winter pinks, reds and especially mauves, they wash me out. Neither can I wear the browns and olives of dark autumn, only the warmer mauves, deep coral reds and teals of autumn (which all have a slight warmth to them compared to (very close) winter shades. This made me think, looking at Michelle D, whom I look like in colouring, perhaps I was bright spring instead, but closer exam of the shades, including a lot of lighter corals, peaches and greens have recently made me doubt this too! Maybe I am just deep autumn after all, but can only wear the slightly darker and warmer, brighter shades, not the sludges? In fact I am beginning to think what season we are, we still have to be selective within that band?
12/13/2016 12:06:46 pm
Sorry, that should have read, "I have been diagnosed twice as dark autumn". Apologies for any confusion!
5/29/2017 06:01:38 am
May be you are a Bright Winter?
12/13/2016 06:08:21 pm
Maggie Gyllenhaal really makes me wonder. Is she Brigth Spring, or could she really be a Cool Summer? I think she has a golden look.
9/15/2021 09:28:12 am
I think it is being overlooked that when Michelle was wearing black, she was in mourning. Makeup is typically altered in such instances to make the person look tired and weary. I would not go by movie looks to analyze anyone. She rocks black on the red carpet as well as many BW colors.
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