This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend the Suzanne Caygill Legacy Event to celebrate what would have been Suzanne’s 102nd birthday. I met so many wonderful people and delighted in all that was shared. For any readers who wished they could have been present, this post is for you! (And, if you’re reading this and wondering who on earth Suzanne Caygill is, she was the first person to create custom palettes for clients. She related the palettes produced to seasons, as well as to personalities and style.)
The palette above, created in 1977, is an example of a Vital Spring.
Rochele Hirsch, one of the graduates of the Suzanne Caygill Academy, masterminded this event and brought it to fruition. (Thank you, again, Rochele!)
A hand-painted-to-match-a-palette silk scarf! I thought the idea so lovely I wanted to show you.
- Coralynn Lundell of CDI,whose Caygill palette is at the top of this post, brought so many items to put on display I could not believe my eyes. There was such charm to Suzanne’s promotional materials and in her letters to her students that I went snap happy in my giddy state. (Click on any item to enlarge to read it.)
Suzanne produced a Seasonal (of course) newspaper
It advertised her services and amused:
I knew nothing of Suzanne’s classes before this event. Coralyn said that Suzanne was not a teacher – that she didn’t know what a lesson plan was – but she was an INSPIRATION and everyone agreed. Who else would have a Code of Elegance for their students to abide by? Have a read.
We also heard about Suzanne’s Master Class open to those students who had completed her other courses. In this class, students put together outfits for different occasions and learned things such as how to walk, sit, eat, and write thank you notes -“Finishing school!” as Carla Mathis put it so succinctly.
Suzanne also organized evening theater performances! She would have loved to have been an opera star and music was included in these theatrical events. Students performed, bringing their Seasons to life!
- Jennifer Butler spoke about a person’s essence. Suzanne had said to her – before Jennifer studied with her, “I see you’re highly trained, but can you really see who someone is?” Jennifer related how she has taken Suzanne’s work regarding essence and expanded on it. Whereas Suzanne had five phrases for each client regarding their essence, Jennifer uses eleven – having added six themes or aspects relating to personal growth. The words or phrases selected are used along with the palette colors in the creation of a client’s vision board. A handful of the vision boards were shown to us, explaining the process.
- Rochele Hirsch paints palettes which allows her to travel and work easily! She explained, furthermore, that how she mixes the paints tells her which season a client belongs in. If she’s painting colors as they are, the client is Spring; if she needs to add the complement they are Summer; if she’s adding raw or burnt sienna, they are Autumn; and payne’s gray goes into Winter palettes. (Logical once you hear it, isn’t it? Well, if you paint!) Rochele’s healing work has expanded from color analysis to include other health related therapeutics such as something she calls relationship energies. (See her site for more info / to buy her book.) At the end of the day, when we chatted briefly, she was spot-on classifying the dynamics in my family and she deducted it all through intuition! Eye opening.
(As an aside, I was really surprised how many of the attendees had a connection past or present to complementary medicine and healing: I felt right at home!)
- Naomi Tickle spoke of the work she now does…reading faces! She gave us all quick tools to better understand the personality of anyone we see and gave us two tips regarding dressing clients. One was that clients with larger backs of their heads (from ear to back of head) will wear ethnic jewelry better than others and the other was that clients with wide faces will have better interactions with people wearing their less bold colors. You can buy her books on her site if you’re interested to learn more about Personology!
Interspersed throughout the day were “Suzanne Stories.” Roy Cook, one of the two gentlemen in attendance, shared that he asked Suzanne once, “When looking at a roomful of people, what percentage of their seasons do you know right away?” Her answer, he says, was a credit to her integrity. She had replied, “I can guess. But only about 3% with certainty.”
- Carla Mathis of Body Beautiful talked of writing The Triumph of Individual Style/Timeless Beauty saying that despite having worked for Suzanne for 18 years, she has no language to explain what Suzanne actually did. (Coralyn wasn’t kidding when she said Suzanne wasn’t a teacher, eh?) Then one day, she went to a flower arranging class with a friend and the arrangements were going to be assessed by the teacher on line, movement, rhythm, balance, etc and lo and behold here was the language needed! She also told us how she has clients use Pinterest to share with her images of things that they love that are not clothing. From a discussion about these images, she is led to their true identity. In other news, she has developed a line of paint and is working on a dating site! Yes, you read that right. Happy Home Lives courtesy of Carla coming to a city near you, soon! (Oh, and that’s not her product name, that’s just me being playful.)
- Bonnie Humiston assisted Suzanne for six years in NYC and spoke to us of the similarities between the Feldenkrais body work that she does and personal colors. Both increase an individual’s self awareness. Feldenkrais does this through movement, and she had us all do a seated exercise to demonstrate just how easily and quickly it works. Bonnie had also worked as a psychotherapist and she said when she learned color analysis she wanted to tell people, ” Go get your colors done! It will save you five years of therapy!” Colors balance our systems. Earlier in the day, Carla had mentioned that Suzanne seemed to FEEL personal colors, that she could do people’s colors in poor lighting. Bonnie talked of color as a vibration. If she needs fabric in a particular color, she paints the desired color and takes that paint swatch to the fabric store. She can then feel very quickly if the fabric she needs is for sale there or not, as if it is there then she feels the vibration of the color she has painted aligning with the color fabric she is wanting to buy! (And to think friends think I have done a 180 and left energy work behind. Ha!)
- Beverley Cole from New Zealand spoke of her career path through makeup and color and now to Fashion Feng Shui, which helps people dress to attract the dreams of their life. She explained the five energies/elements/archetypes and how to you encompass more of the energy you want in your life, you must incorporate more of it in your dress/home to attract it. Online workshops and certification training are available and if you’re ever in New Zealand she’s got an amazing B&B to fortify your soul!
- Marilyn Allen, not a student but an admirer of Suzanne and a big believer in the healing that is done with color harmony, gave us the most wonderful pep talk (as only a former school principal/current director of marketing/ Spring-y type could) to keep this profession going strong. I’ll do nothing else, Marilyn!!!
Happy Birthday, Suzanne! That was a beautiful event, held in your honor.