A consultation can help find your shade, which will be very important this season


Spring’s new shades – clashing tones, ice cream pastels, ultraviolets and shocking pinks – mean considering colour when it comes to fashion versus the safety of staying in the familiar blacks, navys and greys. “Women are afraid of colour” says Maria Macklin, a House of Colour star consultant whose courses have a transformative effect on how her female – and male – clients think about what they can wear.

“It’s all about skin tones and undertones,” she points out when we meet at her studio in Monaghan. “People tend to match their hair with their clothes rather than skin tone and most women have eight colours in their wardrobe in general and tend to hide in safe colours. When they leave here they realise that a quarter of those clothes will suit them. It’s not about the colours they like but the colours that like them,” she maintains.

Her thorough, three-hour consultations take most of a morning and include a 30-second make-up lesson and learning about how to create budget-friendly looks with fewer clothes. Clients can choose a one-to-one consultation or be part of a group and in her experience groups are generally better “because you learn more with a group and the dynamics can be interesting”.

Scientific work

Colour analysis theory is drawn from the scientific work of the Swiss painter and theorist Johann Itten of the Bauhaus whose book The Art of Colour, published in the 1920s, influenced the world of art and design and forms the basis of associating colour palettes with four types of people and four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Artists and the colours they used can be categorised; Constable was always autumn, Hockney spring, Renoir summer and Picasso winter. So the consultation determines the season and spectrum that suits you.


Article written by  Deirdre McQuillan.  Irish Times.