I’m not sure if I’ll have time to write anything substantial today, but I wanted to tell you about the Introduction to Image Consulting class that I began taking at FIT last night.  I’ve heard and read so many bits and pieces about what does and doesn’t look good on us that I’d like to put it into a larger context and see what happens. 

First off, my classmates are normal.  They weren’t beauty queens in the latest styles with perfect hair and makeup.  Each person had his or her individual style and their own reasons for being there (one woman wants to start a non-profit working with clients who have become disabled or been injured in an accident).  It was slightly stressful getting dressed for this class after spending the day working in my pyjamas, but I felt right at home in my white shirt, red cardigan, pearls, jeans and boots.

Second, our instructor is nice.  She even has curly hair.  She told us that by the end of class, we will be able to articulate why we pick certain things but that we should also be able to agree to disagree over differences in style.  Just what I wanted to hear!

Third, our textbooks are like reading fashion magazines.  It doesn’t seem fair that I can have so much fun studying.  I was browsing through them tonight and have already discovered four new-to-me hourglassy distinctions (the first two are from Color Me Confident, by Veronique Henderson and Pat Henshaw; the second two are from The Triumph of Individual Style, by Carla Mason Mathis and Helen Villa Connor):

  1. Neat Hourglass:  characterized by a defined bust, a defined waist, a neat bottom, and neat hips.
  2. Full Hourglass:  characterized by a full bust, small waist, rounded bottom and rounded hips.
  3. Figure Eight:  your shoulders are curved and are relatively as wide as your hips/thighs, and your waist is distinctly narrower than your shoulders and hips/thights.
  4. Hourglass:  same as Figure Eight except that your shoulders are square.

Huh!  I think I might be a Figure Eight/Neat Hourglass.  What about you?  Obviously, I have a lot to learn in the next six weeks.

Finally, we learned about the three levels of image consultants certified by the Association of Image Consultants International, or AICI.  Now you, too, can know what the initials mean after a consultant’s name.

  1. FLC means “First Level Certification”.  This consultant has passed the AICI exam, taken the required hours of education, and has produced certain marketing materials and testimonials from clients.
  2. CIP means “Certified Image Professional”.  This consultant has passed another AICI exam and produced a larger portfolio.  There are only 25 of these in New York City.
  3. CIM means “Certified Image Master”.  There are only 10 CIM’s in the entire world.  Basically, this is a published and leading expert in the field of image consulting (like the two who wrote Triumph of Individual Style).

So, there you have it.  I’m not even going to begin to tell you what we learned about color.