Case Study - A Colour & Style Journey
A detailed description of a colour and style journey written by Diana Pasek-Atkinson, in which she describes the benefits she's enjoying from working with Lisa Newport.
It all started with an online style challenge in the early days of what is now the free Style Sisterhood: Colour, Clothes, Confidence group. I happened to bump into a friend and complimented her on how amazing she looked. She told me her outfit was put together for colour contrast day on the challenge and sent me a link!
I joined in from the next day and it was both fun and fascinating to experiment and reflect on what I had in my wardrobe. Lisa’s supportive comments and top tips in the group made me think “this is a woman I could work with, she’s not a scary fashion dictator, she’s a woman who clearly knows her stuff!”
That made me decide I definitely wanted Lisa to do my colour analysis, something I’d hankered after for a long time. That was in 2016 and I’ve never looked back! I’ve since done a one-day style workshop, a one to one wardrobe weed and a make-up masterclass plus I’ve also been part of the online groups Lisa has run for further style sussing. I have had a membership of WTF (Wardrobe that’s Fabulous) Club since it began.
Colour analysis was the one thing I’d always really wanted to have and was one of the keys to unlocking my understanding of my style. However, I have to admit that at first, I felt a bit annoyed that my palette was more subtle summer than bright out there winter!
Having hurtled headlong from my student identity of head to toe black with high contrast bleached blonde spiky hair as a die-hard Goth for many years, to the other extreme of rediscovering colour and going all out for eye searing brights, some of the summer colours seemed a bit wishy washy and frankly a little alien!
Others such as pale blues and more subtle pinks were those that I had previously loved and lost somewhere down the line, along with my confidence in my own style. I recall soon after the colour analysis, a coat in a pale blue grey caught my eye and I thought “pre Lisa” I would not have given it a second glance! When I tried it on I was quite taken aback by how it made me look and feel; it is hard to describe but kind of “shiny” sums it up!
Each step with Lisa has been enlightening, empowering and in some areas has been revelatory. I can identify definite “Aha!” moments particularly in my understanding of style personality and considering different levels of dressing which made me realise why those “stress purchased” items for an occasion were never quite right for me and therefore languishing in the wardrobe, making me feel guilty at the unworn expenditure.
I think I’d lost my way with my own and other people’s “shoulds” for a while too, I “should” wear that kind of thing for XX’s wedding/funeral/party, I “should” have my hair longer/wear more X at my age, I “should” dress more like X for work!
I am very tall with long legs and big feet, more Amazonian in build than the high street tends to cater for, so my purchases in the past were often just making do on some level rather than considered choices. I now know how to choose and wear an “outfit” rather than just a set of clothes and I can dial up or down on my own defined scale of casual to smart to very formal in a way that is uniquely me, not what I think I should be.
It was a surprise to discover that though I didn’t really think it mattered that much to me, learning about make-up from Lisa, a professional who knows her products and techniques, has an expert colour eye and also understands people, was reassuringly easy and very effective. It allowed me to make a step change in how I use and enjoy make up every day.
When Lisa helped me to sort my wardrobe, she advised me empathetically and compassionately, beginning with a consultation on my lifestyle and what I thought I wanted to achieve. She supported me in identifying what would be best to keep, helped me to recognise what would be good to let go of (some garments I sold, using the money to buy more suitable replacements, some went to Lisa’s swish and some to charity shops so it was satisfying to know that they would be loved by others and raise money), she then showed me ways to put things together that I’d never considered and identified gaps to address in the clothes I had.
I didn’t suddenly buy loads of new things; I shopped smartly and carefully over time, first addressing my “work uniform” building on some key things I already had and loved with a better understanding of why! I really began to feel I was finding out how to express the authentic me. I gradually got used to looking for things that ticked all of my boxes not just one or two and everything in my wardrobe began to work for me not against me!
When I first started to consider working with Lisa I knew I wanted something to change. I was excited at the prospect of advice and help to give me the shift that I wanted yet I felt a bit nervous about what it might be like to have someone work on my style. I loved how Lisa’s expertise, along with her down to earth, honest manner came across through all her materials on line and that is what made me make the leap, though I have to confess that my main reservation was about spending money on myself in a way I probably wouldn’t normally have done. I soon saw it was a sound investment in myself and it continues to be so…
A couple of people I spoke to were a bit puzzled, perhaps even sceptical about the idea of me working with an image consultant, they said I already had my own style. I think there is a misconception that a stylist will turn you into someone you are not, (Cringe worthy TV makeover programmes and a personal shopper who didn’t seem to make it that personal spring to mind!) the exact opposite is true of working with Lisa, she helped me rediscover the real me, it is definitely my image not hers!
For me working with Lisa has been a journey into rediscovering and expressing myself through what I wear and I feel so much more comfortable and confident in my own skin. I believe that how I dress is now genuinely and consistently congruent with who I am.
I am continuing to benefit from Lisa’s expertise, advice and support and I would recommend anyone who is wavering to take that first step on their own journey. Like me you’ll never look back, apart from to ask yourself why you didn’t make that decision sooner!
About Diana Pasek-Atkinson
Diana has a combined business, creative and education background pursuing a largely self-employed career across these fields for over 25 years. She was a director of a horticultural business and ran a creative consultancy. As Strategic Arts Development Officer for Creative Industries at Nottinghamshire County Council she had a gallery and creative learning centre as part of her remit.
Diana became an Enterprise Adviser at The Hive in June 2016, returning to her alma mater Nottingham Trent University 27 years on! The role includes devising and delivering start-up support to students and businesses. Diana has a specific interest in helping creative people develop confidence and understanding of how to make a living from their creativity and supporting those considering self-employment to consider how their values steer their business.
Diana began her higher education with a Foundation Course at Cumbria Institute of The Arts followed by a BA (hons) Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Returning to education at various stages in her career she gained a PGCE Art & Design Education (with distinction) from De Montfort University and achieved an MBA from Nottingham University Business School.
Diana enjoys expressing her creativity through photography. She also loves the chance to use her voice as a radio presenter.
Linked In uk.linkedin.com/in/diana-pasek-atkinson-8582ba9
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