Hella's Thoughts on Suzanne Caygill’s Legacy

Suzanne Caygill is often the unacknowledged genius/creator behind many color systems that are used today in the world of image consultants (if they bother to acknowledge an individual’s coloring at all). It has been proven over and over again, that what a person wears and the colors they are wearing, has a subliminal and immediate effect on people who come in contact with them.  The results are positive or negative but rarely neutral.

Understanding the importance of one’s coloring and how to work with it,  has been my interest and fascinaton for over 30 years. Applying my observations and experience  of color and the effects is has on people and their environment is the foundation of my work. Even before I began a career as a wardrobe and style consultant, I was an unknowing example the moment I applied the colors and designs lines suggested to me by a color artist who had been trained under Suzanne’s theory. By that I mean to say is that I had immediate and enthusiastic feedback from people that I came in contact with. I am sure you have had the experience either of being so unexpectedly taken back or affected by someone you saw and the way they looked, you impulsively asked them something like: “Where did you get that yellow sweater!?” Feeling like maybe you too could share in a bit of the magic…but even if you had that sweater would you look the way they do?

Be honest.

It is not really about owning the sweater but understanding the magic of personal color harmony.

Last week I miraculously found a copy of Suzanne Caygill’s rare book, Color the Essence Of You, written in 1980, (I had been looking for it for at least 25 years).

This book is the inspiration behind what I do.  I’d like to share her profound philosophy found in the opening pages of her book:

Colors The Essence Of You , by Suzanne Caygill

Message from Suzanne


You can discuss in generalities, nor use it in a general way, without forfeiting the direct, affirmative function which both subconscious and spontaneous. The effect of color on your own life remains on a purely verbal basis, until it becomes a part of individual experience. Through tests and observations in my Color and Fashions Clinics over the years, and through color projections in professional assignments I have proven that individual positive and negative reactions can be pre-determined.

Color, according to science, is vibration of light, in other words, radiant energy. As perceived color enters the psyche, it is subconsciously filtered into immediate reactions on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. We are all aware that we have strong likes and dislikes in color, but there is much more to it than casual preference. First, we have genetic color reactions due to personal coloring and physical structure. Second, quite early in life we acquire habits and unconscious color prejudices conditioned by pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Thus, creating appropriate color response in human beings, involves knowledge of personality factors and physiological reactions to stimuli.

The color theory presented in these pages deals with a new understanding with the aspects of color in serving human needs. It proposes and intuitive and instinctive impulse in every human beings toward a constellation of colors in the universal order to which he or she is cosmically related. When this is discovered, color can play an important role in attuning the human system in a harmonious way so that authentic personality results. In this approach, I am hoping that a new field of color usage maybe activated.

The purpose of this book, then, is to led you to the source of all color, Nature. Through the process described in my Key to Color Harmony, I hope you will find inspiration for yourself, and alignment with all in the universal color system that is native to you and which belongs to you.

It would seem reasonable to assume that the universe was designed planned and developed with all nourishment supplied, and as inhabitants of this earth we are apart of the great design. As the highest form of life, it would be difficult to believe that we were tossed into the mist of this majesty and precision without any consideration for our needs, temperaments, our talents and special purposes. Rather, we have been given a larger and more sensitive relationship to this pattern, and we should read in the designing of our forms and colorings a beautiful and creative understanding of ourselves and intent.

If we can become aware that Nature had provided us with a set of cues, and if we can become capable with picking them up, it will be found easier to work with them than against them. If we can appropriate nature’s color and design, there is no need for the terrific compulsion to search for self, when everything you need is already within.

For your won personality identification through color, I shall try to give you a frame work that separated in your mind the difference between and untutored personal opinion and an educated viewpoint. There is nothing more important than genuineness of personality, that a person be right with his or her own design, form and color, and find an at-homeness in the universe. Color is non verbal communication. Dress is a symbol of what we think of ourselves. Design and color are the means of expressing personality in action. In our apparel and our environments, we need reflections of the truth about us so that we do not project anything that is artificial or distorted.

In discovering, through Nature’s harmonies, color as a key to self, we find a way of understanding exactly who we are, a way of getting outside of  personal rig dies to connect with those energies that permit us to be ourselves.  The most we can accept the colorful messages in the rhythms of the universe the more authentic we become as persons, the more pleasure we derive for ourselves, and the more we give to others.

From Color - The Essence of You by Suzanne Caygill Copyright 1980 Celestial Arts

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