In this article, we will explore the spectrum of style essences in more detail. If you want to understand how style essences work, please refer to this article.
I. The Spectrum of Style Essences
A style essence can be defined as a fashion style or a type of beauty. And outside the Kibbe archetype system, we count seven pure style essences, which sit on the yin/yang spectrum, ranging from dramatic on the yang end to angelic on the yin end.
Each essence has a particular type of yin or yang - depicted through a particular shape - which expresses a certain type of beauty. Three essences are yang types of beauty, three are yin types of beauty, and one is a balance between yin and yang.
Yang types of beauty
The further to the left of the spectrum we go, the more angular and sharper the essences get (as they become more influenced by the square or rectangle shape). These are yang types of beauty, which are bolder and more striking. The three yang essences are dramatic, gamine and natural.
Remember also what we said about the manifestation of yang. Yang shapes are large, straight and have sharper edges. Yang clothing tends to be stiff and heavy to achieve the required straightness. And yang colours are darker and brighter, as these essences are striking.
Yin types of beauty
The more to the right we go, the rounder and softer the style essences get (as they approach the circle). These are yin types of beauty, which are gentler and more delicate. The three yin essences are romantic, ingenue and angelic.
Yin shapes are small and round. Yin clothing is flowing, draped and lightweight to achieve movement. And yin colours are lighter and softer, as these essences are gentler.
Balanced type of beauty
The middle of the spectrum represents a balance between yin and yang. In the classic essence, yin and yang are blended evenly. Consequently, shapes are neither very sharp nor very rounded, which results in the most understated type of beauty.
This is the only type of beauty that shines through the absence of sentiment. It’s neither striking nor gentle; classic clothing is simple and timeless.
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II. The 7 Style Essences Explained
Let’s take a look at the seven essences now.
Each essence creates a certain image, which is designed to enhance a particular type of beauty:
The dramatic style essence is the most yang essence, its particular kind of yang being theatrical yang.
Since this essence is the closest to the square shape, dramatic clothing features long, straight and stiff silhouettes, sharp angles and edges and large, rectangle shapes.
The dramatic style essence creates a striking, powerful image.
Learn more about the dramatic style essence.
The gamine style essence is another yang essence, but its type of yang is playfully dramatic yang.
Similar to dramatic clothing, gamine clothing features sharp angles and edges and square shapes. But its silhouette is a compact, staccato one. To achieve an eclectic look, bright colours and patterns are mixed and matched freely.
The gamine style essence creates a bold, playful image.
Learn more about the gamine style essence.
The natural style essence is the last yang essence, its type of yang being casual yang.
The natural silhouette is long like the dramatic, but it’s relaxed and slightly oversized rather than stiff. Layering of garments is typical, and shapes are large but raw and irregular.
The natural style essence creates a casual, relaxed image.
Learn more about the natural style essence.
The classic style essence is a balanced essence. It's the only essence that is an even blend between yin and yang.
As blend between square and circle, the classic silhouette is slightly fitted and is neither too long nor too short. The result is an understated look, and timeless designs are characteristic of classic clothing.
The classic style essence creates a formal, elegant image.
Learn more about the classic style essence.
The romantic style essence is a yin essence. Its particular type of yin is sensual deep yin.
Like the circle shape, the romantic silhouette is curvy and round - like an hourglass. Soft, flowing garments create movement in the silhouette. Romantic colours dip into the red and pink palette.
The romantic style essence creates a sensual, mature image.
Learn more about the romantic style essence.
The ingenue style essence is another yin essence, but its type of yin is decorative small-scale yin.
Similar to romantic clothing, ingenue clothing features flowing, rounded shapes. And while the ingenue silhouette still resembles an hourglass, it’s compact. Small decorations and details, such as delicate trimmings, appear in abundance.
The ingenue style essence creates a cute, innocent image.
Learn more about the ingenue style essence.
The angelic style essence is the most yin essence (though it flows back into yang). Its type of yin is ethereal yin.
Angelic clothing has the least concrete shape of all the essences. Its silhouettes are long and flowing with draping and webbing. Fine textures, as well as transparent and iridescent colours, contribute to the ethereal feel.
The angelic style essence creates an otherworldly, mystical image.
Learn more about the angelic style essence.