For today’s post, I will be doing a companion piece to yesterday’s essence post. I have been studying Kibbe’s image identities as they apply to my style of dressing for the last few years. David Kibbe developed his system in the 1980s, writing the book Metamorphosis based on this Yin and Yang-based system. Kibbe’s system is important because it is Yin and Yang-based it takes into consideration the flesh of the body, not just the body shape. By contrast, Kitchener’s essences take into account the face more. For the purpose of this post, I will be exploring my own personal journey of discovery with Kibbe’s style IDs. Like yesterday’s post, this one is more about my personal journey than it is about the intricacies of Kibbe’s complex system. I have a list of further reading to help those begin their own Kibbe-style journey should you be interested!
Now, I will admit that I am still uncertain which of the three possible image IDs I fit into most. This is unlike the essence set that I discussed yesterday, as I was able to define that much easier. I am either a Romantic, a Theatrical Romantic, or a Soft Gamine. Each of these is next to each other on the spectrum of yang to yin, as the most yin (or softly feminine). I have aspects that could be seen as fitting into any of the three categories, but I think it is most likely I am a true Romantic.
Soft Gamine is the most yin of the Gamine types. Soft Gamines are soft and feminine with some angularity to their appearance. Kibbe’s classic example of a Soft Gamine is Bette Davis. Theatrical Romantic is the slight yang version of the Romantic. This gives a very slight angularity to the extreme lushness of the Romantic. Kibbe’s classic example of Theatrical Romantic is Vivien Leigh. Romantic is the most lushly feminine type, the ultimate yin in the Kibbe system. Romantic is most exemplified by soft curves and what is called the double curve, two interlocking circles in the roundness of the body. Kibbe’s classic example of the Romantic is Marilyn Monroe!
So, it is obvious to see why I may have a hard time figuring out which one I am for sure. As each of these is so connected and has a lot of overlap, that leads to easy confusion! No matter which one I am, I can use the basic lines to find great looks. Besides, my most flattering lines tend to be ones that fit my essences instead of simply my Kibbe image ID! At the end of the day, I think it is good to know a bit about both essence and image ID to dress in the most flattering way! I hope you have enjoyed learning about my Kibbe journey. Did it inspire you to learn about your Kibbe image ID? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
- Metamorphosis by David Kibbe (out of print, but I was able to find it at a library)