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AMC's David Zyla: All Those Colors!

Between dressing everyone in Pine Valley — and having to move the entire ALL MY CHILDREN closet cross-country — wardrobe designer David Zyla has written a book called The Color of Style.In it, Zyla explains how everything in one’s life is affected by color and how to find the right colors that work for you. According to Zyla, there are five colors that express who you are, plus three neutral colors that complete your wardrobe basics.

Soap Opera Weekly: How did you figure all this out?

David Zyla: I studied design at NYU and took several classes outside of school. I took a lot of classes on color and I did a lot of theater design. The directors that I would work with would often say, “Oh, she looks so great in that turquoise dress; why did you choose turquoise?” and I would say, “I don’t know. It just was right.” I just had a natural instinct that some colors worked and some didn’t, and I also felt that there were no unattractive colors — it was just all about putting everything in context.

Weekly: What did you want to accomplish with your book?

Zyla: It’s getting the reader to really see themselves and try to be objective, which is so hard to do. I think every woman deserves to look and feel her best. This book is a manifestation of that.

Weekly: What would you say to someone who may see green as their favorite color, but it doesn’t look good on them? How do you get that person to rethink that?

Zyla: I would ask them to go to some of the exercises in the book, because chances are, most people, if they are really living an authentic life, being honest with themselves, have experienced many of their colors already. They may not be wearing them day-to-day. They may have painted their room that color when they were 10, or wore [a] dress of their color to the prom. So…what would I say if you say, “My favorite color is green”? That whatever shade resonates so strongly with you, chances are it’s on your palette.
Weekly: Is this process complicated?

Zyla: Everyone has a makeup. Basically, in their makeup they have certain colors that bring them great riches. If you subscribe to the idea that you can look and feel fantastic as a result, by taking what’s in you and pulling it out, that’s basically what it’s about. If you’re only looking for certain colors, shopping is simple. Through those results, you build a wardrobe that is completely you.

Weekly: And would one’s color change as one got older and matured?

Zyla: People’s colors mellow as they get older, so your palette is going to be more or less the same, but it might just be more genteel in the tone. For instance, fire-engine red may not have the same intensity as you get older, but it doesn’t mean all of a sudden you start wearing orange or pink.

Weekly: Is there one thing most women don’t know about color?

Zyla: People love color. People respond to it. But when it comes to picking colors themselves, people would rather wear a natural color that doesn’t make a statement than wear the wrong color. A lot of people feel if they wear a bold color, they need to wear it with such confidence. [They worry,] what if I’m the only person in the room wearing the color? What this book does is get people confident to choose the color and wear it proudly.

Weekly: Sometimes, we hear the big colors for spring are this and that. Should we ignore that?

Zyla: Fashion is fashion, and I think people need to honor themselves. For instance, royal purple is the “in” color this year, but I know it doesn’t look good on me, so I am not going to buy it. I enjoy seeing it on the person who wears it well; it’s fantastic. I think what you learn is to take note of trends, and know which trends are right for you and which ones are not.

The Color of Style, by David Zyla, is available in bookstores nationwide. For more on Zyla, go to

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