Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Familiarize yourself with foreign fashion lingo

Do you sometimes find yourself confused with fashion lingo?

Since fashion encompasses culture across the globe, it's only natural to encounter strange words like prêt-a-porter, tulle, and jodhpurs when you read a fashion magazine or talk to an expert. Aside from being updated on the latest trends, a fashionista like you should also be familiar with foreign fashion lingo. Read on to enrich your fashion vocabulary!

Aaglet, aiglet: metal tag of a lace, intended primarily to make it easier to thread through eyelet-holes, but afterwards also as an ornament to pendent ends.

Á la mode: in fashion; fashionable look; funky; in vogue; in style.

Ápplique: French for applied or laid on; decoration in the form of embroidery, cut-out motif, or contrasting fabric stitched onto a foundation.

Avant-garde: pioneers or innovators in any art in a particular period; the characteristic quality of such pioneering.

Babushka: triangular head-scarf; head covering folded diagonally and tied under the chin.

Bagheera: fine uncut pile velvet; imitation made of rayon crepe.

Bateau neckline: décolletage having a bow-shaped curve from shoulder to shoulder; boat-neck.

Blasé: blah; boring; dull; insipid; passé; square.

Caftan (kaftan): a full length garment with elbow or full length sleeves. Originally from the Middle East, often highly embellished with embroidery, kaftans now come in all lengths.

Chape: backside of a buckle attaching to it a strap.

Chenille: velvet-like cord, having short threads or fibers of silk and wool standing out at right angles from a core of thread or wire, like the hairs of a caterpillar, used in trimming and bordering dresses.

De rigueur: as required by current fashion.

Faux: artificial.

Froufrou: fussy, showy dress or ornamentation.

Haute couture: high fashion, always made to measure.

Jodhpurs: pants cut full over the thighs but fitting tightly from knee to ankle, originally worn for horse riding as less formal alternative to breeches and knee-high boots.

Kitsch: vulgar design and appearance, often pretentious bad taste.

Maquette: a preliminary sketch.

Mignonette: lace; fine net.

Prêt-a-porter: French term for ready to wear.

Rocaille: style of ornamentation based on rock and shell motifs; rococo.

Savoir-faire: ability to act suitably.

Savoir-vivre: knowledge of the world and ways of society; sophisticated; hip.

Trousseau: a bride's outfit.

Tulle: a stiffened silk net, which can also include synthetic nets.

Zori: Japanese thonged sandals with straw, leather, or wood soles.

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