A Response To Garance: Our Favorite Fashion Terms

Style blogger Garance Doré is #2 on our power grid for a reason: she knows how to make waves in the online fashion world! After putting a stamp of approval on bottom-bearing hot shorts and calling the plus-size trend a “joke,” the fashion illustrator recently posted a blog entry explaining a list of fashion terms of which her friend and founder of Velour magazine, Violaine Bernard, declared “passé.”

After reading the list, we’re assuming that fashion writers around the world are simultaneously rejoicing while frantically flipping through their thesaurus in search of jargon replacements. But what’s with the follow-up eruption of even more terms added to the “do not use” list? Sure, overuse and poor context can make anyone cringe, but if this keeps up we’ll have nothing but conjunctions and pronouns to choose from!

We’ve decided to add some sunshine into this mix by listing fashion terms that have our seal of approval — with some commentary by the Styleites themselves! (Did we just create a new fashion term?)

Verena von Pfetten, Editor-in-Chief

Inimitable:  really love this word in general, but I think it’s perfect for fashion — as long as it’s used sparingly. This industry is all about creativity and very few designers are truly inimitable (McQueen, Lagerfeld, Lacroix, and the Mulleavy sisters come to mind for me…) but when they are, they’re truly genius.
Sartorial: It can be exhausting trying to find another word for “fashion,” and sartorial rolls off the tongue (and keyboard) just so.
Confection: because it sounds like dessert.

Ruthie Friedlander, Senior Editor

cross-seasonal: “Because so many designers are trying to make their clothing wearable for multiple seasons in light of the recent economic climate, cross-seasonal has become a really handy word.”
androgynous: Think man-tailored paints, blazers, flannels — almost every  designer has a piece (or five) that can be called androgynous. And somehow it looks just like what it means.”
“it girl”: “It’s difficult to find a phrase that fully encompasses what exactly Blake Lively is, what Sienna Miller was a few years ago… ‘It girl’ is the perfect word to describe the girls that set the trends and walk around with a certain magical aura around them.”

Rika Nurrahmah, intern

Muse: “We all have them. It’s a term that specifies the focal influence of a beholder’s style/design. It hits it home like no other.”
Chic: “The fashion world loves to abuse the usage of French translations to paint a more fashionable visual of what its trying say. Out of all possible terms, this one is most genuine to its meaning.”

Justin Fenner, intern

Glam: “I love this word because it’ll does double duty when you need to convey luxury and awesomeness at the same time. Just saying the word brings visions of expensive, glittery evening wear and shiny red lipstick to mind.”
Overzealous: “I’ve seen overzealous peplums, overzealous lapels, overzealous millinery and shoes in my short time as a fashion writer, and I love using the word to describe them. It’s a great way to make the point that what someone is wearing or making or doing is just too too.”
Iconic: “I love iconic because I don’t get to use it often. Iconography only comes around once in a while — think the Birkin, the Louboutin Very Prive, the Cartier Love bracelet — so it’s a good feeling to get to blow the dust off this word and use it.”

What are your favorites?

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