Monday, May 6, 2013

Jargon Bargain

A few weeks ago my cousin Staci sent me the following message:

Some of us (or maybe just me...?) wish we had a better fashion vocabulary.  I love fashion but don’t always know the names of certain fabrics and styles.  I use “thingy” a lot when describing fashion.  So maybe a fashion vocab lesson?

I put the word out on facebook and asked people if there are fashion terms they’d like defined.  I’ve compiled a short list of definitions and pronunciations.  If you think of any more, leave them in the comments for a future post!

·     BB Cream – BB or “beauty balm” cream is an all-in-one facial cream.  It combines serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock, and can be worn alone as a moisturizer, over moisturizer as a foundation, or under powder.  They’ve been very popular in the Asian market and started to be introduced in the Western market last year.

·     CC Cream – CC or “color control” cream is a refined BB cream developed in Korea.  It’s widely used in Asia to provide natural looking skin coverage, with better blending and lighter coverage than BB creams.  Some brands call it “correcting combo” or “complete correction” cream.

·     Bonded or Double-Faced Ruffles – This is a ruffle (a gathered strip of fabric) where you can see the top and underside of the ruffle.  A ruffle may be one color on top, bonded with a different color fabric underneath.

·     BouclĂ© – This is a woven or knitted fabric with a looped texture.  Think of the fabric of a classic Chanel jacket.
Classic Chanel boucle suits
·     Chiffon – This is a lightweight, sheer fabric made from cotton, silk or synthetic fibers.  It’s commonly used in eveningwear, especially as an overlay.
Pretty pink chiffon
·     Maillot – Maillot (“my-yo”) is simply the French word for a one-piece swimsuit.

·     Monochromatic – This means dressing in one color from head to toe.
Monochromatic looks
·     Palazzo Pants – These are long pants with a loose, extremely wide leg flaring out from the waist.  They’re usually made from lightweight fabrics and are popular in the summer.
Palazzo pants - old and new
 ·     Prorsum – “Prorsum” is a Latin word that means “forwards.”  It is part of the Equestrian Knight Logo that the British fashion house Burberry developed in 1901.  Burberry is best known for their trench coats and check print (created in the 1920s).  Burberry Prorsum is one of Burberry’s brands.
Burberry's Equestrian Knight Logo ("Prorsum" is written on the banner)
·     Ready-to-Wear – Also known as “prĂȘt-a-porter” in French, this term means that the clothes are made in standard sizes and sold in finished condition, and can be worn off the rack, as opposed to custom-made clothing.

·     Toile – Toile is commonly known as muslin in the United States.  It’s basically a cheap, unbleached cotton or canvas material used to create patterns when making clothing.
A pattern being made of toile, or muslin, on a dress form

·     Empire Waist – This is when an item of clothing has a very high waistline – usually just under the bustline.  It’s very flattering in that the garment generally flows down from the bust, not clinging to the rest of the body.  In English, we pronounce is em-pyre, as in the Empire State Building.  But the French pronounce it om-peer.  Either one works!
An elegant dress with an empire waist

And now, the correct pronunciation of some well-known designers and brands:

·        Carolina Herrera:  cah-ro-lee-nah ay-reh-rah
·        Givenchy:  zhee-von-shee
·        Guerlain:  gair-lahn
·        Hermes:  air-mez
·        Lanvin:  lahn-vahn
·        L’Occitane:  lox-ee-tan
·        Louboutin:  loo-boo-tan
·        Louis Vuitton:  loo-ee vee-tonn
·        Marchesa:  mar-kay-sah
·        Moschino:  moh-skee-no
·        Proenza Schouler:  pro-en-za skool-er
·        Rodarte:  ro-dar-tay
·        Rochas:  ro-shoss
·        Shu Eumera:  shoo yoo-ay-muh-rah
·        Yves Saint Laurent:  eve sahn la-rahn 

Hope this was helpful!  OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

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