Basic Runway Dictionary: Don’t Be a ‘Fashion Victim’

Basic Runway Dictionary: Don’t Be a ‘Fashion Victim’

When experts start talking about styles and trends, they use jargon that, to the uninitiated, could be confusing. Therefore, here is a basic dictionary of the recurring language in the catwalks.

Haute couture. Or Haute couture , refers to clothes designed by hand: made by hand by the most experienced seamstresses and with the least use of the sewing machine. For the same reason, expensive high-quality materials are used.

Cruise . From the Latin crux, crucis, ‘cross’. It applies to clothing collections that do not fit any season – originally aimed at a high-net-worth audience. They can be used at any time of the year.

Fashion victim. From the English word ‘fashion victim’, Oscar de la Renta “coined” this term to describe those who do not realize that they look ridiculous or make exorbitant expenses in order to “be fashionable.”

Folk. From English folklore, which means “beliefs of the people.” Style that takes up the hippie fashion of the 60s and 70s: fabrics in earthy tones — beige, coffee, sand—, tribal prints, “indigenous” leather vests and necklaces.

Look. This English word – now a bit archaic – means “look, appearance” and in most of the Western world it is used to refer to the appearance and, specifically, to the clothing of a person: “What a good look you have.”

Outfit. This English voice is used to refer, more than to clothing, to the ensemble in general: garments, hairstyle, makeup and accessories.

Runway. From the Italian passerella, ‘small bridge’, it used to be used to refer to the elevated corridors through which the models paraded and, by extension, to the presentation of a collection. Now they are called Fashion Week, preceded by the name of the city where it takes place; for example: London Fashion Week. It is also known as a runway or catwalk.

Ready-to-wear. French term meaning ‘ready to use’. Industrial production of clothing began in the 1950s and with it serial designs that made clothing more accessible to those who could not afford Haute Couture but wanted to wear “branded clothing.”

Street wear . Literal, in English it means ‘street clothes’ and defines unpretentious fashion: which puts comfort before trends, that is, clothes that are suitable for any occasion but are still showy. Now many luxury brands have focused on this style.

Sanforize . Shortly before the 1930s, cotton clothing would shrink when washed. To avoid this, the American inventor Sanford L. Cluett created the sanforization process that provides dimensional stabilization to tissues. Thanks to this, we can now put the clothes in the washing machine without the risk that the shirts end up as navels.

Terlenka . It is a registered trademark that, like resistol or kleenex, has already become the generic name of this fabric – 100% polyester – which, during the 60s of the 20th century, was used to replace lycra. It is ideal for those who do not want clothes to stick to their bodies.

Vintage and retro. Vintage is clothing that looks or is old, but that, for some reason, has become fashionable again. Retro – which in Latin means ‘backwards’ – defines newly made clothing that is made on purpose with elements or designs from another era.

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