Monday, October 31

Fashion 101: A

When I came upon The Visual Dictionary of Fashion Design, I found it very refreshing.  It was a relief to read about real techniques and terms without all of the fluff.  Often in this day and age, we see the misuse of so many words, especially when it comes to fashion industry jargon.  I've been to plenty of panels, conferences, and speeches to witness the same trend.  Even some of the top industry leaders don't know how to properly use some of the standard fashion lingo.  As someone that participates in fashion, whether through working or pure enjoyment, I feel that we need to know more in order to be respected.

I wanted to share with you, my readers, (and whoever else wants to listen) some helpful terms.  It's great if you want to work in fashion or simply want to be more educated in how you are writing. Each day I'll be giving you a new term, A-Z, to learn on top of my already scheduled posts.  Let's begin!


Definition: Creative experimentation that fragments or rejects the norm.  Avant-garde means being at the leading edge or vanguard and is applied to the most advanced, progressive and experimental fashions of the moment and prevents the industry from stagnating.  Avant-garde fashions that are exhibited on the catwalk are often toned down to create more wearable garments that can be sold in retail stores.

Example of usage:

Christopher Kane FW 2011
Christopher Kane's use of psychedelic imagery brought a different perspective to the 70's trend.  Instead of bell-bottoms and bohemian tops, a modern silhouette mixed with unusual materials and fabrics held an avant-garde appeal for his fall line.

Credit: The Visual Dictionary of Fashion Design, Ambrose & Harris


  1. This is a good one. I love reporting on fashion when I come across something that moves me but I don't have the technical training and language to necessarily do it well. This is going to be one of my new favourite reference points! No pressure or anything. :D

  2. So glad you are writing about this! Hoping you will touch on 'Couture', the most mis-used word in the english language, lol!

    Wishing you a spooktacular eve!

    xo Mary Jo

  3. that dictionary sounds like an excellent resource! thanks for sharing :)


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