GLOSSARY A - M
Accordian Pleats: Fine, narrow, regular pleating created by sewing or pressing minute DARTS into the fabric of dresses and
skirts, usually from the waistband towards the hem. Accordian pleating was used in the construction of ball gowns during the
late 19th century. By the turn of the century it was an integral part of many styles and became especially popular during the
1920s and 1950s.
Acetate: Man-made cellulose acetate fabric or yarn created in Germany in 1869. Work on this fibre was continued by Swiss
Chemists Camille and Henri Dryfus of Basle in the 1900s but their work was interrupted by World War I. In 1920 British
Celanese Ltd made a commercial version of acetate using the Dryfus method and it has since been used to make ingerie,
blouses, dresses, knitwear and other garments requiring lightweight, silky fabrics.
Acrylic: A synthetic fibre often used as a substitute for wool. It was first introduced for commercial use in 1947 but wasn't
produced in high volume until the 1950s. Acrylic is a durable, warm fabric that drapes well. It is used to make sweaters and
tracksuits, and is also made into linings for boots, glovers, jackets and slippers. Common tradenames for acrylic are Acrilan
A-line: Dress shape dating from c.1955. The A-line dress (DIOR) or skirt flares from the bust or waist to form two sides of a
triangular 'A'. The hem is the third side.
Alice band: A band of material, often ribbon or velvet, worn across the top of the head to keep hair off the forehead. It is
named after the hairband worn by the heroine in the Lewis Carroll book, Through the Looking Glass (1872). Alice bands
became popular for girls and young women at the end of the 19th century.
Alterationist: Adjusts the fit of completed garments, usually ready-to-wear, and sometimes re-styles them. NOTE- Tailors will
alter garments to fit a client but not all alterationists are tailors.
Angora: Fabric made from the hair of the angora goat which originates from Turkey. It is also hair of the angora rabbit native
to the island of Mediera and now farmed in the USA, Europe and Japan. Angora has long smooth fibres. It is mixed with rayon
and wool for dresses, knitwear and sweaters.
Anna Karenina: The heroine of Tolstoy's novel, Anna Karenina (1876). It became a term loosely used for various dress
styles that were glamorous, romantic and fur-trimmed. In the mid-1960s the Anna Karenina coat was a popular style. It was
cut to any length, decorated with FROGGING and had a circlet of fur on the neckline.
Annie Hall: A UNISEX style of dress popularized by American actress Diane Keaton in the film Annie Hall(1977), for which
Ralph Lauren designed the wardrobe. Keaton dressed in oversized garments, notably baggy trousers, an extra-large man's
shirt, and a man's pinstriped waistcoat. A tie and floppy hat completed the outfit.
Apparel: Clothing. The term is more commonly used in the US.
Assessment: The formal evaluation and giving of marks to one's designwork.
Atelier: French word for the designers studio. Parisian Ateliers are designated flou(for dressmaking) or tailleur (for tailoring
suits and coats).
Avant-Garde: A fashion or concept that is ahead of its time.
Avedon, Richard 1923: Famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon was born in New York, USA. He went to study
philosophy at Columbia university in but was interrupted in 1942 when he was assigned for two years to the US merchant
Marine's photography branch. In 1944 Avedon began photography studies at New York's New school for social research.
That same year he persueded the New York branch of the department store Bonwit Teller lend him some high- fashion
apparel for a photo shoot. The results earned him commissions from the store. In 1945 Alexey BRODOVITCH, Art Director of
Haper's Baazar, hired Avedon as staff photographer to take pictures of celebreties and cover the fashion scene. He stayed
for twenty years before moving to VOGUE. Richard was known for using a wide-angle lens and unusual settings to capture
his models and results were usually pictures that were original and dramatic.
Bailey, David 1938: Award winning fashion photographer David Bailey was born in London, England. Bailey spent a brief
period in the RAF(Royal Air Force) before taking up photography. In 1959 he worked as an assistent to John FRENCH. In
1960 Bailey began his career as a fashion photographer working for numerous magazines including Elle and GLAMOUR, and
for many British newspapers. He is hailed as one of the most innovative photogrphers of the 1960s. He had a lively, fresh
style that successfully captured the prevailing youthful look of the decade. He worked consistently with one of the 60s top
models Jean Shrimpton then later Marie Helvin. His photographs concentrated on the relationship between the woman and
the clothes, emphasizing the freedom of fashion with clear, striking uncomplicated pictures. In the 1970s Bailey began
directing films and since that time has produced many books of his
Balance: How we see the body symmetrically through a vertical(up and down) axis. Our eyes and brains want to keep
everything balanced on the body so we naturally look for balance in clothing. Vertical balance is created by features mirrored
from left to right such as: matching lapels, aligned and equally sized pockets or evenly spaced buttons. Horizontal balance is
affected when an outfit looks top-heavy with perhaps all emphasis on the neck or shoulder. A garment could be bottom heavy
with a skirt that is too large or flouncy. In general, we tend to look at a garment not just from the front or back but from all
views, therefore all aspects of a design should satisfy the principles of balance.
Bannana Republic: A store opened in San Francisco in 1978 by Mel and Patricia Ziegler, specializing in casual Safari styles
and army surplus clothing. Many of the utilitarian offerings had sturdy zips and snaps with double stitching and
reinforcement. They sold desert army hats, sheepskin vests, and other items of travel clothing. Bannana Republic inspired
contemporary casual styles based on loose-fitting shorts, shirts, jackets and trousers in muted shades. The company was
purchased by THE GAP in the 1980s.
Barathea: Worsted or woollen fabric used in the 19th century for outer garments. Since the early 20th century it has been
used for making suits.
Baron, Fabien: Born in 1959, Fabien Baron is a noted French art and creative director in the fashion business.
In 1982, Baron came to New York with the idea of staying just six months. He brought along his portfolio and within four days
he had landed a top job at GQ magazine. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed creative director of Italian Vogue and began
dividing his time between New York and Milan. He returned to New York in 1990 to open his company Baron & Baron and
guide the relaunch of Interiview magazine. In 1992 he became creative director of Harper's Bazaar. Through Baron & Baron
Fabien Baron has designed very high profile advertising campaigns for many leading names in fashion. Baron is the creative
director for Calvin Klein and has been responsible for some of Klein's most controversial ad campaigns. In 2008 a TV ad for
the fragrance Secret Obsession was banned from U.S. television.
Baseline: The lowest price or cost at which a manufacturer is prepared to provide goods.
Basque: A short skirt addition sewn onto the BODICE of a dress or jacket. The basque is pleated or gathered onto the hem
of the bodice. Also known as a peplum.
Bateau Neckline: A shallow boat-shaped neckline which runs from one shoulder to the other and is the same depth front and
back. It has been a popular style for dresses and blouses since the early 1920s.
Bespoke: Individual made-to-measure tailoring for men's suits.
Blocks: A set of basic individual or standard-sized pattern templates from which designs can developed. Blocks are known as
slopers in the US.
Bottom Weights: The heavier weight fabrics used for skirts and trousers.
Buyer: Selects and buys the mix of clothing available in retail shops, department stores and chain stores. Most fashion
buyers have been trained in business and/ or fashion studies.
Cabbage: The term given to unused fabric or garments made from over supply of fabric for manufacturing.
Coddington, Grace: Born in 1941, in Northern Wales to hotliers. Grace Coddington won a Vogue modeling competition in
soon to be swinging London in 1959. She was age 19. During the sixties and seventies, Grace worked as a model in British
Vogue. From time to time, a red haired "Gracelet" turns up in her pictures, most notably in the form of Karen Elson and
Maggie Rizer in the nineties, and lately as the doll-faced ginger-haired English model Lily Cole who bears a striking
resemblance to Coddington during her early seventies glam-rock-mode. Grace made the transition to fashion editor in 1968.
She made the trip across the Atlantic to New York to become creative director at American Vogue in 1988. There was a brief
stint in between that time as creative director for Calvin Klein but that didn't work out. Grace Coddington is considered the
personification of old-school British reticence, but maintaining an aloof demeanor has little to do with what concerns her at a
show: simply, her mind's eye is probably not on what other people are seeing. "At shows, I do find 'trends' very dull. Spots
and stripes? Parkas? Urban Sport? That bores me" she says. Where others might be looking for "sixties space age",
Coddington will be on the lokdout for Marie Antoinnette gowns to shoot at Versailles or tracking blue whenever everyone else
is talking up beige. One season, it was a specific Alice-in-wonderland blue, illustrated Tenniel, for a spectaclar December
2005 Fantasia involving the baby-faced russian model Natalia Vodianova, major designers as extras, and a crew large
enough for a small movie. Grace says this was one of her all-time favorite sittings. In a career that has spanned 4 decades,
that is saying a lot. Photographers she has worked with include: Annie Leibovitz, Arthur Elgort, Bruce Weber, Craig McDean,
David Sims, Ellen Von Underwerth, Helmut Newton, Steven Klein, Steven Meisel, Tim Walker.
Capsule Collection: A small range of related styles with a special purpose or impact.
Contrast: Causes the eye to evaluate the importance of one focal area on the garment against another. The placement of
contrasting features requires care because they become focal points.
Cowl: A Piece of material attached to a garment at the neck, which can be used as a hood oe left draped at the back or front.
In the 20th century cowl-neck sweaters and dresses became popular, cut so that the drape fell in soft folds around the neck
and onto the chest.
Collection Show Schedules: Timing and distribution are very critical to successful sales of a line. The four main centres
for fashion design - Paris, London, Milan and New York all compete for buyers and jostle for time slots on the international
runway show schedule. The twice yearly ready-to-wear runway show schedule for buyers traditionally passes from London to
Milan, Paris and then New York over a four week period. The Spring/Summer collections schedule usually starts around the
second week of September after shops and department stores have received delivery of the fall/winter lines that were shown
the previous March. The show schedule is based upon assumption that trends start in Europe but American fashion houses
and buyers are increasingly challenging the status quo.
Custom Clothier: Makes custom-made garments to order for a given customer.
Dressmaker: Specializes in custom-made women’s clothes; day, cocktail, evening dresses, business attire, trousseaus,
sports clothing and lingerie.
Fashion Design: The applied art of creating clothing and lifestyle accessories. It is driven by the cultural and social
influences of a specific time and is focused around two seasons; Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.
Fashion Design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth (October 13, 1825 –
March 10, 1895) widely considered the father of Haute Couture. He was the first to name brand a garment with his own label.
Fashion Designer: Creates clothing and accessory designs. They plan the production and marketing of their creations.
Designers usually specialize in one type of garment or accessory such as men’s or women’s wear, children’s garments,
swimwear, lingerie, handbags or shoes. Some high-fashion designers are self-employed and design only for individual
clients. They set the fashion trends by establishing the silhouette, colors and fabrics that will be worn for the season. Other
self-employed high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high fashion department stores. They design original
garments and follow the established fashion trends.
Designers that work for apparel manufacturers do less original work; they adapt fashions set by independent designers for the
Fashion Design Teacher: Teaches the art and craft of fashion design in an art or trade school.
Fashion Illustrator: Draws and paints clothing for commercial use.
Fashion Journalist: Writes fashion articles describing the garments presented in shows or the latest trends for magazines
Fashion Photographer: Photographs the clothes or fashion models for use in magazines, newspapers or advertisements.
Fit Model: Aids the fashion designer by wearing and commenting on the fit of clothing during the design and pre-
manufacturing phases. Fit models usually need to be a particular size for this purpose.
Frock coat: Adpted from a 19th century military coat and became formal dresswear for men. It appeared in many different
forms but was basically a long-sleeved, knee-length garment with pleats, collar, REVERS, buttoning and back VENTS. It was
full-skirted off and on during the 19th century but was used as a foundation for many styles of women's coats during the 20th
Frogging: Decorative braid fastening that loops over buttons or a braid TOGGLE. Originally used on military uniforms,
frogging fastenings have adorned women's coats and jackets since the 19th century.
Gabardine: 1) A Clear-surfaced, twill weave fabric with a fine diagonal rib effect. Gabardine can be made in a variety of
weights from natural and synthetic fibres. It has been used since the 19th century for suits, coats, dresses, skirts and
trousers. 2) A registered trademark by Thomas Burberry.
Garibaldi: A shirt/blouse worn by women i the early 1860s, named after the Italian soldier and patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The garibaldi was a scarlet blouse made of merino or muslin and worn with a black silk skirt. Black braid was sewn onto the
narrow collar. Some versions were known to have full sleeves gathered at the wrist, while other 'red shirts', as they were
known, were worn beneath the dress BODICE, revealing only tyhe sleeves. It became fashionable to complete the look by
banding the hem of a skirt with scarlet fabric.
Garter: Band of decorated elstic worn around the ghigh to hold stockings in position. The introduction in the 1880s of the
SUSPENDER BELT (U.S: garter belt) marked the decline of the garter, though it continued to be worn until the 1930s.
Gather: Fabric drawn together by threads to create fullness.
Georgette: A Silk or Rayon fabric, similar to chiffon, which is used for eveningwear. A crepe version has a more dull-
Graduation: A more complex type of design repetition where features of the garment are worked in increasing or diminishing
sizes or steps. Ex; Sequins on an evening dress can be heavily encrusted at the hem but fade in number as they travel up
Gusset: A small triangular or diamond-shaped piece of fabric which is inserted in the seams of a garment to increase the
strength and facilitate movement.
Harmony: Implies more of a similarity in garment features than differences. Hues that do not clash, fabrics that blend well,
soft materials and rounded forms can all help achieve a more harmonious design.
Harper's Bazaar: Launched in 1867 by Fletcher Harper of the US Publishers Harper Brothers. It was a women's magazine
covering the home and fashion. It was published weekly until 1901, when it became monthly. In 1913 Harper's Bazar was
bought by the Hearst publishing empire and in 1929 the second 'a' was added to 'Bazar'. Under chief editor Carmel SNOW,
the magazine promoted fashion design, photography and illustration. It was in direct competition with American VOGUE for
most of the 20th century.
Haute Couture: French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking” refers to made to order garments for a specific customer,
and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish often using time-
consuming hand-executed techniques. To earn the right to use the term haute couture, a design house must be invited as a
member into the 'Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture' after satifying the following criteria:
1] Must design made-to-order garments for private clients with one or more fittings.
2] Must Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
3] Must present a collection each season(twice per year) to the Paris Press, comprised of at least 35 runs with garments for
both daytime wear and evening wear.
Herringbone: A pattern which resembles the skeletal structure of a herring. It's zigzag effect is produced by a broken twill
weave. Herringbone has been popular since the 19th century for outer garments, suits, coats and skirts.
Hipster: A style of skirt or trousers firs introduced in the 1960s. Hipsters were cut to fit snugly around the hips rather than the
waist and were often held in place by a large, wide belt.
H-Line: Introduced by Christian DIOR in 1954, this dress style pushed the bust up as high as possible and dropped the waist
to hip-level, creating the cross-bar of the letter H. It was most noticeable in DIOR's designs for eveningwear.
Hourglass: Shape associated with late 19th and early 20th-century women, who wore constricting CORSETS that pulled in
the waist and pushed out the hips and bust. The silhouette was revived in DIOR'S NEW LOOK of 1947.
Lanvin, Jeanne: Born in 1867 in France, Jeanne Lanvin was just 22 when she went to Paris to set up shop as a milliner in
1889. Over the next several decades, Lanvin dressed all of Paris' elite - gentleman, ladies and children - resulting in her
induction into the esteemed Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in 1909. In addition to ready-to-wear and couture, Lanvin
created many iconic perfumes in succession, most notably, Arpege of which Josephine Baker was an early fan. Her designs
reflected her own innate sense of elegance and refinement, never pandering to the whims of current trends. Current head
designer Alber Elbaz has continued that tradition since his arrival to Lanvin in 2001.
Lapel: Part of the front neckline of a blouse, dress, jacket or coat which turns back or folds over.
Meisel, Steven: Born 1954 Steven Meisel is an American fashion photographer, who obtained popular acclaim with his work
in US and Italian Vogue along with photographs of friend Modonna in her 1992 book. He is referred to as the "Super model
maker" and is one of the most influential and successful photographers in the fashion industry. Meisel is credited with
"discovering" or promoting the careers of many supermodels, such as Sasha Pivovarova, Lisa Cant, Snejana Onopka,
Coco Rocha, and James Rousseau into fame featuring them regularly in Italian Vogue and various campaigns. Meisel's
fascination for beauty and models started at a young age. At that time Miesel would not play with toys, but would draw women
all the time. He frequently looked through magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar as sources of inspiration for his
drawings. Meisel dreamt of women from the high society like Gloria Guinness and Babe Paley, who personified in his eyes the
ideal of beauty. Other icons were his mother and his sister. Steven was obsessed at age 12 with some of the sixties top
models such as TWIGGY, VERUSCHKA and JEAN SHRIMPTON. He was 12 years old when he asked some girlfriends to call
model agencies and pretend to be secretaries of Richard Avedon, to get pictures of the models. To meet the famous model
Twiggy, the 12-year-old Meisel stood outside waiting for her at Melvin Sokolasky's studio. Meisel studied at the High School of
Art and Design and Parsons School of design in New York where he ended up majoring in fashion illustration. One of Meisel's
first jobs was to work for fashion designer Halston as an illustrator. He admired photographers like Jerry Schatzberg, Irving
Penn, Richard Avedon and Bert Stern. Later on, while working at Women's Wear Daily as an illustrator, he went to Elite model
agency where two girls working there allowed him to take pictres of some of thier models. He would photograph them in his
Gramercy Park apartment or on the street: one of whom was Phoebe Cates. When some of the models took their pictures to
Seventeen Magazine to show in their model books, Meisel was called for a job. Meisel has shot campaigns for Versace,
Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and all Prada campaigns, each fashion season consistently since 2004.
Mellen, Polly: Born in 1925 in West Hartford, Connecticut. Polly Allen Mellen attended Miss Porter's School and has been
married to Henry Sewall Mellen since 1968.
She has been a stylist and fashion editor for more than 60 years working at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and then as creative
director at Allure from 1991 to 1999. Although now formerly retired from the Condé Naste publications since the 90's, she
remains a consultant on various projects. Katherine Hepburn has been cited as one of Mellen's early influences in matters of
style but her career began as the protégé of the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Under Vreeland's tutelage, Mellen
became an editor at Harper's Bazaar, and later at American Vogue. Over the course of her career, Mellen colaborated with
great photographers such as Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Irving Penn. Richard Avedon once said of her: "She was
and still is the most creative sittings editor I ever worked with". Mellen has been known for her enthusiastic support of certain
young designers in both the personal and business aspects of their lives. "She never lost her enthusiam in a field where
everyone seems so jaded," says designer Isaac Mizrahi. It is said that Ms. Mellen is often among the first to discover young
designers. She goes to fashion shows at odd hours and in odd places, like warehouses and wrestling arenas. Often, she is
the only one over 25 in the place. At the big name designer shows, she is never the poker face in dark glasses. When
something special hits the runway, her arms shoot up high above her head and her hands come together in the loud, long
Polly clap. Other editors stare and some snicker. Never mind that. Ms. Mellen has expressed the joy of fashion for
generations, and for that, designers adore her. Geoffrey Beene once called her: "The industry's cheerleader: rah, rah, rah!".
According to Vera Wang: "Polly has the most extrordinary ability to adapt to the future. So many editors and even designers
get bogged down in their own pasts. Her attitude has been consistently progressive - that's why she has managed to remain
in style for so many decades". Polly Mellen is described as the last link to the great old-fashioned fashion editors.
Modeling Agent/Agency: Represents models to get work in the fashion industry. The agent/agency earns their income via
commission usually on a percentage deal made with the model. Top agencies/agents work with big-budget advertising
agencies and fashion designers. They invest money into developing their talent to increase their status within the industry.
Top model reps will help train models, get test shoots, layout portfolios and put together comp cards. They find work by
presenting their models to designers, photographers and ad agencies. They take care of booking the jobs, billing for the jobs
and paying the model. By handling all of the business details, an agency allows the model to focus on modeling.
John Robert Powers was the first known agent to ever represent models; 1915.
Model: Wears and displays clothes at fittings, fashion shows and in photographs.
Copyright © 2007-2016 The Michigan Fashion House. All rights reserved