Dept. of Word Lists

Fashion Industry Words

Fancy yourself a fashionista? Check out this fashion word list compiled by Jennifer Smith, former New York fashion designer now copywriter/PR pro for Deuce Creative. You'll be surprised by some of Seventh Avenue's parts of speech. Read on to sharpen your divaspeak...

Look. (noun) "Complete outfit, ensemble from head to toe including accessories and shoes. The number of outfits you send down the runway is equivalent to the number of looks in a fashion show."

Fitting. (noun) "Review of garments on a live model. Fit, proportion, make and details assessed. Changes are made to garments and patterns based on notes from a fitting."

Tchotchke. (noun) (from Yiddish) "Extraneous detail or treatment on a garment, often used negatively. An excess of novelty is often referred to as tchochke. Example: 'The dress appeared fussy, covered in ruffled tchochke.'"

Go-see. (noun) "A short, customary face-to-face meeting between models and designers, agents or fashion show producers often serving as an audition. At a go-see, the model will often walk across the room as if she/he were on a runway."

Couture / Haute Couture. (noun) "Elite invitation-only group of Paris design houses adhering to strict guidelines for clothing design. The most prestigious level of fashion and often the most expensive."

Girls. (noun) "Female models. A-girls are the top models, the most sought after faces during any season. B-girls are the second rate models."

Novelty. (noun) "Embellishment or detail on a garment that makes the piece special. Novelty may be embroidery, print, beads and pleating to name a few."

Next. (noun) "An upcoming fashion trend. Example: "From looking at the French magazines, oversized tops seem to be next.'"

Tear sheet. (noun) "Inspirational image torn or cut from magazine or book. Tear sheets can also be a designer's work shown in magazine editorial or advertisements."

Book. (noun) "Designer's portfolio. A designer's book may include sketches, fabric swatches, and inspirational images."

Flat. (noun) "Technical sketch of a design as if it were laying flat on a table."

Hand. (noun) "Characteristic of fabric perceived through touch. Example: 'This silk velvet has an excellent hand.'"

Sample. (noun) "Garment used as an example before production. Samples are worn by models in fashion shows, sent to magazines for use in photo shoots, and used as sales tools."

Grade. (verb) "To adjust a pattern for additional sizes. If a sample pattern is a size 6 it is graded up to an 8, 10, 12, 14 and graded down to a 0, 2 and 4."

Make. (noun) "Characteristics of the construction of a garment. Example: 'This Chanel suit has an impeccable make.'"

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Comments from our users:

Tuesday March 6th 2007, 4:13 PM
Comment by: chris A.
Couture / Haute Couture are the ony word/s specific to the fashion "biz/industry"; this is even arguable.
Tuesday August 7th 2007, 2:51 AM
Comment by: Constance G.
I was just reading your list of "fashion" words. One that I have
recently heard which makes my teeth rattle is from the on-air hosts on
QVC (the television shopping network). They (and I say "they" purposely
because more than one host uses the word) use the word "fabrication" as
a noun to replace the word "fabric". A sample sentence would be, "Look
at the wonderful fabrication in this shirt." I would have said fabric.
To me, fabrication as a noun would be "a lie". (His fabrication was
obvious to all). These hosts use the word "fabrication" rather than
"fabric" all the time during the course of their presentations. The
first time it was used on-air, I just laughed myself silly. Then when
multiple hosts used it in the same way, I was incredulous. Isn't this a
misuse of meaning? It hurts my ears.

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