“Fashion is not
something that exists
in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky,
in the street, fashion
has to do with ideas,
the way we live, what
"Don’t be into trends. Don’t
"It’s a new era in
fashion - there are no
rules. It’s all about the
individual and personal
style, wearing high-end,
low-end, classic labels,
designers all together."
— Alexander McQueen
make fashion own you, but
you decide what you are,
what you want to express by
the way you dress and the
way you live."
— Gianni Versace
“I don't know who
heels, but all
women owe him a
Fashion plays an increasingly important role in an individual’s life because it is
considered as a means of self-expression. The garments and accessories that man or
women wear, help them to identify with a group of others-whether it is a lifestyle,
profession, a religion, or an attitude. Thus, the fashion-speak and use of fashion
linguistic means have changed.
The main reasons for fashion are: protection, individuality, identification, and
Clothing and fashion industry have a big influence on people. However, this trend has
both advantages and disadvantages. Fashion is good as long as it helps people feel
good about themselves. When it becomes an obsession it does more harm than
Life in a modern community is far more controlled by fashion than many people
realize; fashion is big business, invented by original designers and controlled and
promoted by business magnates for profit. Moreover, it affects not only clothing, but
almost every aspect of daily life from the kind of house we live in, to the kind of book
we read. And what is this mysterious thing called 'fashion' ?
The culture of luxury
In the 14th century, luxury was originally a
pejorative word, denoting “sinful selfindulgence”
Nowadays, exist such a phenomenon as
“psychological habit” of consumption
People spend approximately 13% of their
budget on clothes and shoes
“Luxury is not the opposite of poverty; it is
the opposite of
The culture of beauty
Nowadays, plastic surgery is as
common thing as cosmetic procedure
More money is spent on beauty
products in the USA annually than on
education: over 6$ billion on makeup
“Being beautiful is the answer to our
An example of beauty culture is the
attention focused on super models and
the development of a stereotypical idea of
The term 'Cultural imperialism' refers to
the practice of promoting a more
powerful culture over a least known or desirable
culture and can take the form of an active, formal
policy or a general attitude.
The USA cultural dominance is
apparent predominantly through fashion,
music and movies.
For instance, some people strive to
from American designers such as Calvin
Klein, Ralph Lauren’s Polo, and Dona
American fashion designers
speak their own “English”
Practically all fashion
neologisms are English
Brands like Fnk Asia that are
premised on a fusion of east and
west, for instance, have been a
front runner in creating a new
diction for fashion → new
What makes a clique a definitive social
group is its individual and often zealously guarded
boundaries that encapsulate a certain way of life,
behavior and language.
And just as there are different cultures and
peoples in the world, one observes that there is a
certain culture and lexicon specific to every
industry, as one observes with the fashion
fraternity increasingly catching up to create its
own semiotics such as ‘jeggings’ (a marriage of
denim and leggings) and ‘swaket’ (a union of
sweater and a jacket).
Even personal shoppers need fashion dictionaries
to understand words such as
• “spants ” (hareem pants)
• “swacket ”(a sweater/jacket)
— lexicon that is used on a regular basis by fashionistas, according to
British department store Debenhams.
• The words “jorts ”, which refers to a pair of denim hotpants;
• ”whorts ”, winter shorts to be donned
with woollen tights; and
• “mube ”, a maxi tube dress,
amount to a “secret language”.
The ‘shrouzer ’ is a western twist on a shalwar
with pockets on the side.
For the winter the brand plans on introducing yet
another conceptual article of clothing a ‘jacket shirt ’
much akin to the international ‘swaket’ that is a cross
pollination between a jacket and a shirt.
Globally one has also observed that while stand out
pieces would initially be called ‘statement’ pieces such as a
large over sized ring would be termed as a ‘statement
ring ’, is now christened as ‘cocktail’.
A whole new breed of colored jeggings are now
being called ‘cocktail jeans’ for instance
Fashion exaggerated language
It’s no longer enough to say you simply like a certain sweater,
or that you find a cocktail dress flattering. Such pedestrian
words have fallen out of fashion in favor of exaggerated
language that, while expressing enthusiasm for clothes,
doesn’t give us any insight into why they’re so wonderful.
We have come to expect the world’s fashion authorities to
“die” or “stop breathing” when they find a pair of shoes
that’s especially “fierce” or “tranny,” or perhaps when they
find a model “werking” a particularly “mayjor” “smize” or
“lewk.” And we’re happy with this, even though precious
few of the world’s most famous fashion experts truly make
a habit of articulating why certain clothes can be so great.
A fashionista is someone who follows fashion, or is involved in
the fashion industry.
Sometimes the term may be used to suggest that Fashionistas
are obsessed with Fashion at the cost of other issues of
importance. However, Fashionistas are not offended when people
call them such, and many use the term in self Reference, like a
badge of pride.
the word took hold slowly, but “dramatically expanded” in 1998, when
Angelina Jolie starred as Gia in an HBO movie. In 1999, the word was added to
the OED, and now it’s everywhere.
IT – girl
"It girl" is a term for a young woman who possesses the quality "It",
absolute attraction. The expression reached global attention in 1927,
with the film It, starring Clara Bow.
While "it girls" of today are commonly young females in the worlds of
fashion or show-business, the original concept focused on personality.
The "It Girl" is the girl that EVERYONE wants to be. She has everything
that you want so you tend to envy her. She does all the things that you
can't do so you grow to hate her. Being an "It Girl" is having the latest
shits, (the best clothing and always stays fly) and the prettiest face. Her
presence is always appreciated, ALL the guys Want her and ALL the
girls want to be her! (Urban dictionary)
A terms like ‘luxury pret’ that do not exist any where
in the world but have been coined locally to define
certain elements in fashion. In this case, any ready
to wear clothing that is expensive (hence is a
luxury) is called luxury prêt.
treggings - thick close-fitting leggings
flannie - (Australian, slang) a shirt made of flannel or flannelette
frugalista - (informal) a person who tries to stay fashionably dressed on a
tomboy - a girl who acts or dresses in a boyish way, liking rough outdoor
‘jeggings’ (a marriage of denim and leggings) and ‘swaket’ (a union of
sweater and a jacket).
“spants” (hareem pants)
“jorts”, which refers to a pair of denim hotpants;
”whorts”, winter shorts to be donned with woollen tights
“mube”, a maxi tube dress,
Fashionista – is someone who follows fashion, or is involved in the fashion
It-girl - is a term for a young woman who possesses the quality "It",
Luxury pret - any ready to wear clothing that is expensive (hence is a
luxury) is called luxury prêt.
To sum it up:
Yet despite this whole new range of diction, linguistic purists have criticized the
confusing fashion vocabulary and claim the words are simply recycling existing
terminology. “The world of fashion is reliant on these changing trends, which are
often based on little more than classic foundations with clever twists”
So ultimately, the language mirrors the runways: Not all of this has to make sense to
work (werk?), or, frankly, make its creator some money. So while it makes more
sense to describe clothes as pretty or flattering or well-made, people talking about
fashion from on-high can only say that stuff so many times before the bore
1. “My turban is not a fashion trend”
2. “English as a lingua franca: a linguistic imperialism”
3. Linguistic imperialism: http://grammar.about.com/od/il/g/Linguistic-Imperialism.htm
4. What is linguistic imperialism? http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-linguistic-imperialism.htm
5. Meera Jain “The cultural implication of beauty”
6. Shari Graydon “In Your Face: The culture of beauty and you” http://www.amazon.com/InYour-Face-Culture-Beauty/dp/1550378562
7. “Fashion neologisms, Anna M.I.A. in Paris, and Lacroix’s Last Waltz”
8. “Neologisms: the coming of age. Using neologisms is common these days, but not so sensibly
9. “Fashion’s neologisms” http://hanitaha.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/fashions-neologisms/
10. Emily Temple “The Stories behind 8 of the most irritating neologisms”
11. Amy Odell “Why do we so rarely say anything meaningful about fashion”
12. “Globalization impact on languages and communication”
13. “The United States and cultural imperialism”