Hi! And welcome to Illustrated Fashion Alphabet!
I’m Katie, AKA Alphabet Writer, and I’m the author and illustrator of all you see on this blog. I’m a long time fashion lover with a degree in Fashion design and experience working in both front and back end of the fashion industry. I have even had a go at designing my own line (its available here if you’re interested).
Why do I write this blog? Well let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time, I worked in retail, high-end retail. The kind of high-end retail with fabulous clothes and not always fabulous customers. One day a customer came in and asked for a Pea Coat, so, like a good shop girl, I showed her what we had.
After glancing at the coat she turned to me and said (in her most condescending voice) that it ‘was not a pea coat’, and proceeded to explain to me what a pea coat was. Silly shop girl. Silly shop girl with a degree in fashion design, by the way. Oh and I had shown her a coat that the designer had labelled a Pea Coat. But whatever, the customer is always right, right?
Wrong. Slightly incensed by this incident I was determined to prove that sometimes the customer was not right, and I did in fact know what a Pea Coat looked like. So I went home, jumped on the internet and looked it up. Turns out that all three of us were wrong – myself, the customer AND the designer!
This made me think about how many fashion terms are used and abused by people in the fashion world. In an industry that is constantly reinventing itself, it seems that the true meanings of fashion terms often get lost in the creative license so readily exercised by designers, journalists and fashionistas.
My aim for this blog is to rediscover what our most commonly used (and misused) fashion terms actually mean, where they come from, and what the garment baring the name should really look like.
Fashion is a language unto itself, and while I do not claim to be the be-all-and-end-all of fashion knowledge, I do hope that the Illustrated Fashion Alphabet will help everyone speak it with a little more accuracy.
To check out the terms already on the blog you can use the search facility at the top of the page, check through the index list or simply scroll through the pages and see what you find.
While my ultimate aim is to go through each category and rediscover a fashion term starting with every letter of the alphabet in that category, that doesn’t always happen. So if, for example, a swimsuit starting with X doesn’t exist, I will replace it with another commonly used term that I think needs explaining.
If you can’t find the term you’re looking for, let me know! Post it in the comments and I’ll add it to my list.