Ten words to add to your fashion vocabulary

Leandra Medine phoning in some fashion speak, probably, at this year's New York Fashion Week.

Leandra Medine phoning in some fashion speak, probably, at this year's New York Fashion Week. Photo: Getty

Here are the words making the rounds at the Big Four fashion weeks. Though some of these would safely fall within the same category as ‘fetch’ (i.e. they are never going to make it in the mainstream lexicon), others are already widely used on style blogs, Project Runway and around certain, exclusive parts of SoHo. (Thanks to Refinery29’s Connie Wang for the heads-up on some of these!)


As Tyra would tell you, there is a big difference between staring and smiling with your eyes. Your eyes, ears and eyebrows, that is.

Fashion Weak 


The fatigue one feels toward the last days of fashion week. Your heel-ravaged feet are raw and blistered, you’ve got a perpetual hangover and you’re crying Red Bull tears: You’re fashion weak, dah-ling!


With so many events crammed into one night, everyone suffers from a bit of Fear Of Missing Out On Fashion Night Out.

Ensembly Challenged

A derisive term interchangeable with ‘fashion victim’.


When fashion nobodies pretend to be fashion somebodies in the hopes of swindling a front-row seat. How successful they are usually depends on whether the PR gal or seating/ego manager has done their homework.

Lens Lurkers

The style-set wannabes who audaciously skulk outside shows, dressed in the latest look-at-me get-ups, in the hopes of being snapped by Tommy Ton or Facehunter. The most skilled shutterbugs will usually see through this shameless display or sartorial peacocking.


Though it sounds like a dishwasher detergent, it’s actually used to describe a collection that’s both gorgeous and glamorous, coined by designer Marc Bouwer.

Slag Bag

A goodie bag filled with products and vouchers you’ll never use. A discount coupon for $20 off a $310 juice cleanse, anyone? Anyone?


A term to express your disapproval toward a collection. As in, “What a prune!” said in response to a garment sewn poorly and wrinkling and gathering in all the wrong places.


The most infuriating of all fashion buzzwords – well, after ‘directional’ and ‘diaphanous’ – ‘fierce’ was popularised by designer Christian Siriano back in 2007.