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The Fashion Portal

Victorian fashion
Swinging London, 1969
Fashion is a popular style, especially in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle and body.[citation needed] Fashion is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style in which people present themselves. A fashion can become the prevailing style in behaviour or manifest the newest creations of designers, technologists, engineers, and design managers.

Because the more technical term costume is regularly linked[by whom?] to the term "fashion", the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear, while the word "fashion" often refers to clothing, including the study of clothing. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.

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A girl wearing an Ao dai. For a time condemned as decadent by the country's rulers, the dress experienced a revival in the 1990s and is once again considered a national costume.
The ao dai (Vietnamese: áo dài) is a Vietnamese national costume, now most commonly worn by women. In its current form, it is a tight-fitting silk tunic worn over pantaloons. The word is pronounced [ʔǎːw zâːj] in the North and [ʔǎːw jâːj] in the South. Áo classifies the item as a piece of clothing. The word "ao dai" was originally applied to the outfit worn at the court of the Nguyễn Lords at Huế in the 18th century. This outfit evolved into the áo ngũ thân, a five-paneled aristocratic gown worn in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Inspired by Paris fashions, Nguyễn Cát Tường and other artists associated with Hanoi University redesigned the ngũ thân as a modern dress in the 1920s and 1930s. The updated look was promoted by the artists and magazines of Tự Lực văn đoàn (Self-Reliant Literary Group) as a national costume for the modern era. In the 1950s, Saigon designers tightened the fit to produce the version worn by Vietnamese women today. The dress was extremely popular in South Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. On Tết and other occasions, Vietnamese men may wear an áo gấm (brocade robe), a version of the ao dai made of thicker fabric. Academic commentary on the ao dai emphasizes the way the dress ties feminine beauty to Vietnamese nationalism, especially in the form of "Miss Ao Dai" pageants, popular both among overseas Vietnamese and in Vietnam itself. "Ao dai" is one of the few Vietnamese words that appear in English-language dictionaries.

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1814 double entendre cartoon
Credit: Charles Williams

An 1814 engraved cartoon of a double entendre, a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué, inappropriate, or ironic. In this cartoon, the man says to the woman, "My sweet honey, I hope you are to be let with the Lodgins!" To this, she replies "No, sir, I am to be let alone." Here, the word "let" can mean either "to leave" or "to rent", so her response can be read to mean either that she wants the man to stop bothering her, or that she is available for a separate fee from the lodging.

Featured biography

Anna Wintour
Anna Wintour, OBE (born 3 November 1949) is the English-born editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a position she has held since 1988. With her trademark pageboy bob haircut and sunglasses, Wintour has become an institution throughout the fashion world, widely praised for her eye for fashion trends and her support for younger designers. Her reportedly aloof and demanding personality has earned her the nickname "Nuclear Wintour". She is the eldest daughter of Charles Wintour, editor of the London Evening Standard. Her father consulted her on how to make the newspaper relevant to the youth of the era. Anna became interested in fashion as a teenager. Her career in fashion journalism began at two British magazines. Later she moved to the United States, with stints at New York and House & Garden. She returned home for a year to turn around British Vogue, and later assumed control of the franchise's magazine in New York, reviving what many saw as a stagnating publication. Her use of the magazine to shape the fashion industry has been the subject of debate within it. Animal rights activists have attacked her for promoting fur, while other critics have charged her with using the magazine to promote elitist views of femininity and beauty. A former personal assistant, Lauren Weisberger, wrote the 2003 best selling roman à clef The Devil Wears Prada, later made into a successful film starring Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a fashion editor believed to be based on Wintour. In 2009 she was the focus of another film, R.J. Cutler's documentary The September Issue.

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Alexander Wang
Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.

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Fashion design HistoryHaute coutureReady-to-wearCostume designJewelry designGermanFrenchItalianSouth AmericanPatternTailorTextileStylistBuyerDressmakerIllustrationForecastingModelFitting modelJournalism

History of Western fashion Ancient worldEgyptianBiblicalGreekRomanByzantineEarly MedievalAnglo-Saxon12th century13th century14th century15th century1500–15501550–16001600–16501650–17001700–17501750–17751775–17951795–18201820sVictorian1830s1840s1850s1860s1870s1890s1900s1910s1920s1930-19451945-19561960s1970s1980s1990s2000s2010s

MaterialsCottonFurLeatherLinenNylonPolyesterRayonSilkSpandexWool

Dresses Ball gownCocktail dressDébutante dressEvening gownGownJumper dressLittle black dressPetticoatSariShirtdressSundressTea gownWedding dressWrap dress

FootwearStockingTightsToe TightsLeg warmerLeggingsAthletic shoeBootCourt shoeDress shoeFlip-flopsHosierySandalShoeSlipperSockToe Sock

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Tops BlouseCrop topDress shirtHalterneckHenley shirtHoodieJerseyGuernseyPoet shirtPolo shirtShirtSleeveless shirtSweaterSweater vestT-shirtTube topTurtleneckTwinset

Trousers or pants Bell-bottomsBermuda shortsBondage pantsCapri pantsCargo pantsCulottesCycling shortsDress pantsJeansJodhpursOverallParachute pantsPhat pantsShortsSweatpantsWindpantsYoga pants

SkirtsA-line skirtDenim skirtLeather skirtMen's skirtsMicroskirtMiniskirtPencil skirtPrairie skirtRah-rah skirtSkortWrap

Suits and uniformsAcademic dressBlack tieCleanroom suitClerical clothingCourt dressGymslipJumpsuitKasayaLab coatMorning dressPantsuitRed Sea rigRomper suitScrubsStrollerTuxedoWhite tie


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