Parlez-vous Francais

PARLEZ-VOUS FRANÇAIS?

OUI OR NON? A GUIDE TO FRENCH FASHION WORDS TO KNOW.

 

We all know a little (un peu) french.

In the English language, we use common french sayings like…  Déjà vu or Je t’aime.

In fashion, there are many French terms used… After all, Paris is the birthplace of Haute Couture. So, what if you were put on the spot to say something like ‘Couture’ would you be able to confidently pronounce it? That’s why I have created a ‘petite’ list of useful French fashion words and their meanings to help you boldly say “je ne sais quoi” like a French woman.

 

A

À la mode – {a-la-mod } Oh darling, it means.. In fashion

Appliqué – {app-li-kae} It means apply! But usually, it’s a technic adding bits of cloth to a larger piece of fabric

Avant-garde – {avon-gard} Literally means ‘advance guard’ experimental, radical expression usually associated with art, fashion, culture, and society. That collection was so “avant-garde”

B

Boutique – {boo-tik} A petite store selling unique items and those oh-so-gorgeous luxury goods you love!

C

Chevron – {sh-vron} Not the oil company, honey… It’s stripes or lines that make a V shape form

Chiffon – {shif – on} Soft as chiffon… It’s beautiful light, transparent fabric sometimes made from silk or nylon

Chignon – {sshi-neeon} An elegant up-do. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Cliché – {klish-aye} I thought all French wear berets and carry baguettes!?… Well, don’t they? My fiancé: “Ah non!”

Couturier – {koo-tu-re-air } Seamstress; The expert that makes all those ravishing garments

D

Décolleté – {dec-ol-taye} That lovely plunging neckline

Défilé de mode – {defelay -d-mod} Simply means Fashion Show.

E

Eau de Toilette – {oh-d-twalette} Literally translates to ‘Toilet Water’ it’s the alluring scent that traps men, Perfume! Don’t worry you’re not spraying yourself with something from the toilet, Toilette is cosmetics.

F

Faux – {fo} It’s fake!

G

Genre – {jhon-rr} Vintage, luxe with a contemporary edge.. What’s your style or ‘genre’?

H

Haute Couture – {Oht -koo-tu-rr} Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. *Breaths heavily* Phew! Every fashion designers dream to be invited to this club with the likes of Balenciaga, Chanel, Givenchy, Dior.

I

Imprimé – {im-pre-may} is Prints

J

Jupe – {joop} J’adore pretty ballet tulle (skirts)

M

Mélange – {meh-lange) A mixing or blending of colour

O

Ombré – {om-bray} Shade or shadow of colour. This is also the word for eyeshadow

P

Prêt-à-porter – {pret-ah-porter} Simply and literally means Ready-to-wear.

Première – {prem-e-air} Means first, but in the world of Haute Couture, The Première is the head seamstress, the Première is in charge of the many highly trained petit mains

Petit mains – {pet-i mun} So now you’re wondering what Petit Mains is… They are the much loved (little hands) who delicately and meticulously hand-stitch every bead, embellishment, and detail to transform a garment into an opulent work of art.

R

Robe – {rob} Just dress

T

Taille – {Thae} La Maison de Couture will need your (size) for the fitting

V

Vêtement – {Vhet-e-mant} And finally vêtement means garment.

Hopefully, this guide helps you to say and understand these words if they come up at work (or play!)

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