A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the world of fashion journalism, it is our job to supply those thousand words to dissect pictures. Sometimes fashion throws a new trend our way that makes us go "Huh?" and we have to make do until someone somewhere coins a succinct term. For example, we originally struggled with the trompe l'oeil jeans, settling on "Faux-Denim Leggings", before the term "jeggings" entered our vocabulary. Or "treggings" (substitute "trousers" for "jeans"), as our British counterparts, and now the Collins English Dictionary, call them.
Yep, some of those made-up words that you at first found silly, before realizing how useful they are, have become official ("frugalista" and "body-con" also were new entries in the Collins). We're apt to think of dictionary editors as stodgy and wrinkly old men. But dictionaries have been keeping up with the times and the slang. "Fanboy", "infinity pool" and "mental health day" were new entries to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2008. Here's what Peter Sokolowski, an editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, said about new entries, "As soon as we see the word used without explanation or translation or gloss, we consider it a naturalized citizen of the English language...If somebody is using it to convey a specific idea and that idea is successfully conveyed in that word, it's ready to go in the dictionary." So it has a lot to do with popular understanding of a word. But our great hope is that this shows a possible shift in the stereotype of fashion people from shallow and dumb and irrelevant to intelligent, professional and talented. That's a trend we could really get behind. --AMANDA JEAN BOYLE