A to Z of Fashion – Mitre

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Mitre is the very tall headdress worn by bishops, cardinals and a variety of high-ranking clergymen and dignitaries. The mitre dates back to at the 10th century and today, it is a symbol of office and authority. It tapers to a point at both the front and back, with a deep cleft in between.

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A to Z of Fashion – Millinery

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Millinery is the manufacture and craft of making hats and headwear. A milliner historically would also produce everything from shirts, cloaks and shifts, to caps and neckerchiefs for both men and women, as well as designing and trimming their headgear. The term dates to the Middle Ages, when a Milener reffered to someone from Milan — the home of the fashion and textiles trade. Millinery has evolved throughout history, but remains popular with a range of different events and uniforms. More often than not, hats can indicate social status, from a cowboy’s Stetson to a gentleman’s top hat, or the cocktail fascinators worn by ladies at the races.

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A to Z of Fashion – Mermaid Line

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Mermaid Line — as the name suggests — is a slinky shaped gown that starts with a form-fitting bodice and a skirt silhouette that is designed to resemble the waft of a mermaid’s ‘tail’. The skirt may or may not be in the same colour or texture as the top, but fins, scales and underwater wearability are not essential part of the design.

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A to Z of Fashion – Mary Jane

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Mary Jane shoes are closed toe and low-cut, with one or more straps across the instep. The classic Mary Jane came in black (sometimes patent) leather and became the quintessential shoe to wear with your school uniform — from Prince Charles to Princess Elizabeth, the Mary Jane can be traced as back far as King Henry VIII. In the 1930s, its name was trademarked in North America. Since then, the Mary Jane has left the school yard and travelled from Mao’s China to Manolo Blahnik. Today the Mary Jane show is a symbol of girlhood; both naughty and nice.

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A to Z of Fashion – Mandarin Collar

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Mandarin Collar, or the Mao collar, is a small, close-fitting, stand up collar. It is usually about 3-4cm high, with edges that don’t quite meet at the front. As its name suggests, the Mandarin Collar comes from the traditional dress worn by the Mandarins in Imperial China. The style is also quite similar to the Nehru collar that is often found in modern Indian men’s clothing it is used in oriental-inspired collections and to create a minimalist feel.

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A to Z of Fashion – Mad as a Hatter

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“Mad as a hatter” is a colloquial phrase referring to a crazy person — many of whom are found in fashion. The phrase stems from 18th and 19th century England, when mercury was used in the production of felt, which was essential to the manufacture of hats at the time. The workers in the factories were daily exposed to traces of the metal. As this accumulated over time, many of them developed dementia from the poisoning — and it became known as mad hatter’s syndrome. The phrase, which refers to someone seen as insane, was immortalised by the character of the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

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A to Z of Fashion – Look-books

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Look-books are a collection of photographs compiled by a designer to present their complete collection of clothing, accessories or footwear in a flick book. For buyers, or press, they’re useful tools to help select key pieces for editorial or sale orders. From the runway show to the commercial collections, as each look is numbered and clearly shown. Look books were created long before the Internet, when press and sales people had to rely on their notes and memory when picking looks.

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A to Z of Fashion – Lining

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Lining is an inner layer of fabric, like silk or fur, inserted into clothing, hats, luggage, curtains, handbags and similar items; that provides a polished finish — concealing any seam allowances, interfacing or construction details.  Linings can also add a layer of insulation or reinforce shapes and silhouettes, particularly in tailoring. A lining reduces the wearing strain on clothing, extending the useful life of the lined garment. A smooth lining allows a coat or jacket to slip on over other clothing easily, and linings add warmth to cold-weather wear.

Linings are typically made of solid colours to coordinate with the garment fabric, but patterned and contrasting-coloured linings are also used.

  • An interlining is an additional layer of fabric between the lining and the outer garment shell. Insulating interlinings for winter garments are usually sewn to the individual lining pieces before the lining is assembled.[6]
  • A partial or half lining lines only the upper back and front of the garment, concealing the shoulder pads and interfacings,[7] with or without sleeves.
  • A zip-in, zip-out, snap-out or button-in lining (sometimes liner) is a warm removable lining for a jacket, coat, or raincoat that is held in place with a zipper, snap fasteners, or buttons. Garments with removable linings are usually lined with a lightweight fabric as well, to provide a neat finish when the warm lining is not worn.

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A to Z of Fashion – Lettuce Hem

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Lettuce Hem is pretty wavy — much like the legume itself when it’s been slice up. It is the  result of fabric being stretched as it is sewn, resulting in a wavy hemline. This wiggle of a hem works best edging jersey or fabrics that have stretch, as the cross-grain elastic quality keeps the ‘bounce’ of the wave, not letting your lettuce go limp and flat.

Alberta Ferretti used the technique to add a feminine finish to her part flamenco, part fiesta spring/summer 2014 collection.

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