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Fashion

  • I don't know when the word fashion came into being, but it was an evil day. For thousands of years people got along with something called style and maybe, in another thousand, we'll go back to it.

  • Style doesn't change every month or every year. It only changes as often as there is a real change in the point of view and lives of the people for whom it is produced.

  • Fashion is that horrid little man with an evil eye who tells you that your last winter's coat may be in perfect physical condition, but you can't wear it. You can't wear it because it has a belt and this year 'we are not showing belts.'

  • One of the most fascinating things about the world of fashion is that practically no one knows who inhabits it or why it exists. There are a few people who know how it works, but they won't tell.

  • The French legend is a very simple one. All really beautiful clothes are designed in the houses of the French couturiers and all women want those clothes.

  • There is no word in English for chic. Why should there be? Everything chic is by legend French. Perhaps everything chic is in reality French.

  • Chic is a combination of style and fashion.

  • ... being chic not only takes a great deal of money but an enormous amount of time. It practically precludes everything else, even being on charity committees. Half of one's time goes getting chic, the other half being seen that way.

  • It was my idea that if you started any kind of business, you should begin somewhere near where you hoped to end. In other words, if I wanted to make really good clothes to order, I would start out making good, and therefore expensive, clothes to order. If I started making inexpensive clothes, I thought probably I'd die making them.

  • ... all changes in clothes rise out of the lives of the people who wear them. The function of the designer is simply to see a little ahead of time what the people want, and to provide it. No designer can start anything really new and different unless there is a public all ready for it ...

  • When people tell you a coat or dress is cut on classic lines it means it's something that isn't smart now and won't be smart ten years hence.

  • Fashion: the search for a new absurdity.

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • To follow slavishly every whim of the mode is to lose that poetry of dress that is so intrisincally a part of the fine personality.

  • Oh, never mind the fashion. When one has a style of one's own, it is always twenty times better.

  • So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date.

  • The only coherent fashion statement I can recall from the entire [feminist] movement was the suggestion that Mrs. Cleaver, Beaver's mom, would on the whole have been a happier woman had she not persisted in vacuuming while wearing high heels. This, I still believe.

  • As a lifelong fashion dropout, I have still read enough fashion mags while waiting at the dentist's to know that the object of fashion is to make A Statement — all I've achieved, statement-wise, is 'Woman Who Wears Clothes So She Won't Be Naked.'

  • ... it is possible to study fashion the way one can study a work of art, so that it reflects significantly upon the issues and conflicts of its own day.

  • ... fashion seems to exist for an abstract person who is not you or me.

  • The erotic element always present in fashion, the kiss of loving labor on the body, is now overtly expressed by language. Belts hug or clasp; necklines plunge; jerseys bind. The word exciting tingles everywhere.

    • Mary McCarthy,
    • "Up the Ladder From Charm to Vogue" (1950), On the Contrary ()
  • Fashion, as we knew it, is over; people wear now exactly what they feel like wearing.

    • Mary Quant,
    • in David Bailey and Peter Evans, Goodbye Baby and Amen ()
  • ... high fashion has little to do with what women wear and a lot to do with what retailers mark down later.

  • I wear the midi because I feel if you're going to look ugly, you may as well look this year's ugly.

    • Joan Rivers,
    • in Joey Adams, Speaker's Bible of Humor ()
  • Does fashion matter? Always — though not quite as much after death.

  • You can't keep an exciting fashion down.

  • Cosmetics today are big business — very big business. ... Success is based on the simple premise that if it's a question of being attractive and fashionable, you can sell people anything.

  • Fashion is everywhere and about everything. It is folly, vanity and the fun of it all. It is disguise, innuendo, and cunning. It is mean, gorgeous and ambitious, and definitely the last word for the next few seconds.

  • It is for themselves that most women dress, not for others. On the exploitation of such fundamental truths are fortunes made.

  • [To a woman who claimed she'd rather be dead than unconfined and unfashionable:] My dear, if you continue to lace as tightly as you do now, you will not long have the privilege of choice. You will be both dead and out of fashion.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • 1845, in Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Stranger and Traveler: The Story of Dorothea Dix, American Reformer ()
  • I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch.

  • ... it is not chic to be too chic.

  • Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.

  • Fashion is general; style is individual ...

  • ... no fashion has ever been created expressly for the lean purse or for the fat woman: the dressmaker's ideal is the thin millionairess.

  • I see fashion as a proclamation or manifestation of identity, so, as long as identities are important, fashion will continue to be important.

  • I love the fact that fashion always changes, and I hate the fact that it always changes.

  • ... fashion absolutely matters, but it doesn't matter absolutely.

  • To call a fashion wearable is the kiss of death. No new fashion worth its salt is ever wearable.

  • Fashion is a language. Some know it, some learn it, some never will ...

  • Vogue always did stand for people's lives. I mean, a new dress doesn't get you anywhere; it's the life you're living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.

  • The fashion industry is no more able to preserve a style that men and women have decided to abandon than to introduce one they do not choose to accept.

  • I can't draw, I can't paint, but put a piece of fabric in my hands and magic happens.

    • Pauline Trigère,
    • in Maxine Block, Anna Herthe Rothe, and Charles Moritz, Current Biography Yearbook ()
  • [On being told a woman had been buried in one of Trigère's dresses:] You see? With a Trigère you can go anywhere!

  • Fashion is made to become unfashionable.

  • Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in Marcel Haedrich, Coco Chanel: Her Life, Her Secrets ()
  • A dress made right should allow one to walk, to dance, even to ride horseback.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in The Good Housekeeping Women's Almanac ()
  • One person's fashion is another person's disaster.

  • How much of fashion is fueled by insecurity — for better or worse?

  • The fashion industry [is] built on, and thrives on, our collective insecurity.

  • The fact is, there is only one body ideal in fashion, and most likely, you don't have it.

  • ... fashion is a capricious deity ...

  • Remember, 20 percent of women have inferiority complexes, 70 percent have illusions.

  • Fashions are born and they die too quickly for anyone to learn to love them.

  • Glamour really has to do with good lighting, doesn't it?

    • Nigella Lawson,
    • in Tracy Cochran, "The Feast of Life," Publishers Weekly ()
  • It's what you leave off a dress that makes it smart.

  • Fashion reacts against itself to renew itself.

  • To me, the worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.

  • My philosophy is fashion says 'me, too,' while style says 'only me.'

    • Lynn Dell,
    • in Ari Seth Cohen, Advanced Style ()