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We Said It

You may be surprised to see what phrases in the common lexicon originated in the pages of WWD.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD 100 issue 11/01/2010

SA: Seventh Avenue


This story first appeared in the November 1, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

They Are Wearing: Copyrighted in 1924 and still very much in use.


Fashion Flash: Copyrighted in the Fifties.


The Locomotives: The movers and shakers.


RBs: Rich Bitches, coined in 1982.


Social Cyclones: Eighties terms for Gayfryd Steinberg and that ilk.


The Beautiful People: You know who you are.

Chic Savages: Well-dressed, well-mannered warriors whose smiles never fade.


The Empty Pit: The gossipy, underworld of the chic.


HotPants: Barely there shorts, coined in 1970. (Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward quickly jumped on the trend.) When lengths inched down, WWD promptly called them WarmPants.


Midi: The longer lengths originally inspired by Dr. Zhivago and seen in Paris in 1966. They would start to appear in ready-to-wear collections over the next few seasons.


Longuette: The longer skirts of the Seventies.

Jackie O: The former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Daddy O:
Her second husband.

Her Ultimate Elegance:
Gloria Guinness

The Tiny Terror:
Truman Capote

Mr. Fashion Right: Bill Blass

The Frog Pond: La Grenouille

L’Institut de l’Ennui: All those boring people.

Mr. Clean: Calvin Klein

Numero Uno:
Giorgio Armani

The Chic:

Kaiser Karl: Karl Lagerfeld

The Lunch Bunch: Affluent socialites.

Nouvelle Society: Eighties social climbers.

Fashion Nuns: Those who favor a monastery-type look from Yohji Yamamoto.

Sportive: Casual looks out of Paris in the Sixties.

Le Smoking: Smoking jackets à la Yves Saint Laurent.

Tough Chic: Hard-edged fashion.

Geek Chic: IT-friendly attire.

The Nursery of Fashion: What is Paris, France?

Walker: A self-possessed man-about-town escorting well-heeled women on the party circuit. It was said to be first used about Jerry Zipkin, who became a confidant to some of society’s best-known and most affluent women. Zipkin was also called the Social Moth, or SM, because of the indefatigable manner with which he carried out his mission.

Wobbly WASPs: Blueblood society types, titans, celebrities.


The Ubiquitor: A seasonal sobriquet awarded to the celeb or socialite who attends all things all the time.


Killer Bs: When the A-list gets too pricy, it’s time to summon these eager Bs to fill out any old front row.

The Delebrity: Celebrities who want to be designers and vice versa.

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