May 5, 2010 - 6 comments

I con, because I can

3701484881_3b8b600205_o Lisa Fonssagrives


Yesterday a tweet by an esteemed blogger, read

'Can we please find an alternative to "icon"/"iconic" when discussing anything fashion-related? Not everyone has "iconic" style!'

Provoked, as I  usually am by her intelligent reflexions, I had to respond to this, with a post ...

It was as if she had read my mind...I have already ranted about the misuse of the word Couture...but I'm afraid it is not alone in the long list of abused words that seem to attribute things that are further away from what these should be defining in the first place....

According to Merriam-Webster


Variant(s): also ikon \ˈī-ˌkän\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from Greek eikōn, from eikenai to resemble
Date: 1572

1 : a usually pictorial representation : image
2 [Late Greek eikōn, from Greek] : a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
3 : an object of uncritical devotion : idol
4 : emblem, symbol <the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture — Paul Goldberger>
5 a : a sign (as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning b : a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that usually suggests the type of object represented or the purpose of an available function.


And as I write this post I just heard someone describe a highstreet mass produced dress with rhinestones as....VINTAGE!!..


Published by: eilisboyle in Rambling on Fashion, Work


May 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I’m honored that my humble tweet could inspire such a thoughtful post – I completely agree with you regarding the overuse of the term “vintage”. The same can be said of the term “luxury”. It’s as though marketeers have never heard of a thesaurus.

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Madeleine Gallay
May 6, 2010 at 2:31 am

This is so beautiful … and clever.

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May 10, 2010 at 4:38 am

Chic is another horribly misused and abused word.

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Silent Storyteller
May 10, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Editor! YES chic is horribly abused!!!!!

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le style et la matiere
May 10, 2010 at 8:44 pm

So glad you have mentioned this! I often feel like a language fuddy-dud. I attribute this to living in France. Not hearing English each day makes me extremely aware of ‘it’ words and other grammatical peculiarities – ‘I’m loving’… etc. My own experience aside – obviously, word excesses annihilate their meaning. ‘Iconic’ is definitely my bugaboo these days. At least in France, the term couture is safe!

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Silent Storyteller
May 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I’m not even a native English speaker and also feel sometimes I should mind my complaints on language..but as designer so many of these words degrade our work, so I feel quite strongly about their misuse…

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