『日米英 ファッション用語イラスト事典』 若月 美奈・杉本 佳子 著 古川 広道 画
Dictionary patches holes in fashion barrier
The kaleidoscopically changing world of fashion is constantly developing new vocabulary. To keep up with the ever-changing fashion-speak, two fashionistas have recently published a fashion dictionary of English--from both sides of the Atlantic--and Japanese.
As the name suggests, the Illustrated Dictionary of Fashion: Japanese, American, British comes complete with illustrations. It also is filled with columns covering the origins of the words and industry anecdotes, providing readers with more than just a reference book.
The 926-page dictionary, which sells for 6,000 yen, was written by Mina Wakatsuki and Keiko Sugimoto, a London correspondent and a New York reporter for the Senken Shimbun fashion daily, respectively.
Wakatsuki and Sugimoto spent nine years completing the dictionary. The pair decided to write it after they discovered fashion-related English words and expressions found in fashion dictionaries published in Japan were often inaccurate. They also found that much of the vocabulary differs between American English and British English.
The Illustrated Dictionary of Fashion covers a wide range of buzzwords and indispensible vocabulary, including clothing, styles, accessories, patterns, fabric and business terms--accompanied by 3,000 illustrations.
For example, the Japanese word "sunika" is said to have been derived from the American English word "sneaker." But in Britain, the dictionary points out, that type of footwear is known as a "trainer."
Similarly, "wanpisu" is supposed to have come from "one-piece dress." But in both Britain and the United States, it is simply known as a dress.
Since the dictionary also explains romaji readings for words, non-Japanese speakers can learn how to pronounce the relevant terms in Japanese.
The columns also are worth reading. They include an anecdote about how the "Kelly Bag," made by the French brand Hermes, got its name: A photograph of Grace Kelly, former Princess of Monaco, hiding her pregnant form with the bag was carried in a magazine, quickly prompting the nickname.
The dictionary also says Hawaiian shirts were given their name by a tailor in Hawaii in the 1930s, but Japanese and Europeans who had emigrated to the islands had already been wearing a similar shirt made of fabrics such as those used in kimono.
"We tried to include as many 'living' words as we could. They are those actually used by people working in the fashion industry. We collected the words by interviewing people in the industry in Japan, the United States and Britain," Wakatsuki said.
For more information on the dictionary, visit the Senken Shimbun Web site at www.senken.co.jp/book/index.htm.