Some fashion English

Can you learn English from fashion stories? A lot. Here's proof.

This is fun, but it's not easy. It is important that you understand that the fashion show pretends to be backstage of a beauty contest. There you see contestants using dirty tricks to damage their rival's chances of winning and to increase their own chances. That's the idea behind the headline: "Fight and be Fabulous".

Some of the sentences are long and they may be a bit difficult at first. I suggest you listen to story one or more times so you can see how the parts of the sentences fit together.

Now for the fun part: Look at the photos of the fashions. But also read the descriptions of the fashions and try to find examples of them from the photos.

Click button to listen to Fashion English and rightclick to download

Fight, and be Fabulous

Milin unveils a feisty new collection 

Samila Wenin

You can't say Autumn/Winter 2010 is a very flattering season when it comes to how local designers have unleashed their concepts for their new collection. Two of Bangkok Fashion Society's ladieswear giants, namely Disaya and Kloset, gave us the dark side of the female psyche and temperament and now, even fashionistas' new favourite Milin is joining the clan in bringing the most bitchy aspect of the female world onto the runway.

Beauty queen pageants set, not the stage, but mood and tone for the Autumn/Winter 2010 CatFight for Spotlight collection, which was revealed to selected press a few weeks ago. The brand looks at ugly doings and dirty tricks a pageant contestant employs to put down her rivals and get herself to the crown.

It sounds like fun but, well, a fashion collection? Attempting to capture the backstage chaos in all its nastiness, the collection however shows off some pretty neat and prim design work. You have forms that align with Milin's favourite pieces like high-waisted shorts, mini-skirts, mini-dresses and flirty blouses, on a palette that's based on various shades of nude, representing the different shades of skin tone of beauty queens from various ethnicities –  with champagne beige, beige and pale gold, with bold tango red and black to hint at the heated rivalry.

"Key items we want to highlight this season are high-waisted shorts, which will be very short and best matched with floaty half top," said designer Milin Yuvacharuskul.

They might be familiar shapes, but Milin incorporates some new techniques inspired by the beauty pageant. You have here some draping and fabrics layering that reflect the layered curtains found backstage, and a cape blouse inspired by the cloak the winning beauty queen wears.

You can read the full story here:

backstage – in the area behind the stage in a theatre, including the rooms where the actors get dressed  หลังเวที
beauty contest / pageant – a competition in which women are judged on how physically attractive they are ประกวดนางงาม
contestant – someone who competes in a contest ผู้แข่งขัน ผู้เข้าประกวด
unveil – to announce something that was not known before เปิดเผยข้อมูล
feisty – active, forceful and full of determination คล่องแคล่ว, กระฉับกระเฉง
fabulous – extremely good  เยี่ยม
flattering – making someone look or seem better or more attractive than usual
unleash – to release suddenly a strong, uncontrollable and usually destructive force  ปล่อย
concept – a principle or idea ความคิด
psyche – the part of your mind that controls your attitudes and behaviour จิตใจ,วิญญาณ
temperament – the part of your character that affects your moods and the way you behave อารมณ์,นิสัย,ภาวะจิตใจ
fashionista – someone who is very interested in fashion or who works in the fashion industry
clan – a very large family a group of families who are related to each other, in this case, a group of fashion designers ตระกูล
bitchy – rude or cruel about or towards someone else; often talking unkindly about other people ซึ่งพูดให้ร้ายคนอื่น
aspect – one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc ด้าน,มุม
runway – catwalk; the raised area at a fashion show that the models walk along พื้นที่ยกสูงขึ้นเป็นทางยาวและแคบ (สำหรับนางแบบเดินแบบ)
set the stage for – to make something possible or easier to be done  ปูทางไว้สำหรับ
mood – atmosphere; the feeling that exists in a place บรรยากาศ
tone – the general character of a place or event; the general mood or main qualities of something ลักษณะทั่วๆไป
reveal – to show or let something become known เปิดเผย
press – newspapers and magazines, etc. สื่อมวลชน
brand – a product or group of products that has its own name and is made by one particular company. ตราสินค้า
employ – to use ใช้
rival – a person you are competing against or opposing คู่แข่ง
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess การจราจล
nastiness – unkind or offensive behaviour ความน่ารังเกียจ
neat – (1) carefully arranged and looking nice; (2) good, or nice เรียบร้อย, สะอาดตา, ดี
prim – neat and sensible; formal and correct เรียบร้อย, เป็นระเบียบ
align – to connect with; to support  ที่เกี่ยวข้อง, ที่สนับสนุน
waist – the middle part of the body that is narrower than the parts above and below   เอว
high-waisted – high up on the waist
flirty – behaving as if you are sexually attracted to someone, although not seriously ทำเจ้าชู้
blouse – a shirt for a woman or girl เสื้อครึ่งตัวของสตรี
palette – a range of colours
shade – a type or degree of a colour ปริมาณสีที่แตกต่างกันเล็กน้อย
nude – the colour of the human skin; not wearing any clothes สีผิวหนัง เปลือยกาย
ethnicity – belonging to a particular ethnic group ลักษณะของเชื้อชาติหรือกลุ่มชนที่เหมือนกันหรือต่างกัน
beige – a pale creamy brown colour สีน้ำตาลอ่อน
pale – light and not bright in colour อ่อน, ซีด
bold – very bright, clear, or strong in colour and therefore easy to notice เด่น ชัดเจน
hint – to say or do something that shows, but not directly, what is meant แย้ม
heated – angry โกรธ, ฉุนเฉียว
rivalry – competition between groups of people, business, teams, etc. การแข่งขันกัน,การเป็นคู่ต่อสู้กัน
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ
highlight – to stress; to make something more noticeable  ที่เน้นย้ำ
float – to be lighter than air, and to move slowly through it ลอย
floaty – appearing to float
match – to combine well with something else เข้ากัน (กับ)
incorporate – to include as part of something larger  ซึ่งรวมเข้าเป็นหนึ่งเดียวกัน
draping – cloth or a piece of clothing fitting loosely over something ประดับด้วยผ้าคลุม
fabric – cloth, especially when it is used for making things such as clothes or curtains
layering – cutting something (hair, cloth) in different lengths so that it forms layers that lie over one another  การทำให้เป็นชั้น
reflect – to show สะท้อน แสดงถึง
curtain – a long piece of cloth that hangs down or covers a window ม่าน
cape – a loose piece of clothing without sleeves that hangs from your shoulders เสื้อคลุมไม่มีแขน
inspire – to give someone the idea for a piece of work ทำให้เกิด บันดาลใจให้
cloak – a loose outer piece of clothing without sleeves, which fastens at the neck เสื้อคลุมหลวม ๆ

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager