There’s a new (and very stylish) dictionary that just hit shelves yesterday. Chic-tionary: The Little Book Of Fashion Faux-cabulary is a hilarious dictionary of style and beauty terms you never knew existed. It takes its inspiration from the peculiar and amusing language of fashion people like Tyra Banks (smize), Man Repeller (arm party), and André Leon Tally (dreckitude), and contains more than two hundred made-up acronyms, abbreviations, and afflictions that are certain to leave an indelible glitter stain on the English language.
I received a copy of Chic-tionary just in time for my trip to Palm Beach this past weekend and could not put it down or stop laughing the whole time. Here is a shortlist of some of my favorite faux-cabulary words from Chic-tionary:
I also had the pleasure of chatting with Stephanie Simons yesterday and she could not be more delightful and entertaining!
What inspired you to write Chic-tionary?
Ever since I was a little girl, my parents used to make up unusual words to describe things, or come up with silly little nicknames for me, so I blame them for my wildly creative brain, which probably belongs somewhere in a fashion asylum. I was halfway through the manuscript for my first book All’s Fair In Love And Wardrobe, which features faux-cabulary like “glamnesia” (noun: when you glamorize the memory of your ex and conveniently forget all the reasons you broke up with him in the first place) when I thought ‘I should just go for it and make up an entire language for people who speak chic.’
This is a very thorough collection of fashion faux-cabulary. How long did it take you to write this book? Can you tell us about the process you went through to put it together?
It took less than a year, which is pretty fast, and during that time my brain never shut off. I had to keep a notepad by the bed so I could write down any ideas that came to me in my sleep. It could have been a never-ending process. I might still be thinking up words if my editor hadn’t set deadlines and kept me under control.
I swear there was at least one word on almost every page where I said, “that’s totally me!” or “I do that all the time!” What one word in Chic-tionary would you say best describes you?
All of the “blond” entries are based on my harrowing experience being a blond last year. I’m a natural brunette with a lot of red undertones in my hair and when I decided to go light, I could never get it the California-cool shade I wanted (I wanted it like yours, Catherine!). Instead, it was stuck somewhere between orange and blond, or only halfway there and nobody warned me about the consequences, namely that I would spend my rent on root upkeep and have to deep condition it every day if I didn’t want it to all fall out, haha. Hence the words “blondstipation” and “blondsequences” were born.
Can you tell us about a time when you used “bitch face” to avoid a situation?
Haha! Chronic Resting Bitch Face is a syndrome that’s common among most fashion editors and models. And lucky me, I was born with it, where my lips turn down at the corners ála Alicia Silverstone. I constantly have to reassure people I’m not mad at them even though I’m happy as a clam and beaming like a little ray of sunshine on the inside. Although it’s kind of a curse, it does help me keep the wrong kinds of men away on the subway.
Complete this sentence: The Alexander Wang x H&M partnership is trés, trés dope.
Did you see the models’ hats that just say WANG on them? I need one of those for frolicking around town. What I really, really need, though, is a Jennifer Lawrence for H&M collection with clothes bearing graphic reminders not to trip and fall on my ass.
You’ve had an exciting year with the release of two books in less than six months! What can we expect to see from you next?
A third book will happen, and I dream of a screenplay, but I’m pretty sure I need a 6-month-long nap first. My brain hasn’t been this fried since I dabbled in the peroxide.
I highly recommend you swing by Barnes & Noble or visit Amazon.com to get your copy of Chic-tionary today. It also makes for a great prezzie for your “curlfriends” (and even your “gay husband”) this holiday season!
Do you speak chic? Tell us which faux-cabulary word best describes you in the comments.