also available at:



Female's F-Dictionary: The Fundamentals Of Fashion Et Al.

A tongue-in-cheek mini compendium of all the "F" words we love.
MORE FROM 45th Anniversary
Fashion loves its tribes. Perhaps most famously immortalised, when Gianni Versace sent the bevy of supermodels (in its original sense) consisting of Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington down his Fall/Winter ’91 show together, lip-synching to George Michael’s Freedom! ’90. FAUX FUR
2018 saw a slew of major fashion houses — Maison Margiela, Michael Kors, Versace, Armani and Gucci — declaring that they’d drop the use of fur. Margiela creative director John Galliano, long a proponent of the material, even went on record to say that “you can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!” Our view? Check this out. FEATHERS
Feathers are possibly the most important accoutrements for S/S’19. While plumage has been used to accessorise since the Middle Ages, we think Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli has been a driving force behind its resurgence, especially with those indelible giant feathered headdresses from the house’s superb S/S’18 couture collection. FENTY BEAUTY
Rihanna’s makeup label may have only launched less than two years ago — September 2017, to be exact — but its industry-sweeping effect has been documented every step of the way. The songstress launched Fenty Beauty with its now signature 40 shades of foundation, catering for a wide variety of skin tones. Something so simple and sensible, it makes you wonder why the established labels didn’t do so in the first place. Now everyone is playing catch-up, and we’ve recently learnt that Fenty Beauty generated sales of 500 million euros in its first year alone — outpacing its nearest competitor, Kylie Cosmetics (the latter reportedly earned $420 million in 18 months). FILMS
Other than music and art, film is a constant medium designers have been tapping on since time immemorial. A great place to start? Funny Face (1957), starring Audrey Hepburn as a shy bookstore clerk who gets plucked into the world of high fashion. FRANKEN-SNEAKERS
Sneakers have been dominating footwear for the past five years or so and none more so than these incredibly chunky styles modelled after the ones worn by not-so-stylish dads in the ’90s. Balenciaga’s archetypal Triple S design was arguably the contemporary pioneer that launched a thousand “inspired” versions. If you’re not a fan, good news, it looks like the sneaker world is veering towards another trend this year: tech and performance kicks. #FRONTROWLIFE
Long held as a sacred cow in the industry, the front row was traditionally reserved for the most high-ranking editors, celebrities and buyers. The seating plan has since been switched up since about a decade ago, with the influx of fashion bloggers when D&G sat personalities such as BryanBoy two seats to the right of Anna Wintour. FLOWERS
No matter the season or year, you can be sure flowers are a permanent motif in the fashion industry, whether as inspiration, prints or as a gift. Flowers may not be “groundbreaking” in the hands of most florists, but if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind posies as a present, Humid House is our top recommendation in Singapore. Pictured here: Chanel Fine Jewellery’s Fil de Comete Watch nestled in the mauve red bract of the ornamental banana, styled and shot by botany activist Zaki Jamil, featured in Female’s October 2018 issue. FUTURISM
Fashion has been obsessed with the idea of the future since forever; the likes of Iris Van Herpen and closer to home, Jamela Law rely on technologies such as 3D-printing. Earlier pioneers include Paco Rabanne in the ’60s with his 12 Unwearable Dresses made of materials such as square and rectangular aluminum plates joined with metal rings, which was considered forward for its time. Pictured here: Givenchy couture F/W’99 by Alexander McQueen, who collaborated with tech specialist Kees Van der Graaf to create a bodysuit made out of perspex with 1400 flashing LED bulbs incorporated. FISHY
We’ve known that sea creatures such as turtles, whales and sea birds are inadvertently consuming plastic pollution. But the latest discovery that sea creatures at the very bottom of the Mariana Trench — the deepest natural trench in the world at more than 10km deep — had pieces of plastic pollution within their guts is another level altogether, suggesting that no matter how obscure or remote a location, the plastic scourge is inescapable. And that stinks. Here, some suggestions from local creatives on how you can do your part. FUCHSIA
If there’s one colour to wear now: see Gemma Chan at the Oscars (our pick for best-dressed), or Molly Goddard F/W’19. F-UPS
Probably the biggest fashion scandal of 2018 was the self-inflicted implosion of the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show that was scheduled to take place in Shanghai last November. You’ll have read all about it via industry watchdog Diet Prada and all the collateral damage the brand suffered. The fashion industry has made many positive gains in recent years such as tighter regulations for models but recent incidents with Gucci (blackface sweater), Prada (blackface keychain) and Burberry (hoodie with attached noose) indicate that there’s a lot more to be done. The industry tends to suffer from a reputation of lip service and such missteps will only contribute to reinforcing that stereotype. While brands are scrambling to rectify that, only time will tell if it’s a convenient, politically-correct front or, bodes a better future. FRENCH CHIC
Certain tropes in fashion never die, such as the immortal idea of effortless French chic. Pictured here: annoyingly cliched, perfect embodiment of French chic, Jeanne Damas. Check out her make-up routine video for Vogue and you’ll understand what we’re talking about — she apparently has a croissant and a coffee before applying her makeup. Thank you, next. FIRST MONDAY IN MAY
The First Monday In May film documented the lead-up to the 2015 edition of the Met Gala — the star of which is Rihanna. She’s pictured here looking smug AF because four years after she debuted this Guo Pei couture cape (dubbed the “Yellow Empress”) at the Met Gala, no one else has managed to come close to topping this incredible moment. FLAWSOME
The term ‘flawsome’ (portmanteau: flawless and awesome) might have originated somewhere around 2014, but the general sentiment behind it — appreciating you as you are, “flaws” and all — has clearly only continue to pick up steam, and that can only be a good thing.