Diegogarcity, Fake Bolero Edition

by Erin on May 20, 2008

Does this ever happen to you? One day you notice something odd, or new, or both, and then over the next several days (weeks, months, years) you start noticing the same phenomenon ALL THE TIME. There's a name for this; believe it or not — it's called diegogarcity.

And, anyway, I must have given you all diegogarcity, big time, with the fake boleros, because you are all now seeing them everywhere. Here's a recent submission, from Lorraine (or, seeing as she prefers to be known by her Sewing Conspiracy Drag Name, Dixie S. Hoyt):


McCalls 9756

This one is SLIGHTLY more elegant than some of the other candidates, but it's still fakety-fake-fake.

If you can live with the deception and the tissue of lies, click on the image to visit Woodland Farms Antiques; the pattern's a B39 and $15.

And keep those fake-bolero entries coming, if you would … maybe later we can have a fake-bolero-off. (You know, like a contest, with voting. Because the actual fake boleros DON'T COME OFF.)

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Allison S-K May 20, 2008 at 7:53 am

It may be fake, but it is super-cute. I love the scalloped neckline below the collar. And it is less obviously fake than some of your previous candidates for best fake bolero dress. This one gets my vote!

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Eirlys May 20, 2008 at 8:04 am

And the real name for fake bolero syndrome is “bogus bolerosity”. Thought you should know (sorry, have no citations, but it feels so right).

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Latter-Day Flapper May 20, 2008 at 8:06 am

I actually like the fake-bolero thing. I like the bolero look but I’m not really a jacket person, and the layered short-jacket thing doesn’t work on me (I’m pear-shaped; boleros make all of me look as wide as my butt, which is not good). A fake-bolero gives you the same effect but with less actual bulk.

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Stephanie May 20, 2008 at 8:24 am

I always heard that “reticular activation” was the term for when you start noticing something over and over once you’re made aware of itex. you want a puppy, suddenly you see puppies everywhere

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Flowerdew Onehundred May 20, 2008 at 8:51 am

I just sold this fake bolero havin’ dress on the eBay.Marian Martin 9116

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Rachelle May 20, 2008 at 9:11 am

So far, I’ve escaped diegogarcity, thank goodness. I HAVE been seeing a number of fake pockets, though, which irritates me far more than fake boleros. It’s hard on my container fetish to see the openings of containers with no holding power.I love things that hold things.Signed,Kiki Caswell, sewing conspirator.

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Alison May 20, 2008 at 9:26 am

Diegogarcity? I’ve been using ‘Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon’ to mean the same thing, but diegogarcity is a lot more compact. I learned a new word!

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anthrokeight May 20, 2008 at 9:36 am

Whitstable Bushmill here wondering if there’s some kind of strange cosmic something-or-another going on. A bunch of fake in-drag sewing conspirators trying to sell one another garments with fake features. Fake pockets, fake boleros… is there nothing sacred anymore?Also, Alison, I think all of St. Paul Minnesota also calls the phenomenon Baader-Meinhof. That’s the term used in the St. Paul Pioneer Press’s “Bulletin Board” feature for such events.I like this dress better than the other fake boleros, but that’s not saying much- fake features on clothes drive me nuts; maybe this is because of all the fake necklaces and chains and vests that decorated clothes when I was a kid in the 80′s. I’d like to see a real one made up. Maybe I’d be persuaded by a dress in 3D.

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Jen O May 20, 2008 at 9:41 am

Bolero?Nah, it’s a “mantua”, notice the seam lines all the way down the front. And that center front piece in the bodice? that’s a “stomacher”. Soooo not a bolero, but a new faux to know, (hint: dress a day c. 1795)

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Jen O May 20, 2008 at 9:42 am

sheesh, that should read”hint: dress a day c. 1695″

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Skippy Magee May 20, 2008 at 9:44 am

Thanks for the link to Astrogirl’s flickr set, it’s definitely worth a click-through!

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astrojen May 20, 2008 at 9:53 am

I love learning new words, one can never know them all.i have experienced many times and recognized the phenomenon, but I never knew of any word to describe it. It usually manifests in the form of learning a new word. Now I should not be surpised if I should see it everywhere for a while; just validating the phenomenon.Very cool Erin,you always have us thinking.(even though you are a professional writer for a major retail outlet specializing in sewing trivia and vintage out of print patterns and whose sole ambition is to corner the entire web ad market with your blog, thereby eventually forcing the price of web ad space higher than a gallon of gas.)

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Latter-Day Flapper May 20, 2008 at 10:09 am

Fake pockets are WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong! Absence of pockets is wrong enough, but absence of pockets combined with tease-y intimations of pockets that do not exist is grounds for . . . something. Breach of promise suit or something. That has to qualify as some kind of crime.

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Deirdre May 20, 2008 at 10:17 am

How about “fauxlero”.

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kim p. May 20, 2008 at 10:23 am

Erin (or anyone else)–How does one pronounce “diegogarcity”? Thank you, thank you, for this word! I love finding out that there is a single, discrete word for something that usually takes many vague and awkward sentences to describe! I have a hunch “diegogarcity” is going to become my next diegogarcitic experience!

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Ju May 20, 2008 at 10:24 am

I liked learning the etymology of serendipity, one of my favorite words:> It is a play on serendipity, as Serendip is an old name for Sri Lanka.But it makes me wonder: how many old names does Sri Lanka have?

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Cookie May 20, 2008 at 10:34 am

Oh, I like this one! I’m kind of fascinated by the idea of some 1940′s secretary making these “fauxlero” outfits in obviously contrasting colors, to look like she’s invested in a suit when it’s all actually just a 1-ZIP-DRESS! (The girls around the water cooler were wondering why she didn’t mix up her separates once in a while.) A very entertaining read on this “diegogarcity” issue can be found in the novel COINCIDENCE by David Ambrose. It’s a supernatural thriller, and lest even one amongst you stand to accuse me of the dreaded shilling, hear yee now that the book’s available at the library, because it was written in 2003! Also note: New Pic. Your friend and co-conspirator, Francesca Bentley (Hollywood Division)

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Cookie May 20, 2008 at 10:41 am

Oh dear. I blew up that image so much I look kind of…mottled. I must work on it further in the Spy Lab.

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Eirlys May 20, 2008 at 10:42 am

What happened to your teeth there, Cookie? Seems a little bit of vampire is in your vamp there. Still, she’s good. Add her to the shortlist.

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Theresa aka Velvet Plaza May 20, 2008 at 10:53 am

Velvet Plaza checking in to see if we are all part of some beautiful pattern induced dream Erin is having, as we don’t exist outside this blogsphere. I too like this fauxlero dress and was momentarily poised to buy it. I reminded myself I already bought 8 vintage patterns Saturday. (For $1 each! Oh the insanity of senseless consumerism!) Sincerely,Velvet PlazaSewing Consipirator, FRA

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What-I-Found May 20, 2008 at 11:41 am

See, how I have to do all kinds of work, because believe or not my shops search box doesn’t have “Fake Bolero” as a choice. Once again I am disappointed by technology. (BTW I am going to stick with my Pirate Name since it seems to well…fit me so well.)Regards,Esmerelda Fierce Arse

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lorrwill May 20, 2008 at 11:56 am

So Erin, are you confessing to being a diegogarcity enabler? Using fauxlero mind control through the internets? Hee hee heeAw shucks! I made the front page. I feel all chokey! I want to thank Erin and the academy for this honor…This fauxlero I plan to try to figure out how to copy. I am a shawl collar addict but many sizes smaller than it comes in. I love the peek-a-boo sweetheart neckline. I have no idea where I would wear it but I dont care.Main Street Mall has been having some issues but it is up now if you want to see the other two interesting specimens that I found…They put pockets where?!?!?: http://tinyurl.com/5yvfemFor the Fauxlero Collezioni (this might be a repeat, I am not sure): http://tinyurl.com/47dcnt Dixie S. HoytHappy Conspirator, FRA

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Sue May 20, 2008 at 12:36 pm

“The etymology for the latter word relates to the island, Serendip, in the Indian Ocean. Diego Garcia is another island in those waters, providing a parallel for serendipity if such be desired.”http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwftd/message/901

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Lisa @ the Vintage Fashion Library May 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Fauxlero. What a great word!

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Eirlys May 20, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Yep, “fauxlero” has got to be the right word. Nicely coined, Deirdre! Bogus bolerosity might just be part of the definition, maybe.

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Velvet Plaza May 20, 2008 at 1:42 pm

In the Army, when I was in Journalism school – we would pick the “word of the day” (we, meaning the students) would pick a word and we would all have use that word in whatever article we wrote that day. When it was my turn, I chose funambulist. 90 different people had to work funambulist into articles about tax assistance, day car, bus routes, etc. It was a lot of fun. To bad we didn’t have “fauxlero” and Bolerosity!

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Anonymous May 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm

And dresses with fake boleros are so much harder to iron than a real dress and a real bolero! Why bother?Shaun

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BethB May 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm

I love these dresses, especially the fauxlero from the May 16 post. I may have to learn pattern drafting to create a really dreadful but cool dress like these.

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Cookie May 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Don’t know if anyone else mentioned this, but did we note there are also FAKE BUTTONS on the neckline? (Well, the buttons themselves look real, but their actual purpose? Come on; any buttons that hang out with fake boleros are up to NO GOOD. Damn layabouts!) My new motto is: Friends Don’t Let Friends Wear Fake Boleros.

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Cookie May 20, 2008 at 2:38 pm

PS: please excuse the fact that I have no nostrils in this pic. I just can’t get it right.

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Robin May 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I think the Fake Bolero dress is a good future Secret Life. As in “I could have a whole ‘nother life if only I could shake this fake bolero”

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thebookof May 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Am I a shameful cad if I deny the boleroness of this fakery and claim it a faux coat instead? I just see coat…faux coat

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Cookie May 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Dear thebookof: I, myself, can see what you mean about the somewhat coat-ishness of this look. Perhaps we should all step back. Are we perhaps being a bit harsh, and seeing fauxleros where there really are none? Have we, collectively, created a fauxlero witch hunt? Perhaps we diagnosed too quickly. Because if the central panel(s) of the dress were of a contrasting fabric, I think the dress might resemble a redingote, or (according to Those Glorious Glamour Years by Margaret J. Bailey), “a long, lightweight coat, unlined and open at the front, worn with a simple dress.” I’ve always wanted one! And that, I suppose, is why I bought the pattern. There. I’ve said it. I bought the pattern. (pause) (even longer pause) GOD HELP ME!

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Kelly May 21, 2008 at 1:01 am

Oh I love that pattern. I like this one even better then the last one. k the one without a sewing conspirator name :( because most of the streets I have lived on have been a number or a direction and the pet I had growing up was a huge st. bernard named Chuncky… and Chuncky North IS NOT a good drag name… No matter how you look at it… :(

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lorrwill May 21, 2008 at 1:49 am

But at least it is hecka funny Kelly.cookie, you seriously crack me up!eirlys and velvet, we need a word for the fakeness coatness thing. Fauxcoat just lacks fabulosity. (Sounds like a engine having trouble turning over or the hiccups or something.)

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Eirlys May 21, 2008 at 10:48 am

Lorrwill, do you think it’s a pseud-coat or just a dress with a bad case of jacket-envy? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s a jack-dress? Where do we stand on these wannabe garments? Are they to be celebrated, tolerated or deprecated? Is it a *good* thing for clothing to aspire to be something else, or an unfortunate form of self-delusion? Or even a pernicious, fraudulent attempt to put one over on the trusting general public – a complete fabrication?Watch out, fake pockets and buttons, we’ve got your number!Throw a bucket of cold water over me, somebody, please…

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Eirlys May 21, 2008 at 11:09 am

Or maybe you could call this a dress with jacket-itude?

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns May 21, 2008 at 11:23 am

Here y’all go.. I have a girl’s fauxlero dress pattern.. and will henceforth use ‘fauxlero’ in the description for any future ones like it I find!Advance 2203

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Cookie May 21, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Oh my goodness…it’s a BABY fauxlero! They do start them young, don’t they? I suddenly feel a little hypocritical, as I bought the faux redingote (or fauxgote) just moments after bashing its buttons. But you know, these poor, malformed, fake-y items can be pretty…if we just don’t THINK about their mechanics too much. They are humble, upwardly mobile things, and maybe we shouldn’t totally ban them from our closets out of hand. I myself am still torn. But live and let live, sew and let sew…

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns May 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Baby fauxlero.. bauxlero or is that going TOO far.. ? hahaha!

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Cookie May 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm

I don’t think there’s such a thing as going TOO far with these items. When it comes to pushing the boundaries, THEY pushed first…

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Velvet Plaza May 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Faux coat — Faut? No such thing as goign too far here, on the fauxlero/bauxlero

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Velvet Plaza May 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Hey Jen at mom’s patterns if it’s a faux vest is it a Faust? Is it destined to some fashion/pattern hell? Did it make a deal with a sewing devil?Faux coat = Faut? Foat? Fauot? Fauxect? Jauxct?

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La BellaDonna May 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

What we have here – what Cookie has here – and I congratulate her, but it kind of sucks, because I was going to buy it, is, as Cookie noted, a false redingote (and I totally have the same book! I bought a pattern for one of the dress/jacket combos in it from evadress.com!!), to wit: a redingfaux. And I believe I actually have not one, but two actual, genuine redingote patterns in The Stash: One from the 30s, one from the 50s. For those of you who long for redingotes of your very own, observe the easiest way to mock one up: a Shoulder/Princess pattern (as opposed to Armscye/Princess pattern), with some or all of the front panel removed, thereby turning your dress into a garment of coatness. There you have it; a redingote. And with the front panel in, you have a dress that fits under it. Good heavens, I actually have a 2008 redingote, evening gown variety, I believe. I will check The Stash, and report further. Congratulations, Cookie, I’m sure it will look lovely on you. *sob* (I could have moved faster; I found the instructions a mite confusing at the time.)Velvet Plaza, I believe that one of those articles would be a waistfaux, for the false vest; for the coat, I offer you the overfaux (if it is a different variety from our redingfaux.)

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Cookie May 21, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Dear Bella: I feel your pain. There are quite a few patterns I wish I had NOW, and in fact WOULD have now, had my grubby, stubby, midnight fingers moved just a mite quicker over the keys. But, I was reading a book recently that says you can trace your patterns onto new paper, and never actually cut into the original pattern itself. SO, we can figure out a way to make a tracing of the redingfaux pattern for you, with Xeroxed instructions, of course. We shall prevail! I want to make it in a drapey red for the holidays, with white down the front panel. Widely spaced Faux Frog (fraug) closure at the waist, of course. If you don’t have other projects lined up and need it soon, let me know. PS: The pic of Fay Wray in the navy redingote in that Hollywood book is what made me want one!

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns May 21, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Hmm, interesting combo for faux vest.. I think I like the overfaux!And I just realized in utter amazement that the bauxlero would actually be PRONOUNCED bolero, so might cause confusion. Need to sleep on that one! lol

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Velvet Plaza May 22, 2008 at 8:37 am

So we have established overfaux. What about underfaux…could there be such a thing?(secretly still liking Faust – the faux vest from Hell)

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Eirlys May 22, 2008 at 11:29 am

Nice work, wordmeisters!The “overfaux” seems to have it, La BellaDonna. Am also loving the phrase “a garment of coatness”! And your store of pattern knowledge is totally gobsmacking (to use a good British term). Velvet Plaza, I just adore the idea of “faust” and it’s pact with the sewing devil! [What's the trade-off? Eating pins for eternity? Having your seams ripped out and re-sewn daily? Writing a sewing blog and having a recurrent troll?]Bauxlero is interesting too, Jen-Momspatterns. It’s got something – definitely a word to read off the page (though you can pronounce it a leetle bit differently from “bolero” – at least from how I’d say “bolero”: short o in the first syllable as in “off”, yeah?), but there’s something about the circularity of it and its un-obviousness that’s appealing. So don’t throw the Bauxlero out with the bathwater just yet.On mantuas and redingotes. Where would one advise heading to find out more about these items of apparel? My quick googles didn’t find me anything quite as idiot-proof as I’d hoped. Squinted briefly at some tiny grainy sketches of period dress and am none the wiser.

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knackeredhackette May 22, 2008 at 11:50 am

Can’t believe I allowed in a rogue possessive inverted comma – I’d toast anybody else who did that (me, the grammar devil). For those who didn’t spot it, “it’s pact” should of course be “its pact”. Mea culpa.

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Eirlys May 22, 2008 at 11:53 am

And NOW I must apologise for posting with a ROGUE NAME!!! That’s my WORK name… Oh heavens, now I need some earl grey… and where did I put my copy of ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ …?

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Cookie May 22, 2008 at 12:53 pm

eirlys: I think 20th Century redingotes can have a variety of shapes. It basically has the look of a coat over a dress, yet is thin enough to not need removal indoors. It doesn’t have to look like a coat. Here are 2 versions I found (neither of which I’m crazy about) Designers got versatile with this; notice one is flannel and the other chiffon. http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k148/kfmost/Patterns%20-%20Examples/Redingote.jpghttp://www.oldpatterns.com/jumper/3960mccall.jpg

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Velvet Plaza May 22, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I think all three punishments are descended upon one who makes a pact with the sewing devil – eating pins, resewing seams and visiting trolls.

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lorrwill May 22, 2008 at 6:24 pm

So did redingotes evolve or de-evolve, as the case may be, into dusters?(although in the country/outback a duster is not a coat you wear indoors.)Aw you all are too smrt – I mean smart for me.

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Cookie May 22, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Don’t worry, Lorrwill: Reningotes are pretty uncommon items, and I didn’t know what one was until I saw a picture of a 1930′s movie star in one and though “What’s THAT?” In fact, the book said they seem to become less popular each time they’re revived. I still don’t even know how to pronounce the word, and I have to check its spelling each time! I would think dusters would have evolved out of reningotes…because I think of those as being Edwardian, and reningotes may have appeared around the time of Napoleon? (sp?)

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Eirlys May 23, 2008 at 5:10 am

Thanks Cookie: those were really interesting, though I think I’m blind to the subtler distinctions between these garments of coatness (still loving it, La Belladonna!). Stands to reason that they must be somehow related to dusters, Lorrwill. Is the duster so-called because you stay home and do a little light dusting in it (I’m thinking Doris Day) or is that too obvious?There’s a bit on Wikipedia here about redingotes : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redingote It seems to have been an 18th Century French attempt to say the English “riding coat”. I’m guessing that the resulting continental garments would have had far more panache than their English cousins – it was ever thus – and I’m also guessing that they were so obviously more stylish than the English originals that the French started to export them back to England, thus our use of the Frenchy term. But that’s the sloppy kind of logic that means I’d never make the grade as a lexicographer.There’s probably a good term for these words that jump lock, stock and barrel straight into another language, but I don’t know it. Any enlightenment you can offer here, Erin? Another example is the Japanese word for suit, which sounds like “Savirow” and is a corruption of “Saville Row”: the street in London famous for its tailors. But that might open the floodgates on a whole slew of new posts about eponymous places, because fabric and clothing names are littered with them. My favourite has absolutely nothing to do with either: the Russian for railway station sounds like “vaxhal” which, the story goes, was lifted straight from the South London train station, Vauxhall. Apparently, a delegation of 19th Century Russian railway developers did some reconnoitering there and approved – or maybe misunderstood which part of the term “Vauxhall Station” meant “station”! Who knows? This is mystifying if you’ve ever spent any time waiting for a train at this not-very-impressive station. Why not Clapham Junction, say, with it’s dozens of platforms? If any Londoners/railways enthusiasts know the answer to this conundrum, please let me know: it bothers me.Sorry, that mention of “eponymous” was a bit showy-offy, but I love the word and think it needs dusting off every now and again. I’ve hardly ever used it since my English degree. An “eponym” is one who gives his name to a people, place or institution – says my ancient concise Oxford, so, if you’re talking about novels, the eponymous hero of ‘Tom Jones’ by Fielding, say, is Tom Jones. Easy. But my favourite eponymists – in terms of daily usage – would probably have to be Earl Grey, or possibly the Seventh Earl of Cardigan. See, the aristocracy exists for a reason!

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Cookie May 23, 2008 at 9:09 am

OH MY! The Vauxhall Station in London should most appropriately only have shops that sell faux clothing! And that means we can now call all Russian train stations…fauxhalls.

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Velvet Plaza May 23, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Goodness Cookie! No picture yet? Do you think you have some kind of image schizophrenia or multiple image disorder? I only ask because I have multiple home decor disorder. I can never decide if I am mid-century, Danish Modern, Asian Modern, Traditional or French Country. (I hope you did not think I was insulting you!)

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Cookie May 25, 2008 at 11:11 am

No…sadly, I have not committed to a final image yet. I had high hopes for this little lady. I named her Taffy and was going to add big Mr. Magoo style hornrimmed glasses to her, and be all done…but now I like the Betty Crocker looking lady (who still needs nostrils) or the “mottled” lady in the dark glasses. I believe they are our 2 finalists.

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Cookie May 29, 2008 at 12:43 pm

hmm…trying to see if I can edit my image. I have decided Taffy has to go!

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Cookie May 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm

There…better.

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Pratishtha Durga May 30, 2008 at 12:52 am

I remember doing a lot of Fake Bolero dresses when I was in school. Mom was really good with the sewing machine and she did a lot of those cuts. I now realize that she was just saving time :PThanks for the word. I had been trying to remember the word for precisely this phenomenon.

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Anonymous May 30, 2008 at 3:38 am
La BellaDonna June 12, 2008 at 8:32 am

Eirlys, you should start finding some lovely examples of “redingotes” at around 1780/85; many more around 1790. Look under “Directoire” “Incroyable” and “Marveilleuse”. And double-check the spellings, because I didn’t. ;) The English “riding coat” became a popular item of apparel with the French, as they turned from highly formal wear, to the more “natural,” country-influenced clothing of the English. Once the French had it, it then became a “redingote,” and traveled back across the Channel to England.You will start seeing references to “mantuas” during the late 1660s; Sam Pepys’ wife had one. You’ll see more recognizable ones starting at about 1670. They started, basically, as a kimono-shaped (sleeves-in-one) robe with a belt, worn over a corset and petticoat, and formalized into styles that are more recognizably 18th century. Both the French sack-back gown (gown with wide pleats hanging loose at back), and the English robe (gown with fitted back, rather than wide pleats), evolved out of the “mantua”; the “mantua-maker” was one’s dressmaker, for rather longer than mantuas themselves were worn. By the time “redingotes” were being worn, the “mantua” was well on its way out for all but the most formal occasion. You should be able to find links to these clothes. The more modern “redingote” in its more familiar form seems to have crystallized starting about the 1930s, and was most worn between 1930-1960 (based solely on what I have seen). They’re not worn a lot, but they do still crop up, and I think they make a lovely alternative to the standard suit.

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