Alice band

A ribbon or band, often of velvet, used to hold one’s hair. Popular at the end of the 1800s following the publication of Lewis Carroll’s book Alice In Wonderland (1872) because the heroine used it to bind her long blond hair.

Acid Jazz

A movement and a fashion of spontaneous origin. In September 1988, with what many will remember as the second “Summer of Love” gone, after the first and classic one of 1967, Acid was the term most in vogue. Just like punk, zazou, swing, and hip hop, it indicates at the same time both everything and nothing. These words are the empty square necessary to play the game, as in Chinese checkers. Specifically, the term acid jazz aids in the recovery of much material from periods past which would otherwise be in the hands of solitary enthusiasts. For deejays like Gilles Peterson and Edward Piller, in search of valid alternatives for listeners tired of the monotony of Acid House, it was an opportunity to make people dance while mixing Gil Scott-Heron and Aaron Neville with unobtainable and rare discs by obscure jazz vocalists along with Betty Carter and Etta Jones and much else under a new label. Dress codes also became fresh and neat. Shoes could be sneakers or fake crocodile loafers, without worry; polo shirts could be those with open-work by Duffer of St. George or the surfwear-inspired ones by Stussy and Quicksilver; raincoats by Burberrys or ones of suede bought second-hand: but everything was always mixed with extreme taste and with respect for the traditions of the past. In this sense, it was a genuine post-modern style.

Aramidics

The most recent among the families of chemical fibers. They can be considered a type of aromatic polyamide and are available in the shape of a flock or as a continuous thread. The fibers are chemically and heat resistant up to 400úC, while their toughness and fire resistance make them especially fit for high-tech use, for example as space clothing, in aeronautics, and in high-level sports. Among the brands that use it are Kevlar and Nomex by Dupont, Tecnora and Conex by Teijin, and Twaron by Acordis.

Aujard

Christian (1941-1977). French entrepreneur. In partnership with a group of designers he created a line of prêt-à-porter under his own name. It featured soft and somewhat oversize jackets for men, ample overcoats and long skirts for women. He died after a fall while riding on horseback and left the brand in the hands of his wife Michèle and the designer Jeff Sayre, who had been with the house since 1973. For the last ten years the brand has been part of the firm Alex Cini B., which distributes mainly in the Orient and has a boutique in rue de Tournon in Paris.

Andrienne

or Andrié. A term again in use to define a loose-fitting and elegant woman’s dressing gown. In fashion especially during the 18th and 19th centuries, it owes its name to Baron’s Andrienne (a remake of the Andrian by Terence), in which the gown was worn by Dancourt with great success.

A.P.C.

Atelier de Production et de Création, acronym adopted by the designer Jean Touitou (Tunis, 1951). After completing his studies in history and linguistics, fields far away from fashion, he chose fashion and was hired by Kenzo and Agnès B. He made his début with this brand in 1987 and favored a low profile. He became known for the skilled cut of his tailoring, exclusive fabrics, and a taste for historical references. He prefers a basic, minimalist and rigorous style. It is precise in a pure way, with workmanship that can be appreciated only from close up and to which the runways cannot do justice. The atelier also busies itself with things that have nothing to do with fashion, including the production of olive oil. In 1995 he launched his own record company producing, for example, discs by Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs. Six years later, he invested in a DVD film by Zoe Cassavetes. In the A.P.C. mail order catalogue, which benefits from the work of Eley Kishimoto and Jessica Ogden, he offers clothes by Anna Sui and Martine Sitbon. Touitou has three boutiques in Paris, one in London and four in Japan.
The first boutique in Japan and, the following year, another in New York, in Soho. The launch of the mail order catalog. After the opening of a boutique in Paris in the 6th Arrondissement, he also begins to sell on the Internet.
He arrives in London where he produces several music compilations.
Opening of the second store in Tokyo, in the Harajuku neighbourhood, popular with people under 20.

A Bathing Ape

Fashion brand of prêt-à-porter created in 1993 by the Japanese stylist Nigo after working as a journalist for various underground periodicals. The griffe style is especially targeted to young people, accompanied by a wide choice of accessories and furniture.

Amann

Elisa (1964). Spanish designer born in Bilbao. She worked with Ines Monge, her fellow-citizen. They opened their atelier in Barcelona. Vogue Spain gave them two covers. They create their clothes using rags, lace, threads, yarns, fringes, trimmings and remnants of fabric. They believe in a style which is the exact opposite of what they define as “the false splendor of fashion.”

Agnès

French griffe of hats, named after the designer considered the inventor of the art deco hat. Agnès made her apprenticeship in the atelier of Caroline Reboux atelier and opened her own boutique in Deauville after W.W. I. Artists such as Léger, Mondrian and Delaunay designed exclusive patterns for her. She then moved to Paris and in the 1930s experimented successfully with new materials such as rubber. She retired in 1949 and died soon after.

Allegri

Leading Italian company in the manufacture of men’s and women’s raincoats and sportswear. It was founded by Allegro and Renato Allegri in Vinci, the Tuscan village where Leonardo was born, and had an immediate success with a nylon raincoat. It was the late 1950s and early 1960s, a period when their activity began to go beyond simple waterproof items and became part of the international culture of the trench coat, steadily modernizing the line. The operating headquarters are still in Vinci, but they answer to Dismi 92, a public company with a paid-up capital of €5 million. The president is Pietro Allegri and the managing directors are Augusto and Dianora Allegri. In the last decade, their line has become more fashionable and has benefited from research and the testing of new materials, with more productive technology and innovative marketing strategies. This was a process that above all involved an expansion of the very vocabulary of the raincoat, as it became richer in fashion and in style, more innovative in its forms and proportions, and showed a greater concern for detail, resulting in the complete diversity of some 200 Collections a year. In 1990 Allegri was awarded the Pitti Immagine Uomo prize for its extraordinary results in rainwear and sportswear, a field in which Italian firms had to compete with more established and traditional manufacturers, especially the British. The year 1999 saw the launching of Ironside, a raincoat fabric made of nylon fiber and steel thread. The company has two factories with 250 workers, plus 1,500 more in the induced activity. Today the Group has some 770 clients in Italy and more than 720 worldwide, among which are the most prestigious stores in the U.S., Germany, Japan and England. Allegri has three active licenses. The most long-lived is with Giorgio Armani, started back in 1976 and expanded over the years into a licensing arrangement that is still in force. The license with the young English designer Neil Barrett dates to 1999, and the one with Pirelli for the new P.Zero line began in January 2002. Pirelli entrusted Allegri with the design and commercialization of its new men’s and women’s wear lines. In addition to the premises in Vinci, the company has an extraordinary showroom in Milan’s Palazzo Serbelloni. It also owns the Allegri Weather Points, single-brand boutiques in Milan, Florence and Tokyo (Tokyo opened in 2001), conceived as meeting places where, always in accord with the interactive and technological spirit of the firm, there is a meteorological “totem,” made of a new, weather-resistant, washable and recyclable material that provides round-the-clock information on weather conditions and on the astronomical chart of the skies above the main cities of the world. In 2001 Weather Point also became the brand for a line of sportswear and travelwear aimed at a young audience. In Spring-Summer 2005 the company launched a new line designed by the avant-garde Belgian firm A.F. Vandevorst. The line is to maintain the technical quality of the firms products, but also to convey a more sophisticated allure.