Define or be Fined! • Amy Barickman

Amy’s Blog

Define or be Fined!

It’s no secret that I greatly admire the life and work of Mary Brooks Picken. I’ve shared with you many of her words of wisdom, helpful advice, and thoughtful stories. She was constantly at work on one project or another, and had a seemingly endless well of knowledge to draw from.

One of her best and longest-lasting projects was the Fashion Dictionary, first published in 1957. (Multiple editions were published later, the latest being in 1998.) While the dictionary was not published in its complete form until later in her life, Mary started collecting individual definitions much earlier when she was a teacher at the American College of Dressmaking in Kansas City. To make sure her students were keeping up with their studies , any one was fined if she could not remember the definition of the term the second time she was asked. With over 11,000 definitions in the dictionary, you can get an idea of Mary’s high standards as a teacher!

The Language of Fashion is such an amazing resource, I had to share it with you! I have made it into eBook form, which you can find in my Vintage Market. The book is so vast that I had to split it into two sections, A-M and N-Z, both which have great images for you to use in crafting projects. Enjoy!


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