I don’t remember which of us came up with the idea to create a fashion review mad-lib (remember mad-libs?) but I do recall that, upon its suggestion, several women (that’s seven or more, technically) in the vicinity declared it a great idea. Because while runway shows offer a ton of visual variety, the words we use to write them up never seem to stretch quite as far. Reviews tend to share a familiar rhythm and vocabulary. We all laughed remembering when Leslie banned the word “easy” last fashion week after we’d grossly overused it. Maybe it’s impossible to avoid. How many ways can you say, “the models walked,” after all?
“Women are always ‘trotting’ or ‘sashaying’ down the runway,” Leslie immediately suggested.
“You need ‘juxtaposition,’” Amelia chipped in.
“Compositionally, stunningly, politically…” offered Leandra.
“Slick, sharp, snappy.”
“Something is always sculptural.”
“Embroidered, embellished, dazzled.”
All these old clichés were tumbling out from some forgotten quartile of our minds (or at least one only visited biannually). So, with the help of the team and some pseudo-analysis of Vogue and WWD runway reviews, I made like a lazy robot and formulated the following fashion review template. No promises, but I’m pretty sure it could get a low-level fashion editor through their first batch of shows in a pinch. Behold:
Graphic by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.