Glossary – Skeuomorphism

A skeuomorphism (pronounced skyoo-o-morf-izm), is a word created by archaeologist Henry March in 1890 to refer to designs or details that are no longer relevant but still exist. In fashion this can include original design features that are still made, but no longer used like watch pockets, sleeve buttons, and D-rings on trench coats. It can also refer to things made to represent something they are not, like crocodile imprinted pleather belts, or leopard print anything. It can also refer to archaic traditional ways of dressing, such as Gentlemen leaving the lowest button of their vest unbuttoned.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.

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