Zshee Von She

Givenchy (Zshee-Von-She) Dunce Cap, circa 2010

As my kids get older…and happily…smarter than me, I’m constantly reminded of my lack of schooling or maybe more accurately—my lack of being able to be schooled. I’ve always been more street smart than book smart. As a kid I barely passed any form or math or science, excelling mostly in arts and physical education. I attended summer school to get through the necessary math requirements for High School, and cheated my way through Spanish with the help of my friend, Kwon Nguyen. He was a beautiful Asian Boy George and he took my Spanish final for me so I could graduate. (True story. Sorry Mom and Dad)

Throughout my schooling, my knowledge came from a set of Encyclopedia Britannica’s my parents purchased in 1962 and never updated. I was born in ’69, so I was covered on historical topics, but anything more contemporary through the ’70’s and ’80’s weren’t available in my aged set of A-Z bound red books.

I still marvel at the resources available now. My kids can search faster on Google and prove me wrong on any subject, faster than I can tell them to “go to bed!”

I’m remembering all of this because last week my third grader took his first Standardized State Exam. I wasn’t worried for him. But the thought of any kind of test makes me sick to my stomach—almost as sick to my stomach as trying to conjure up a Spanish accent. Since I’ve always been a shy girl, my discomfort trying to speak in foreign tongues turns my knees weak, palms sweaty and stomach so queasy I could seriously barf. This hasn’t helped when I need to speak fashion. I don’t find myself saying “Tory Burch” or “Michael Kors” very often, so I’ve decided to take a cue from my two Little Einstein’s and educate myself in all things Japanese, Belgium, French, Italian, Nepalese and Taiwanese.

Here’s a list of designers and labels and how to pronounce their names. Courtesy of sydnestyle.com via Google.

  • Abaete: Ah-bye-ah-tay
  • Alejandro Ingelmo: Allay-handro In-gel-mo
  • Alessandro Dell’Acqua: Ala-SAND-roe del-LA-kwa
  • Anna Sui: Anna Swee
  • Andrew Gn: Andrew Jen
  • Andy Thê-Anh: An-dee Tay-Ann
  • Ann Demeulemeester: ann DEH-moo-lah-MEE-stera
  • Anya Hindmarch: Ahn-ya Heind-march
  • Arthur Mendonça: Ar-thur Men-doe-sa
  • Badgley Mischka: Badge-lee Meesh-ka
  • Balenciaga: Bah-len-see-aga
  • Balmain: Bahl-mahhhhn
  • Bebe: Bee-bee
  • Bottega Veneta: BO-teg-a VEN-eta
  • Bulgari: Ball-gah-ree
  • Burberry Prorsum: BUR-bur-ree proar-SOME
  • Carolina Herrera: Caro-leena Hair-era
  • Cesare Paciotti: Che-sah-ray Pah-cho-tee
  • Chaiken: Chay-ken
  • Christian Lacroix: Christian Luh-qua
  • Christian Louboutin: Loo-boo-tin
  • Comme des Garçons: Comb day gar-SON
  • Dior : dee-or
  • Dior Homme: dee-OAR OM
  • Dolce & Gabbana: DOLE-chay and gab-BON-a
  • Dries Van Noten: DREEZE van KNOW-ten
  • DSquared2: DEE squared
  • Emilio Pucci : ee-mee-lee-oh  pu-chee
  • Ermenegildo Zegna: Er-men-a-geel-do Zen-ya
  • Etienne Aigner : eh-tee-yen on-yay
  • Gareth Pugh: Gareth Pew
  • Giambattista Valli: Gee-am-bah-tease-ta Valley
  • Gianfranco Ferre: Gee-ahn-franco Feh-ray
  • Giles Deacon: Jy-els Dee-kin
  • Givenchy: Zshee-VON-she
  • Giambattista Valli: Gee-ahm-battista Valley
  • Gucci: GOO-chi
  • Hedi Slimane: Eddy slim-MAHN
  • Hermès: AIR-mehz
  • Hervé Léger: Air-vay Lay-jay
  • Hussein Chalayan: Hoo-sane Sha-lion
  • Issey Miyake: Iss-ee Mee-yah-key
  • James Perse :  pronounced like “purse”
  • Jean Paul Gaultier: Zhon Paul Go-tee-ay
  • Joeffer Caoc: Joe-fur Kay-ock
  • John Varvatos:  John var-VAY-toes
  • Junya Watanabe: JUNE-ya Wah-TAH-nah-bay
  • Kris Van Assche: Chris van-ASH
  • Lambertson Truex : lam-bert-son tru-ex
  • Lanvin: lon-VAUN
  • Loewe: Low-ev-ay
  • Louis Vuitton: loo-E vo-WE-ton
  • Madame Gres : mah-dam gray
  • Maison Martin Margiela: MAZE-on Mar-TIN mar-GEL-a
  • Marchesa: Mar-kay-sa
  • Mainbocher: Maynbo-shay
  • Miu Miu: Myoo Myoo
  • Monique Lhuillier: Monique Loo-lee-ay
  • Moschino: mo-SKEEN-o
  • Narciso Rodriguez : nar-si-so rod-ree-gus OR rod-ri-gez
  • Nicolas Ghesquière: Ni-co-la Guess-ki-air
  • Olivier Theyskens: Oli-vier Tay-skins
  • Pierre Cardin: Pee-air Car-dain
  • Prabal Gurung: Prub-ble Ger-rung
  • Prada : prah-da
  • Proenza Schouler: Pro-enza Skool-er
  • Raf Simons: rauph SEE-mon
  • Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren (as in Lauren the girl’s name, not Sophia Loren)R
  • Rei Kawakubo: Ray Kah-wah-koo-bo
  • Rochas: Row-shah
  • Rodarte: Row-dar-tay
  • 6267: Six-two-six-seven (not Sixty-two-sixty-seven)
  • Salvatore Ferragamo: Sal-va-TOH-reh Fair-a-GAH-moe
  • Sonia Rykiel: Sewn-ya Ree-key-el
  • Sophia Kokosalaki: So-fee-a Ko-ko-sah-lah-kee
  • Thakoon: Tuh-koon
  • Thierry Mugler: Tee-air-ree Moog-lay
  • Tibi : tbi (not Tee-bee)
  • Tocca : toe-ka
  • Ungaro : oon-ga-ro
  • Veronique Branquinho: Ve-ro-NEEK BRANG-kee-no
  • Versace: ver-SAH-chay
  • Vionnet: Vee-oh-nay
  • Yigal Azrouel: Yee-goll Az-roo-el
  • Yohji Yamamoto: YO-jee ya-MA-moto
  • Yves Saint Laurent: EVE Sane-LOR-ron
  • Zac Posen : poe-zen

You’ve been educated. Class dismissed.

9 Responses

  1. bettie8it@sbcglobal.net'

    I love this Jen
    You really are so hard on yourself! But I was very entertained and can relate to so much of your story . Unfortunately I’m spending more time at ; G-A-P and Jimb-ur-ee

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