BESPOKE : According to the Thesaurus which I can refer to at the click of a button on my computer, this word means modified, tailored, adapted, made to order,personalised, custom made.
What’s in a name ? the bard asked. Well, it would seem , there’s a lot !
When I was young, the buzz word was tailor made or made to order. Anything that was made specially to your requirements meant that you were unique,your requirements were unique, and the article you got made was unique. This one of a kind article obviously made you feel good about yourself because there was no one else in the world who possessed it but you.
In the good old days when ready made garments and mass produced articles were a thing of the future,clothes were stitched by the local darzi. Similarly furniture was made by a local carpenter who actually came home and made chairs and tables as per your requirement. Biscuits were hand made by your mother or cook, as were cakes and other fancies.
Those special people who wanted to differentiate themselves from the hoi polloi then began getting things “Tailor made” or ” made to order”. Soon these words too lost their novelty as every one and her auntie could get the latest catsuit from the current Vogue copied by the local darzi tailor made or made to order. So the new catch word was “custom made” or “customised.” which meant that your Tailor Master was now morphed into a Designer whose workers were now designed into craftsmen. This customised service meant a complete fashion consult – taking your body type, the occasion, the fabric and also your wallet into account as a special garment was designed for you.
Thus customised suits or clothes became the order of the day.
In recent times, however, even customised has become quotidian and what really counts in modern parlance is BESPOKE.
So now you have Bespoke homes, Bespoke clothes, Bespoke jewelry and Bespoke god knows what!
Once every body gets Bespoke everything, I wonder what the new watch word will be ? After all, there are no more words to define something that is “uniquely crafted for”. Perhaps we will have to look for a word in Mandarin!