From the chapter titled "Fashionspeak" in The Meaning of Sunglasses: And a Guide to Almost All Things Fashionable, by Hadley Freeman:
"Homage" is probably the most well known bit of fashionspeak. A conveniently trussed-up word for "blatant copy," it can be used without the niggling fear of litigation, and it has a soothing sheen of intellectualism, suggesting that the designer spent long, noble hours in some dusty library, studying the technique of his forebears and then respectfully weaving it into his own work, as opposed to desperate plagiarism due to a dearth of new ideas. So, for example: "Marc Jacobs's homage to Courrèges was perhaps a little over-literal." Thus, it becomes a criticism in a compliment inside a totally daft remark, showing the kind of linguistic ingenuity that would make Derrida bow down in respectful awe.
It's overstating just a tad to say that Freeman rips the lid off the fashion industry, exposing the seamy side of the pretty-peddling biz, but she does have a merry time making shish kebab out of sacred cows. Cast an eye over some of the other chapter titles in this slim, witty book:
Accessories: going to hell in a handbag
Blouses: not so librarian now, are they?
Coats: stuck at the nexus between dull and stressful
Get: fashion that girls do and boys don't
Jacobs, Marc: genius or what?
Ruffles: from French ingénue to Bozo the Clown
Vanity, and the joys thereof
Freeman is deputy fashion editor London's Guardian newspaper, where she writes a fashion advice column whose tone of brisk authority--not to mention her command of the dependent clause--is seemingly belied by the author's photograph, in which she appears to be about thirteen and a half.
(Post title: homage or what?)