Fashion A-Z

From applique to zippers, a comprehensive dictionary with definitions and
meanings of key fashion vocabulary, written by Camilla Morton.


Darts are a dressmaker’s punctuation marks. They are a technique used for shaping garments by curving straight fabric to the body. Darts are created by stitching a long, thin pinch to a point, which is then pressed down to one side. They vary in width and length, as a garment requires, and can insert shape at the shoulder, neck, bust and waistlines by being tapered at one or both ends.


Dégradé is where a fabric’s colour, or the fabric itself, fades like a sunset, from the densest pigment or thread to the finest. It is a popular technique in couture, with all the colours of the spectrum, from the deepest to eh lightest, are often used in velvets or silks. But in a barber’s shop, un dégradé (coupe de cheveux) is the light layering of hair.