Fashion A-Z

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

Empire Line

Empire Line takes its name from Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, who was married to Napoleon, leader of the First French Empire, in the 18th century. The style has Neo-classical inspirations — as this was a Court of Gods and Goddesses. The bodice is fitted under the bustline, while the silhouette is usually loosely fitted over the body.


Epaulet, sometimes spelt Epaulettes, were originally ornamental shoulder decorations that showed military rank. They have since been adopted as a fashion statement. From the shoulder pteruges of Ancient Rome, to ribbons worn on military coats, the epaulet (taken from the French ‘little shoulder’) was a mark of valour. They can be cut from metal or cloth, but are often gold trimmed with bullion fringing.