Fashion A-Z

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


Look-books are a collection of photographs compiled by a designer to present their complete collection of clothing, accessories or footwear in a flick book. For buyers, or press, they’re useful tools to help select key pieces for editorial or sale orders. From the runway show to the commercial collections, as each look is numbered and clearly shown. Look books were created long before the Internet, when press and sales people had to rely on their notes and memory when picking looks.

Mad as a Hatter

"Mad as a hatter" is a colloquial phrase referring to a crazy person — many of whom are found in fashion. The phrase stems from 18th and 19th century England, when mercury was used in the production of felt, which was essential to the manufacture of hats at the time. The workers in the factories were daily exposed to traces of the metal. As this accumulated over time, many of them developed dementia from the poisoning — and it became known as mad hatter’s syndrome. The phrase, which refers to someone seen as insane, was immortalised by the character of the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.