Fashion A-Z

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


Ombre is when a colour graduates from light to dark, using all the tones of colour in the spectrum. The name comes from the classical Latin umbrare, meaning to shade or overshadow. Chiaroscuro shading is artist’s technique achieved by cross-hatching or shading and is very popular in haute couture. For an example, see John Galliano’s Rene Gruau Dior Couture collection from January 2011.


Outré is to be outrageous, eccentric and highly unconventional and so is a perfect fit for all the un-shrinking violets of the fashion world. To be startling, unusual and perhaps a touch bizarre — it's a nicer way than saying weird.