Fashion A-Z

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


Plissé originally referred to fabric that had been woven or gathered into pleats and has also been known as crinkle crêpe. It takes its name from the French word for fold. Today, it is a lightweight fabric with a crinkled, puckered surface, formed in ridges or stripes. Plissé can also describe a chemical finishing technique, where plisse fabrics are used for underwear.


Portiere is a curtain that hangs over a door or covers a door-less entrance to a room and comes from the French word porte, meaning door. From Gone with the Wind, where Scarlett O’Hara makes a dress from green velvet window curtains, to Mr. Dior (who Chanel said draped rather than dressed) and the drape of fabric at the top of a runway, it is certainly a curtain with possibilities.