Fashion A-Z

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


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.

Power Dressing

Power dressing was a phrase originally coined in 1970s America and by the 1980s, everyone was wearing this smart style of dress. Tailored jackets, shoulder pads, dresses whipped in at the waist and a skirt that stopped on the knee. Think Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, aspiring to be Coco Chanel.