Fashion A-Z

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

Trompe L'Oeil

Trompe l’oeil is an art technique that has been borrowed by fashion, where a designer creates an optical illusion, through a change in perspective, dimension, or placement. From haute couture to the high street’s illusion dresses, this method is a popular way of changing shape or adding layers, belts and collars. It was first popularised by the designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1927, when she wove a collar into a sweater.


Turtle-neck is the American name given to a polo neck, but in England, where there are both polo and turtle necks, it has a dual meaning. For the English, this neckline is tubular, although not as high or folded down as a polo neck often is. It gets its named for resembling a turtle’s neck coming in and out of its shell.