Style for Deep Necklines
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Here’s a trend that began its noticeable ascent at the 2011 awards shows, as certain fashion-savvy actresses donned gowns that – finally! – got away from the same old, same old strapless designs that have become so prevalent in recent years. To compensate for the addition of sleeves to an evening dress, it seemed almost inevitable that a flash of skin would need to appear elsewhere to add glamour to the look. For some, it was a long slit in the skirt, allowing for a peek at lovely legs. For others, the look was a focus on the décolletage of a deep vee neckline.
At the Academy Awards in February 2011, for instance, Celine Dion wore a long-sleeved dress with a deep vee and a pendant necklace. Claire Danes wore a long-sleeved, vee-cut-to-there dress without a necklace. Melissa Leo wore a short-sleeved dress with a deep vee and a stand-up collar, adorned with a small pendant necklace. Annette Bening wore a cap-sleeved gown with a more modest vee neck accompanied by a stunning pair of emerald earrings and no necklace.
Just in time for Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William, the April 2011 issue of InStyle magazine published this comment: “As vibrant as spring dresses are, we’re not having an overtly sexy moment. Skintight looks cheesy, mucho sparkle shrieks showgirl, and micro can easily go very wrong. . . . And yet a plummeting décolletage comes off more crisp than crass, particularly where straps are ample and the wide V narrows to a point at the waist that it grazes.
Indeed, the royal wedding dress seems to have been inspired by the elegant bridal gown of Princess Grace, a structured garment, not overly body conscious, and long-sleeved. The gown’s modest vee neckline served as a nod to current fashion. Maid of honor Pippa Middleton’s dress had a slightly wider vee neckline, but, like the bride’s, the vee dipped only to the bustline. Both dresses were accented with earrings and no necklace.
In the world of fashion, the vee necks are more daring. Actress Zooey Deschanel wears a flirty polka dot dress with a deep vee neckline as pictured on the cover of the April 2011 issue of Lucky magazine. With the dress, which is from Marc by Marc Jacobs, Deschanel wears 18k rose gold and carnelian earrings and matching ring from Van Cleef & Arpels, a gold-plated crystal and epoxy necklace from Swarovski, a pendant necklace from Dior Fine Jewelry, a gold-plated fox-adorned cuff from mossmills.com, multiple yellow gold, canary sapphire and diamond disc bracelets from Kara Ackerman Designs, and a pair of diamond eternity bands, one white, one pink, from Natacha Langerman along with her own engagement ring and wedding band.