Cleavage and fashion have never really gotten along. It's not that cleavage is necessarily unfashionable, more that breasts just often aren't a consideration for high fashion designers. Model figures, from petite to amazonian, are rarely busty, and so the silhouettes presented either disguise, or often ignore altogether, the bust.
image: Festklanningar Sverige
For Spring/Summer '17, the catwalk trend was for modesty - floor length dresses, long sleeves, and high necklines - with not a collarbone in sight. But what goes up must come down, and after a season of rising necklines, fashion is taking the plunge again.
Leading the charge on the red carpet is Susan Sarandon. Never one to tow the line (at May's Cannes film festival, the 70 year-old actress raised eyebrows in a floor-length black leather skirt) her latest act of red carpet rebellion came in the form of a figure-hugging Hugo Boss dress, cut low across her decolletage and slit to mid-thigh, at this week's Venice Film Festival.
Cue the headlines. "Susan Sarandon, 70, flaunts EYE-POPPING cleavage in busty gown", read one. "Still got it!" shouted another. Still got what? A bust? Well, yes - our bodies don't change that dramatically past 50, thank you. But cat-calling aside, what's really so surprising to see here is fashion emphasising, rather than eliding, cleavage.
She's not alone. Another woman unafraid of a new trend (or her own figure) is Rihanna, whose playful approach to fashion saw her return to cleavage while the rest of us were still buttoning up to the top; case in point, that red Giambattista Valli Couture dress - "Rihanna almost bursts out of her dramatic red gown", read one tabloid title. And just this weekend, Amal Clooney, who usually errs on side of conservative, eschewed safer choices for an Atelier Versace gown, BYO cleavage. It seems that fashion's modest moment really is at an end.
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