There’s a new silhouette in town—one that plays fast and loose with the neckline. Ignited by Miuccia Prada’s white-hot F/W 13 runway show, the trend is showing up on stylish ladies like Alexa Chung, Emma Watson, and Sienna Miller. Read on to see how they dare to bare.
Trend Report: Off-the-Shoulder Dress
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This season’s hottest cocktail party accessory? Your clavicle. If the thought of showing cleavage or baring your midriff makes you cringe, try an off-the-shoulder frock on for size. They’re sexy in a sophisticated, old-school glamour kind of way. And they’re flattering to a variety of body types (which is more than we can say of a lot of dress trends).
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At this year’s Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson Amphitheatre in L.A., the Carrie star shone in a Christopher Kane mini and Jimmy Choo heels. Note how a spike of bright colors can make a tight LBD instantly daytime-friendly.
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Watson’s look at last week’s New York Gravity premiere was "totally maje" (to borrow a phrase from Rachel Zoe, circa 2008). We love how the bright white satin bandeau of her J. Mendel mini highlights her delicate shoulders. And that rich berry lip shade? Beyond.
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The 16-year-old actress proved the look has prom potential when she hit the red carpet at the global premiere of Romeo and Juliet in Hollywood last month in a youthful yet elegant Prabal Gurung dress—fresh off the designer's S/S 14 runway—which she paired with Brian Atwood shoes and a Cathy Waterman ring.
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Lesson number one when tackling a new trend: make the look work for you, not vice versa. For the International Medical Corps’ reception in New York last month, Sienna Miller wore an embroidered Alexander McQueen dress that felt fresh and au courant but didn’t betray the actress’ boho chic roots.
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At the BLK DNM dinner at the Beagle Restaurant in London, the Russian fashion plate donned a putty-colored Alessandra Rich dress whose dramatically plunging neckline was tempered by it’s invisible net collar. A black moto jacket, worn jauntily off one shoulder, amped up the look’s rebellious streak.
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The It girl celebrated the debut of her aptly-titled book, It, at Liberty in London last month in an off-the-shoulder combo dress from Carven’s Resort 2014 collection and a Dolce & Gabbana Agata Bag ($3600). Her unfussy updo and natural makeup kept the attention were it ought to have been: on her flawless, lace-scalloped neckline.
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Julia Restoin Roitfeld
Carine’s pretty progeny arrived at the de Grisogono party during this year’s Cannes Film Festival in a Dolce & Gabbana dress. The frock's slim-fitting bodice might have been a snooze, were it not for those voluminous sleeves, dripping with lace.
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Holy hotness! The Blonde Salad blogger sizzled in a crimson David Koma dress whose tailored long sleeves offered a prim counterpoint to the playful flounce of its mini skirt. (The Olympia Le Tan book clutch offers the perfect finishing touch.)
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While the Tuula Vintage blogger’s Supermuse skirt/ASOS shirt combo isn’t actually a dress, we couldn’t bring ourselves to disqualify the chic (not to mention easy to imitate) look on such a minor technicality.
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The collection that launched a thousand bare-shouldered frocks featured some unlikely fabric combos. (A tweedy check print, oxblood satin, and blue velvet, for instance.) Taken together with the nipped waists and full skirts, the collection felt very ‘50s suburbia by way of Helena Bonham Carter’s closet.
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For her F/W 13 collection, Phoebe Philo sent models down the runway in “fit-and-flare” double-face wool and cashmere dresses whose cozy materials and voluminous silhouettes seemed heaven-sent for winter wardrobes.
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When temperatures drop, take your layering skills to the next level and add a long-sleeved tee or sweater to the look, a la this ensemble from Aquilano.Rimondi’s F/W 13 collection.
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Alice & Olivia
Shayna Leather-Trimmed Twill Dress ($495) in Black
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La Reina Colorblock Off-The-Shoulder Dress ($560) in Pearl
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Zebra-Textured V-Neck Dress ($792) in Pink
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Lace Cross Over Dress ($55) in Black
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Off-the-Shoulder Dress ($70, available in stores starting October 6th) in Grey
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Vera Marble-Print Dress ($1776) in Blue
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Vida Vida Dress ($256) in Red
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Lashes of London
Amalee Floral Skater Dress ($90) in Multi
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Vivienne Westwood Anglomania
Halton Draped Metallic Jacquard Dress ($765) in Gold
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Boat Neck Printed Dress ($80) in Light Pink