Is the age of cleavage over? Designers say high necklines were always trendy

Kristen Stewart in a Roberto Cavalli dress and Sonam Kapoor in a Roksanda dress. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP and Yogen Shah)

To show cleavage or not, that’s the question. It’s not, or at least that’s what the December issue of British Vogue magazine says. The writer, Kathleen Baird-Murray, stated in the article titled Desperately Seeking Cleavage: “The cleavage – those magnificent mounds pushed together to display sexual empowerment, to seduce, to inspire lust or even just to show off – is over, or at least, taking a well-earned break.”

While trends indicate that the internationally fashion junta is moving towards ‘covering up’ , Indian designers say that here the traditional preference has always been, and continues to be, high-necklines. “Changing times or not, cleavage was never a mainstay. Necklines such as Chinese and Mandarin have been around for a long time, more so in India. And yes, they continue to make a big fashionable impact,” says designer Rina Dhaka.
Designer Anand Bhushan agrees. “Culturally, we have always been inclined towards conservative necklines. Covering up is how we have always liked to keep it.”

Singer Beyonce, who performed during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Cleveland, opted for a pantsuit with a high-neck top. (Matt Rourke/AP)

But fashion — and many would agree — isn’t just about following a trend; it’s also a personal choice. “It is certainly a personal choice. Slits, low backs, all spell sexy as well, so it depends on what you want to wear and whether you want to keep it simple or not,” says designer Malini Ramani. Actor Gauahar Khan echoes the sentiment, “Who shows off a cleavage or covers up according to trends? Trends indirectly force people to follow them blindly, and I don’t agree with that. One’s modesty or freedom is one’s own choice.”

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