Fashion Forecast: Shoulder Exposure

(PacificCoastNews.com, Imax Tree)

Fashion's sexy focal point is ceaselessly shifting. The moment it tires of one zone it moves onto a fresh new show of bare skin. The power of the deep-plunge continues to resonate into another season, extending the sternum's glory moment for a while longer. Spring 2012, however, brought two new hot spots to our attention: the upper abs and shoulders. Let's direct our attention towards the one we can all embrace.

This off-the-shoulder trend has an alluring carefree effect—a quiet, innocent, almost accidental come-hither charm. It's feminine with a naughty twist, a style even your boyfriend will love (but let's not pretend your fashion choices revolve around him). Sure, this sort of shoulder exposure is nothing new, but it has been perfected by today's top designers and red carpet savvy celebs. It's officially time to brush your shoulders off.

Mila+Kunis in
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Mila Kunis heated things up at the Friends With Benefits premiere in this saucy Lanvin number. A simple little red dress was taken up a notch with these seductive shoulder-grazing straps. Her smoldering stare didn't hurt either.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012, Rodarte
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Rodarte became a household name after their renowned costume designs for The Black Swan, but their talents don't stop with feathers and tutus. The Mulleavy sisters' Spring 2012 collection countered their darkly dramatic past with colorful airy pieces. They embarked on loads of shoulder-display, one of their most girlish designs already gracing the red carpet on young Elle Fanning.

Diane+Kruger in Celebs at the Gala de la Mode Sidaction 2011
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Diane Kruger can wear anything and look positively divine—and she often puts this to the test (like recently with her not-so-graceful Chanel number). Forever one of of Karl's darlings, she pulled off this pale pink bow-adorned Couture design for an AIDS benefit in Paris, revealing that even her collar bones are fab.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012, Marchesa
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It's only a matter of time: This Marchesa dress and Lea Michele have a date with destiny. The label is famous for their extravagant frivolities, but their soft elegance is what makes red carpet magic. Remeber Anne Hathaway's crimson mousseline masterpiece at the Oscars?

Minka+Kelly in 2011 People's Choice Awards - Arrivals
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The brilliance of Minka Kelly's Vivienne Westwood dress is that it gives the illusion that the straps have merely slipped off her shoulders. Actually, that's the genius in all of Westwood's designs: the juxtaposition of haphazardly draped fabric on corseted bodices.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012, Zac Posen
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Zac Posen may be famous for his mermaid silhouettes, but for Spring the designer drew attention upward in a most romantic clavicle exposé. Old Hollywood met Pride and Prejudice for this ladylike soiree.

Kate+Bosworth in Women's Fall 2010 Calvin Klein Collection After Party
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This trend isn't just for fanciful dressers. Case in point: Kate Bosworth (one of Hollywood's most modern sartorialists) in Calvin Klein (the reigning king of minimalism). Who would have imagined a nude sheath could be so darn provocative. Red lipstick does get some credit.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012, Luca Luca
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Luca Luca's Raul Melgoza conveyed the vigor of Bianca Jagger's '70s style in his latest runway show. His playfully pleated sapphire design was a favorite due to its bluntly horizontal neckline.

Katy+Perry in GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live! - Press Room
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Katy Perry's gold lamè dress at the Grammy Nominations Concert was actually quite demure on the KP wacky scale. Once you get past the entrancing shine, the cut of the Georges Chakra piece is quite exquisite.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2012, Oscar de la Renta
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Oscar de la Renta covered all sorts of high-fashion ground at his Spring 2012 show. Need a gown for that lavish fairy tale ball you'll be attending? Or a Barbie-approved pencil skirt for work? Perhaps a gauzy wind-blown ensemble perfect for running through a meadow? Then Oscar is your man. He fills our fantasy closet with timeless looks that don't refrain from showing a little shoulder, err, skin.
I'm a Designer/Editor for StyleBistro.com, a fashion illustrator and vintage shopper. Follow me: Twitter | Google
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