First it was Brexit, now it’s breasts. The British fashion media have declared the end of cleavage and it has whipped readers into a frenzy.
In the December issue of Vogue UK (on newsstands today), writer Kathleen Baird-Murray lays out a number of runway and red carpet examples that exemplify fashion’s disenchantment with large breasts in her feature titled “Desperately Seeking Cleavage.”
“Whatever happened to the cleavage?” she asks, before listing several examples that prove boobs are “out,” ranging from the high-necked Louis Vuitton dress Alicia Vikander wore to the 2016 Golden Globes to the immense popularity of Gucci’s pre-fall 2016 pussy bow blouses (which lately have found considerable favour with Melania Trump).
“The t*ts will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter,” she says.
Similarly, in a column titled “The end of cleavage: breasts piled together like cream buns do not make a subtle statement,” Jess Cartner-Morley at The Guardian wrote a lengthy column that could only be interpreted as an obituary for buxom breasts.
“The squished-together, hoicked-up presentation of bosoms has all but vanished from fashionable circles,” she writes. “Scaffolding breasts under the chin and framing them with a low-cut top, which has for decades been a shorthand for allure – the four-four-two of getting dressed up for a night out, if you like – is over. The go-to after dark neckline from catwalk to high street this year is a straight horizontal line that exposes the shoulders.”
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere has erupted in a rallying cry to stop forcing women to conform to an ever-changing fashion ideal.
To their credit, both Baird-Murray and Cartner-Morley used the end-of-cleavage argument to highlight a drastic shift in lingerie sales and trends.
“A third of Net-A-Porter bra sales are now soft bras, without underwire,” Cartner-Morley writes. “Even Victoria’s Secret, spiritual home of the pneumatic cleavage, is marketing a new range of ‘bralettes’ without underwire. As anyone who has known the particularly grating discomfort of wire digging into soft flesh will testify, the demise of the push-up bra is a step in the right direction.”
Marshal Cohen, chief analyst with market research firm NPD Group said to The Telegraph: “Comfort is a dominant theme throughout the fashion world, and today’s bra consumer, especially millennials, is seeking both physical and personal comfort.”
This thinly veiled commentary on lingerie trends is unlikely to sway a public that’s tired of being told to change their body type to suit fashion’s whimsy, however.
Perhaps the most succinct response came from one Twitter user: