Le 21 juillet 2016, 04:44 dans Humeurs • 0
And finally, Kate Middleton went off-the-shoulder. On home turf, at the Natural History Museum, the royal wore an expensive (over £1500) Barbara Casasola dress to present an art prize. It was a difficult dress, being cream, panelled and jersey, but also arguably her best look of the summer, if not year – not least because the dress tapped into summer 2016’s biggest trend confirming just how mass, mainstream and everywoman the off-the-shoulder look had become. It was also a royal first (or at least the last time a royal had shown both arms since Diana).
So what makes someone like Kate want to wear an off-the shoulder dress? Several reasons: on paper, bare shoulders speak of summer, now but also then, the 1960s, or 1970s if you’re looking at Chloé, hence the “Bardot” moniker; retro is always engaging in a fashion sense. They’re also a great top for tanning, not looking too naked and for showing your arms without showing your arms. But they’re also wholly impractical and that’s part of the appeal.
Look at Middleton, and the way she stands: hands in front, clutching a clutch, and doing little more. Because you can’t do much in them. You can’t lift your arm, you can’t carry your shopping and even if you do, over your shoulder, you can’t because you’ll mark your shoulder. The top has become code for the way in which you live your life: tan first, work second. Just like you can’t run in clogs or go bare-legged without a hefty taxi bill, you can’t really wear a bra with them, either, taking them to the far end of the humblebrag spectrum.
Perhaps this is why they’ve bedded in so nicely. Off-the-shoulder tops should have been one of those ephemeral items, an idea, a flight, but they’ve become a summer diktat and in shops, for every vest or tee, there’s a variation without shoulders. Such is the breadth of this look that there are even subsets within the Bardot family: semi-Bardots (cut out shoulders, a no-no), strapped-Bardots (practical, with excellent selections at Topshop and Asos) and collared-Bardots (American Apparel ran a nice selection of these with a built-in-choker, which sounds odder than it is).
Being on-trend (or engaged) are often happy accidents for us, but for Kate, the stakes are high. She has always gone for safety and modesty over anything on trend (she sticks to the five finger rule of designers: Emilia Wickstead and Topshop, and a few labels in between) at most wearing yellow (very spring/summer 2016). Going shoulderless has taken things to the next level.