Fashion Forecast: Neck Verse

I came reeeeeeeeeeaaally close to calling this post "Rising Temperatures, Plunging Necklines", but couldn't resist the urge to share the ridiculous story behind "Neck Verse".  Neck Verse is a term that comes from medieval England.  Back in the old days when members of the clergy were blatantly naughty and they actually made it to trial (most of their offenses were just hushed-up), there was a special provision for them to keep them from the death sentence.  They could claim the Benefit of Clergy, and if they were able to recite Psalm 51 on the spot, then they were considered pious enough that their crimes were forgiven then and there.  This was used so often that Psalm 51 came to be referred to as the "neck verse", as it saved clergy members from hanging.  The moral of the story is that my History degree is good only for comedic anecdotes that have little to do with anything.

Now, as for the fashion: naval-grazing tops were the item-of-the-moment this season.  I can't recall a single show that didn't feature some form of plunging v-neck.  While it's an interesting look, it isn't that democratic.  What I mean is that - much like Karl Lagerfeld's hot pants - plunging necklines are only really wearable for a specific group of women, in this case women with modest bust lines (ie not me).  So, for those of us who can't go bra-less without being arrested, I would recommend a less exaggerated version of the trend, for example a deep v-neck.  V-necks are a good choice if you're looking to elongate, as the converging lines accentuate the triangular shape created by your shoulders and waist.  The best way I've seen it worn so far is with high-waisted skirts and pants which further nip in at the waist and add length to the body.

In the course of my runway cruising I managed to accumulate a good thirty-six versions of this particular style, and there's no way I'm posting all of them.  Anyway, I'll try to pick the best examples and offer a variety of styling.  All photos from http://www.style.com/.
Burberry Prorsum

Calvin Klein


Derek Lam

Diane von Furstenberg


Elie Saab

A slightly more modest interpretation by Fendi


Another modest incarnation - Givenchy

Jason Wu

Louis Vuitton

Prabal Garung

This version looks a little more supportive than some of the others.  Also, it's totally stunning.
Vera Wang

Yves Saint Laurent