For the past few seasons the cold-shoulder--and I'm not talking Anna Wintour's attitude-- has swept both runways and sidewalks in a flurry of exposed upper arm. We've seen it splashed across the pages of the world's most notable fashions mags from Instyle to the holy Vogue.The biggest concerns being what sleeve length and style (bell or no bell) paired best with the trend, and just how cold that shoulder should be. Anyone with even a hint of fashion savvy has worn at least one item that exposed a bit of shoulder, but is it time to break up? Are we finally ready to say auf wiedersehen and goodbye to this popular look?
Like the romper, the cold-shoulder can be a bit polarizing. Some people are diehard fans, while others prefer their arm exposure to be at a minimum. Over the past few years we have seen quite a few interesting cutouts (hello there under-bust-cutout), but none have had the same longevity that the cold shoulder has. Done well, this silhouette can be a down right flattering way to show some skin without veering off into vulgar territory. Even celebrities like the ladies below, have been known to expose their shoulders on the most famous red carpets.
A little history--as with most things, the cold shoulder trend is not a new invention. We have seen it pop up in fashion time and time again, repapering every few decades. Chanel had an exposed shoulder design in one of her collections back in the 1930's, and the late film star Marlene Dietrich wore a peek-a-boo shoulders style as far back as 1934. Dietrich and her Hollywood counterparts were all about the glamour--especially as their fashion was seen as an escape from the economic hardship of The Great Depression--and this look is definitely dramatic and fabulous.
Now, let's fast forward fifty years...Donna Karan believed that a woman's shoulders always look good, regardless of age and figure issues, and her iconic cold-shoulder dress was seen on celebrities and other high profile women, including one of our First Lady's. In 1993, Hilary Clinton wore a Donna Karan cold shoulder dress to her first state dinner--it was a daring silhouette for her to wear, but she pulled the look off impeccably, opting for a longer sleeve and minimum jewelry.
Lately, it seems that perhaps all of this exposure of exposed shoulders has become too much. Let's face it, women of all, and I mean ALL, ages, shapes, and sizes are flashing their deltoids. Frequently you will hear someone ask if and when the trend is going back in the vault. Well thankfully the answer is not any time soon. We will be seeing flirty bare shoulders rocking knitwear and flannel throughout Fall/Winter 2017, as well as wovens and tees well into Spring 2018. We sell cold shoulder styles all day long and the reason is simple--they're feminine and flattering.
Whether you're a cold-shoulder fashionista or not, you cannot deny its longevity in the ever changing fashion game. We will definitely be seeing exposed shoulders for the time being, but don't fret if you aren't a fan--as with every trend, it will disappear eventually. If history repeats itself, which it usually does, it will probably emerge from its hibernation in a few years looking as fresh and flirty as if it were the first time we saw it. Absence supposedly makes the heart grow fonder, and all the jazz. For now, though, we are definitely not giving the cold-shoulder, the cold shoulder.