One of the most significant fashion trends for 2009 in women’s apparel is the return of strong shoulders. More than a glimmer of this trend surfaced in spring/summer 2009 collections, and the 1980s influence continues to gain momentum with such designers as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Balmain, Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy and Gianfranco Ferre.
The earliest versions of strong-shouldered garments showed up this spring unadorned by jewelry on early adapters such as Kate Moss and Mary-Kate Olsen in black, which emphasized the crispness of the shape of the garments. With the fall/winter 2009 lines and the gorgeous woolens of those seasons, the strong shoulders are being incorporated into designs of a wider range of fabrics and colors. Adorning these garments with statement jewelry is a key element of 2009 chic style.
Broadening the shoulders makes the lower portions of the wearer’s body look relatively more narrow, so this trend is a godsend for women with pear-shaped or triangular figures who want to balance their proportions and create the illusion of an hourglass silhouette. The style is chic on most women, however. Indeed, the favored body shape in Hollywood these days is the opposite of the pear – it’s the inverted triangle, with shoulders broader than hips, and this is true for women as much as for men. Look at the photographs of various of your favorite celebrities and compare the width of their hips to their shoulders.
The return of shoulders is so ubiquitous among designers that this trend is bound to be one with staying power. And there is an art to adorning this shape with jewelry.
The strong shoulder line draws the attention out to the sides, so wearing a statement necklace or necklaces with significant size, scale and volume is a method by which the wearer can keep the viewer’s eye focused on the wearer’s face.
Above and to the left is an example from the fall 2009 collection of Dolce & Gabbana. The detail of the shoulders is stunning, but the necklace is the focal point of the look. To the right is a beautiful red coat by Louis Vuitton for fall 2009. The detail on the coat is essentially a stand-in for a statement necklace, but notice how even this coat is accessorized with a choker-length necklace inside the collar of the garment.
The return to strong shoulders requires strong jewelry. Because this style is such a sea change in women’s fashions, now’s a great time to give thought to how your inventory can help your stylish customers achieve a chic and polished image. Shoulder on!