Exaggerated Busts: Fashion Month’s Most Bodacious Trend

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From high, leg-baring hemlines to off-the-shoulder tops, fashion often highlights specific aspects of the female form. For Spring/Summer 2020, designers opted to bring attention to the bust. While low-cut tops and flashing some skin will certainly do the trick, the area was instead exaggerated through construction and design details. On the runway, molded breastplates, leather corsets, unique necklines, and other elements made the bust impossible to miss.

Fashion is all about innovation and reinvention, and the Spring/Summer 2020 collections are no exception. This season, designers across fashion month turned a revisionist eye to the corset. As the original garment created to emphasize one’s bosom and waist, the piece makes an easy starting point for the bust trend. From utilitarian additions at Dion Lee to sculpted leather at Givenchy and Alexander McQueen, new corset styles gave the bust a boost.

At Versace and Saint Laurent, unorthodox necklines brought attention to the torso. As both Gianni Versace and Yves Saint Laurent were designers that celebrated the female form, these new silhouettes add a modern twist to their core ideas. Donatella Versace and Antony Vaccarello, current creative directors of the respective fashion houses, paid tribute to the founders by dreaming up fresh versions of the original designers’ sense of femininity, embodied by the organic shapes that outline the bust.

Tom Ford’s take on the trend took a more overt stance. Reminiscent of the idealized figures of Hellenistic sculptures or the armor of gladiators, shiny breastplates on the Tom Ford runway literally embodied the bust. Echoing both the beauty of the female form and the strength associated with armor, Ford’s looks sent an empowering message while bringing the designer’s signature sex appeal to the collection.

Other continuations of the look took a more modest route. For the JW Anderson show, the designer sent models down the runway wearing crystal-encrusted harnesses outlining their chests over glittering gowns. The exaggerated effect, which taps into the growing harness trend worn by men and women alike, served as a key juxtaposing element of Anderson’s collection. Layered over flowing dresses, the jeweled bras were puzzling yet elegant, and nevertheless were on the pulse of the bust trend that ruled the season.

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