This season, one fashion that is clearly dominant in every
range of eveningwear is the cutaway halter neckline. Mostly the
halter is set on a
circular yoke, either with a wide or narrow band.
A good example of
this autumn's halter neck style, is this photograph left of a
Dorothy Perkins black Lurex dress with beaded halter neckline 28/44.
This teal dress right shown by Ir Cortazar (for SS07) has a
cleverly cut circular halter yoke that neatly tapers to the back
The common factor among the many halter
dress styles that exist, is that the shoulder and top armhole is cut
into the dress bodice, exposing much of the shoulder line and
the hollow of the arm. Often,
but not always, it reveals some of the bust. The
fashion focus of any halter style is always on the shoulder bone/scapula and
highlights the arms.
halter neck tops end in a stand collar, others plunge deeply
showing the cleavage, perhaps combined with a keyhole or split
front bodice. Generally the halter ties at the nape of the neck,
when the flesh of the back is revealed.
Any closure band may also button to a perfect fit, or be a noose like strap
that comes from the front bodice.
Right - Monsoon Christmas Collection 2007, Purple Amelia
Dress - £95/150 - In Store November.
variations on halter neck dresses are endless, but all reveal
the shoulders and are cut to elongate the arms. Many halter neck dresses are based on a narrow bound yoke as
in the purple Monsoon brand dress above or on a faced turned
yoke. The very narrow circular band style is more of a casing
than a yoke and is whisper fine.
However the majority of
teen tops and dresses shown on this page utilise the faced yoke
and are very modest compared to how revealing this style has
been in previous decades. A few have much more cutaway armholes than others. But this autumn many follow the lines shown in these teen tunic dress looks below, they are from the
Autumn/Winter 2007 Internacionale range.
The grey-mix teen tunic top features a much more cutaway and more
inset circular yoke band than the white tunic top
and from this minor variation it's easier to see the relationship with other halter styles.
Left - Internacionale Autumn/Winter 2007 Grey Mix Dress £15 and
Alice Band £2.50.
Left - White Top £12, Belt £6, Jeans £14 and Topaz ring £2.50.
Choose your halter top style carefully dependant on whether or not you
wish to wear a bra. If you need support check out the
ranges of bras at Rigby and Peller, Figleaves, Bravissimo or
Marks and Spencer. This garment is not a style to
make a show of bra straps, whether as a faux pas or intentionally.
The whole point of the style is to elongate the arm.
This season the cutaway yoke style comes in every length from
cropped top, mini tunic dress, to knee length dress, tea dresses at
calf length, through to full evening maxi dress. The severity of the
cutaway armscye (arm hole) just depends on the effect the designer wishes
to achieve. In these 3 examples each garment progressively cuts
a bit more fabric away at the armscye.
No woman feels her wardrobe is complete without a little
black dress and here we have 3 lengths to choose from in the
circular yoke halter cutaway style. Take your pick from -
Mini tunic length, below knee and maxi floor length.
Near Left - Black top with gold coin detail around neckline
£30 47 and from Dorothy Perkins October 2007.
Centre - Dorothy Perkins Autumn Winter 2007 - Black Lurex
dress with beaded halter neckline 28/44, is also modelled by Heather Marks at the top
of the page.
See more of Heather on the
Far Right - Monsoon Autumn Winter 2007 - Sienna Dress with
cutaway halter neck and back in
£135/210 and in store from October.
you can see from the lovely halter neck examples on this page, the circular yoke is a perfect place to add
embroidery, use contrast fabric, or develop as an area to be
crystal is the preferred bead of choice of top designers and
quality clothing manufacturers.
neatly faced halter yoke style can have just a minimal amount of cutaway
armscye such as this white top left, so that it verges on being a
sleeveless smock top. In practical terms an under yolk
makes this a much easier style to wear than a fully cutaway
halter. You can buy into the trend without over exposure.
of the yoke band neckline also dictates the volume of
embellishment. Generally the narrower the casing band to
set the bodice on, then the more arm and shoulder line revealed.
right and left top from Monsoon - Charlize Beaded 100% Silk Satin Top,
The Monsoon dry clean only top is Code: 12995041 in Ivory.
It is a very pretty top and makes me feel like being transported to a
For several seasons metallic and shimmering looks have been
the hallmark of winter evening wear. The fashion trend has
been so strong that metallic effects have infiltrated into daywear
Metallics work right through silvers, gunmetal greys, gold,
brass and now copper bronzed tones. This gold tunic yoke
halter top and the gold halter roll neck dress shown right, are both from
Near right -Dorothy Perkins Autumn Winter 2007 -Gold Roman
neckline top £25/40.
Far right - Dorothy Perkins Most Wanted October 2007 - Gold
Lurex tunic dress £25 40.
It's not just gold that's in the shops, but also every other
metal. This Principles silver modestly
cutaway armhole dress
below left, is
covered in circle spangles. Principles Autumn Winter 2007
main collection - Silver lace
circles dress £69/110.
This copper brown dress above left is another lovely dress from
main collection. It is
beautifully decorated on the cutaway yoke.
Principles Autumn Winter 2007 - main collection - Gold warrior
neck dress £75/115. Note how these styles elongate the arms.
Principles UK Stockist telephone number for both items is 0870 122 8802.
If you are person who must have colour, then you
really will be spoilt for choice with this style. Every range seems to have catered for the
silhouette details of this fashion trend.
The stunning teal blue cutaway smock tent dress is from Debenhams.
This neckline detail left, shows the stones and braiding on the embellished yoke.
Teal blue is a colour that has grown from strength to
strength. Along with purple, brown, gold and green it very much
marks itself as one of the hues favoured in the late noughties.
Debenhams Autumn/Winter 2007 Womenswear -
Butterfly by Matthew Williamson limited edition embellished
tunic, Star by Julien MacDonald silver box clutch £20/31,
Vicenza silver bangle, Nine West platforms.
These then, are the some of the evening fashion
clothes from Dorothy Perkins, Principles, Monsoon,
Internacionale and Debenhams for
Fashion Trends Autumn 2007, Winter 2008.
Halter top dresses were very popular throughout the 1960s and
into the 1970s; here you can see me as a teenager to the right, wearing a
black cutaway halter dress. Incidentally, it's the hairstyle that dates the photos.
My Wallis black halter dress was silk chiffon and had long streamers
trailing down from the back neck. It was one of those favourite
reliable little black dresses and I wore it regularly over a
period of several years until sadly it showed wear. Long ties are frequently used in
halter styles as they enable an individual to achieve a secure fit.
a photograph of my elder sister wearing a floral halter neckline
maxi dress I sewed for her. It was made from blue roses on black
a Rose and Hubble fabric of the 1970s.
This style was a
take off of the white halter dresses designed by Halston.
The cut was the same line of dresses originally worn by
film stars Jean Harlow and the silver screen dancer, Ginger Rogers.
The difference between my sister's halter dress and mine is that
her dress was backless. Many of you will only have worn
the style as a bikini top.
All the dress pattern manufacturers produced great halter
This more recent black halter dress, right, is from a
Ralph Lauren Vogue designer pattern. It is another example
of a halter style showing how endless the variety of halter
arrangements can be. It is worth seeking vintage patterns
just for the variety of dress styles that come to your
final thought - cutaway areas in fashion clothing demand either
a young body or a very toned body. Whilst my sister and I may
have worn a halter dresses as teenagers neither of us would
consider wearing this style now, without a cover up. Too
many women over 40 have chicken wing flaps on upper top
You'd need the tennis toned arms of Anna Wintour to get away
with this look. I have to say she looks great in this photograph
left and taken at the
Swarovski Fashion Awards. This is a case of a woman
knowing that her arms are one of her good features and so she
has chosen to focus on them.
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