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V-necks in Vogue

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Long a vestige of T-shirts and preppy sweaters, the V-neck style is becoming a staple in bridal dresses, adding a sense of classic design and sensuality.

As brides look for strapless alternatives either for novelty or more coverage, V-necks are one option that can work well in a variety of silhouettes from sleeveless to cap-sleeve styles.

On display for the spring 2014 season during New York International Bridal Week, Monique Lhuillier showcased a long-sleeved lace column dress with a V-shaped neckline. Marchesa’s line included a corded lace sleeveless column gown with a plunging neckline and a dainty Chantilly lace gown with delicate straps. Rivini’s designs were bearing, such as the Chantilly lace gown with a plunging V-neck and open back and a spaghetti strap Alencon embroidered tulle dress with a revealing front and a low back.

“It’s a very good look,” says Barbie Roberts, the bridal buyer at Julian Gold, a designer and bridal boutique chain based in Texas. “I just got back from market and saw several V-neck styles that caught my eye. It’s very pretty when done in lace.”

Roberts says she picked up designs from Liancarlo and Amsale. Another fan of the look is Malea Hutt, sales manager of the Little White Dress Bridal Shop in Denver, who picked up Liancarlo’s lace mermaid gown with a V-neck the season prior.

“The V-neck has always been a great look for women in everyday wear so it is nice to also see it in bridal,” Hutt says. “We hear all the time that brides want a gown with a strap, and the V-neck can be a flattering way for a bride to have straps on her wedding gown.”

On the runways, models also paraded both ornate and edgier looks sporting V-necks. Carolina Herrera’s collection abounded with the neckline, including romantic styles, such as the wide-strapped ivory silk chiffon gown with lace fluttering at the neckline and a sleeveless mermaid gown embroidered with a rose motif and accented with a tulle overlay. V-neck looks were aplenty in Vera Wang’s collection complemented by intimidating elbow-length gloves. The dresses veered from the sleek, like the ivory sleeveless V-neck silk crepe gown, to the Gatsby-esque Chantilly lace sleeveless mermaid gown with a bubble lace T-shirt.

Not all bridal salons are sold on the look. Alexia Joyce, owner of Alexia’s Bridal Boutique in Raleigh, N.C., cautions that bigger busted girls may face wardrobe malfunctions when wearing the style.

“I don’t think the very plunging looks will work on fuller-chested brides because they may spill out on either side,” Joyce says. “But, we can work with couture designers who can raise the V-neck higher if brides pick that style.”

When brides gussy up on their big day, they don’t have to overdo the accessories on a V-neck style, say experts. They suggest keeping it minimal, perhaps drop earrings or a striking long pendant to help show off the neckline and collar bones.

“You can wear the hair up and maybe one sparkling piece of jewelry,” Joyce says. “A little will go a long way.”

[Photo: Carolina Herrera]

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