ONCE UPON A time there lived a princess called Diana who was enamoured with the one-shoulder dress. She wore it everywhere. Diana, above, even accessorised the aqua silk formal gown she wore during her 1985 Australian tour with the wedding present given to her by her mother in law Queen Elizabeth – a Cambridge emerald necklace. But instead of putting the choker around her neck, as the Queen would have desired, Diana, who had forgotten to pack a tiara, wore the royal heirloom as a headband à la Olivia Newton-John in the video clip for Physical. It was a bold move by Shy Di. As was the one-shoulder dress. However, after Diana’s death I recall one magazine writer gave her signature style the thumbs down, suggesting it was a faux pas rather than a fashion statement. Diana was obviously just years ahead of her time because 2009 has been the year of the oneshoulder dress.
In January, US First Lady Michelle Obama chose a one-shoulder chiffon gown by Jason Wu to wear to 10 official balls celebrating her hubby President Obama’s inauguration. Since that white dress appeared on the red carpet, showing a bit of collar bone has been the new black, with every designer from Armani to Zampatti rubbing shoulders with the trend.
And the new black shows no signs of fading anytime soon: Cate Blanchett wore a royal Armani Prive oneshoulder dress to a Giorgio Armani event in NYC only last month, and Carla Zampatti has included a lively lizard-print silk-satin mini dress in her latest collection.
But just so you know, the one-shoulder is being shoved out of the way by the sculpted shoulder. So best to give your one-shoulder dress a work out while you still can. Unless of course you’ve been skipping the gym – because flabby upper arms are the pits. In which case, you will have to give the one shoulder the cold shoulder. The daring one-shoulder pioneered by Princess Diana has been the dress of 2009.