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One Shoulder

The eye, as Diana Vreeland famously stated, has to travel. Lately, the fashion eye has fixed upon the shoulder, with a multitude of turning out tops and frocks that make an exposed shoulder the center of attention. One-shoulder looks are especially hot right now. But no one has yet bested the maestro, where this particular trend is concerned. The Valentino Couture archive turns up a veritable cornucopia of iconic, one-shoulder gowns.


Perhaps none is more iconic than the draped, sage green satin gown from the Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1967/68 collection that Jacqueline Kennedy wore during her visit to Cambodia. The dress' enduring appeal is attested to by the fact that Princess Marie Chantal of Greece wore it again when she attended the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years" in 2001 (with a suave gentleman named Valentino Garavani on her arm) and Jennifer Lopez donned a vintage version of the same look, in mint, when she owned the red carpet at the 2003 Academy Awards.


Another one-shoulder Valentino Oscars look? Cate Blanchett's yellow taffeta, worn when she collected her Best Supporting Actress award for her work in 2005's The Aviator. And a year earlier, Jennifer Garner stunned in a vintage Valentino one-shoulder column gown with a full, iridescent train. That gown was reddish-orange; meanwhile, the one-shoulder, figure hugging gown in Valentino red was a staple of the maison during Mr. Valentino's reign, appearing in several iterations in the Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2000/01 collection, showing up in the Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1994 ad campaign (shot by Mario Testino and featuring Nadja Auermann), turning up in the Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1986/87 outing and, twenty years on, in the 2006/07 Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear.


More one-shoulder standouts from the archives: How about the slinky black gown with striped taffeta underskirt from Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1981/82, memorably modeled by Carole Alt in a campaign shot by Francois Lamy? Or the embroidered, full-skirted gown from Haute Couture Fall/Winter 1988/89, which graced the cover of Architectural Digest alongside a suave gentleman by the name of Valentino Garavani? One shoulder, many hits.  



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