Friday, February 11, 2011


With Valentine's Day fast approaching, what better than to talk about sweethearts.  Sweetheart necklines, that is!
Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda
"The Lady Eve", 1941

The sweetheart neckline gets its name from the cut and shape of the neckline.  The sweetheart design features two curves over the bust line which drop and meet at a point in the middle of the bust area.  The graceful curves are very flattering and draw attention to the figure while still offering modest coverage.  The origins of the sweetheart neckline are unclear.  Some date it to the Renaissance age in Italy or to the Court of Isabella in 15th Century Spain.  Some credit 18th Century French designers for creating the neckline shape.  Whatever the origins, it has made a strong impact particularly on women's formal fashions.
I love this still from "The Lady Eve", a 1941 screwball romantic comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.  Edith Head designed the wonderful costumes.  This iconic evening gown is actually 2 pieces exposing a bare midriff.  The short beaded top has a sweetheart neckline. 

Click photo to enlarge

Ashton Drake's "That Certain Blue Gown" Madra Lord looking fabulous in Violet Water's "Out of the Blue" 1940's inspired evening gown.  This rich blue velvet gown is accented with a turquoise blue shantung gathered bodice, 3/4 length sleeves, and features a sweetheart neckline.  Circa 1944.

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