Necklines are treated like a looming spirit of the past in the fashion industry. This is one aspect that never really gets reinvented, per se, but a collection can’t go past its existence.
The halter neck is one such neckline that’s been an integral part of the industry. Despite its low-point after the popularity in the 80s and 90s, the halter neckline is more of an outfit detail now, than a full-blown trend. It has more diversity to it; especially the way it merges itself with other spring trends of 2012.
If you want to know how to the halter neckline has transformed for spring 2012 and ways it can be styled without back exposure, then continue reading after the jump.
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The halter neck: traditional vs. modern
The halter neck was considered a staple in a teenage girl’s wardrobe, especially in the early stages of her adolescent life where a bra had still not made its debut in her closet. The delusion of a chest with its V-neckline acted as a perfect image boost for many girls that age.
However, with time and technology, the halter no longer became a necessity in a teenager’s survival kit, and as we know it, it has migrated itself to an adult woman’s wardrobe, with changes of course.
One of the many reasons for the promotion is that designers are approaching the halter neck with a modern outlook, giving it a sensual and unique shape on the upper torso. The halter doesn’t necessarily have to be backless and V-neck from the front. The design sheets have broadened their approach to the halter, making this trend more viable and trendy.
Choker halter neck
This type of a halter neck is your best bet if you’re not into a full back exposure or a plunging sweetheart or V-neckline.
The choker halter has been adapted from a piece of jewellery, and has proved to be a successful new addition to the halter family. The choker neckline reveals the bare shoulders, but do note that it may or may not be backless from behind.
For this spring, you don’t have to stick to the old school cut of the halter with the bare back. Keep it choker style with A-shaped lines wrapping the shoulders, from the front and back.
The spring / summer 2012 runway collection saw a variety of choker halter necklines, most popular being at the Elie Saab and Luca Luca show. The mustard gown at Saab (above right) makes you want to believe that it’s backless from behind, but in reality, it’s just a strong choker neckpiece.
Choker style halterneck at Luca Luca, S/S ’12
The chief reason this choker neck is still classified as a halter is that it keeps the shoulders bare, almost an of-the-shoulder look. A few pieces from Emanuel Ungaro’s collection also highlight this cut, where the choker-neck top has been styled with a high-waist skirt.
A choker halter proves that you don’t need two pieces of fabric tied together at back of the neck, for it to be classified as a halter. In this choker style, you can either choose to go for a hooked option or take the Elie Saab path and let the fabric wrap around the neck in the dreamiest manner.
Deeper-back halter neck
This cut is a tricky one as it’s traditional in some aspects, but modern and aesthetically rebellious otherwise. True to its title, the deeper back halters are incredibly deep at the back, with plunging fabric at the back. Jeremy Scott’s spring / summer 2012 collection displayed an array of backless varieties of halters in his rather cheeky New York show. Don’t be afraid to try this cut with slinky metallic fabrics as it droops on your body revealing a sculpted upper back.
Halter neck bustier at Jeremy Scott, S/S ’12
There’s another evolution this spring for the V-cut at the front; it’s been traded for a modern variety of the V-shape, as seen in Luca Luca, Julien MacDonald, Andrew Gn and Chanel bikinis.
You’ll notice with this halter, the V-shape of the neckline is not as prominent as the A-shaped sweetheart cut it forms around the chest, underarms and shoulders. The ‘V’ is closer the neck, giving more exposure to the shoulders and revealing little or nothing of the chest area.
Halter neck bikini at Chanel, S/S ’12
Julien Macdonald merges the two styles in some of his pieces, with an A-shaped neckline and a deeper halter back. The most distinctive variety is seen in Andrew Gn’s spring / summer 2012 collection. In the finale white dress, the sheer wrap covers the shoulders but an embellished and beaded accessory wraps around the neck, creating an illusion of a halter neckline.
Structured halter neck detail at Julien Macdonald, S/S ’12
Embellished halter neck dress at Andrew Gn, S/S ’12
This brings us to another noteworthy point – the use of embellishments and beading along the front of the halter to emphasise the V-shaped neckline. Andrew Gn illustrates this detailing around the neck in his spring collection, while both Emilio Pucci and Valentino highlight the halter with black lace, soft mesh and metallic gold jewellery.
Lace halter neck dress at Valentino, S/S ’12
Sporty halter neck
Adhering to the ongoing sporty trend for spring 2012, the sporty halter is close to what may be classified as a racer back or merely a sporty cut. The cut speaks for itself, but there’s no guarantee whether or not it’s backless from behind.
Antonio Beradi’s spring collection pitches the sporty halterneck as a key neckline for spring 2012, using soft lace and hardcore patent leather as the chief fabrics.
This cut doesn’t necessarily have to stay restricted in the sports field; it can be well transformed as an eveningwear look for this coming summer.
Sporty halter neck cut at Antonio Berardi, S/S ’12
For more inspiration on how to style the halter neckline direct from the spring 2012 runways, head to the gallery above and click on the thumbnails.