October 04, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

This season’s necklines head south

The latest trend to set off tremors among fashion plates: Necklines that plunge as deep as fault lines. From Demi Moore’s ads for Donna Karan to Toni Braxton’s ”You’re Makin’ Me High” video to Sharon Stone and Sigourney Weaver at recent movie premieres, celebrities are donning the low-dipping cleft of a V neck. Designers such as Karan, Gucci’s Tom Ford, and Michael Kors are showcasing the style in pantsuits, zip-front dresses, even unitards. And with shirts unbuttoned to the waist these days, it’s even crossing over for men. ”It’s very streamlined and sleek,” says Karan. ”What’s so wonderful about it is that during the day you can zip it all the way up and at night zip it down.”

Be warned though, Wonderbras are not an option. These clothes expose what can only be called under-cleavage, a zone that’s guaranteed to deliver aftershocks. ”The network censors have a problem with seeing the underside of breasts. It’s a big taboo,” says Jimmy Hanrahan, MTV’s senior wardrobe stylist. ”On Jenny McCarthy’s outfit for the MTV awards, just to be safe I stitched the opening so you couldn’t see under the breasts.” Regardless, McCarthy was still off the Richter scale.

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