Ocleavage is over. So over. Cleavage is so yesterday that it is practically last Christmas, and I have to say that I am glad.
The hey-day of cleavage was actually quite stressful, particularly if you didn't have any on show yourself. There was that embarrassment when females bent forward to answer a phone. Travelling with male drivers became increasingly hazardous . . . notably in fine weather . . . and it was impossible to find a shirt which closed.
The death knell of the cleavage has been sounded by Gossard, makers of the Wonderbra, who have now introduced the new, discreet Supersmooth bra, guaranteed to send a chill into male hearts everywhere. The Supersmooth boasts "no-seam technology, comfort, enhancement, no marks, nude sensation".
It is, in fact, the invisible bra, even though it features something scary called sonic welding and, judging by the photographs in the Gossard brochure, is so tight that it is in danger of giving you four breasts instead of two.
Still, I suppose we will get used to it. I mean, remember the leg-warmer, for God's sake. Leg-warmers seemed absolutely vital at the time. Now that Jade's boob job has made the front pages of tabloids everywhere (that was two weeks ago . . . where have you been? ) we are nestled in the middle of the breast backlash. No wonder the view is somewhat limited.
Suddenly, the thing to do with breasts is cover them up, not wave them at your elderly relatives. The fashionistas want to see breasts, but not to be confronted by them over their first espresso of the morning. They want them in anonymous sihouette. It's time, apparently, to put the mystery back into breasts. Now that's what I call an uphill struggle.
Cleavage had started off as eveningwear, you see. That's why Lana Turner was called The Sweater Girl, because she wasn't allowed to get them out in daylight. And Lana Turner wasn't exactly Saint Bernadette, let's put it no more strongly than that.
Even Marilyn Monroe, bless her, covered up in the daytime, that is on the days when she wasn't posing naked for girlie calendars.
The cleavage was like the navel, it used to be a leisure accessory, to be seen under artificial light, or sometimes at the beach.
The sight of cleavage during the working day was unsettling. It's display, you know.
There are millions of us across the world, and in non-Muslim countries, who just never did get used to display.
Yes, it was display what done it, that and the increasing size of the female breast. The growth of the female breast has been ascribed to the increased female consumption of alcohol . . . specifically wine, although Eva Herzigova, the original Wonderbra girl, always said that hers were due to beer. What no one admitted for a second was that the ubiquity of the cleavage was a direct result of us all getting so damn fat. A cleavage is the only benign by-product of weight-gain.
Another thing that no one admitted was that the cleavage went global as a direct result of the increasing amount of pornography available to ordinary people. The relationship between pornography and mainstream fashion is a close one, as anyone who remembers all those skinny Playmates from the '70s will tell you. From pornography to the surgeon's knife is a much shorter journey than we would have previously supposed.
The porn ideal . . . skinny girl, big boobs . . .was not only desirable, but affordable.
Anyway it doesn't matter, because, suddenly, walking through the most modest shopping centre was like being backstage at the Paris Lido only, if you were female, a lot less fun. If you had them . . . or had recently acquired them . . . then you had to get them out, out, out.
Those wet tee-shirt competitions had never been less necessary.
Cleavage came too late for me. I was only catching up with it and now it has vanished. One wrap-around top, one of those squeezy vests and, hey presto, I was off on one of the most uncomfortable days I can remember. No one in our office had even known I had breasts. I couldn't wait to get home and put on a cardie.
Now I'm in fashion again. I gather that Eva Herzigova's breasts have completely vanished from her frame, whether through eating disorders or a sense of discretion cannot be established at this time.
From now on the Wonderbra, one of the more uncomfortable pieces of underclothing ever suffered by the female sex, has been renamed the Superboost, with only the little x-s at the back to remind us of its former glory.
Perhaps it is a little sad. The cleavage was a good-humoured fashion phenomenon; it speaks, as it were, of good times. But I'm telling you, the cardigan will never die.