Fashion: A boost for those who don't quite have it all

Gossard and Playtex are set to resume the bra wars, but this time they face some unlikely competition
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PAMELA ANDERSON and the rest of the silicone-enhanced bimbettes may have had theirs deflated, but British women, according to the bra giants Gossard and Playtex, are still looking for D cups that runneth over.

The Bra Wars are back... with a vengeance. Yes, that again. The two underwear rivals are vying to dominate the cleavage-enhancing bra market by launching new products this month with aggressive marketing and prices to match.

Gossard's new weapon is the Ultrabra Super Boost, guaranteed, says the company, to "out-boost any other bra on the market". So confident is Gossard in its new invention that it claims that the bra will give you "the biggest cleavage ever or your money back".

Consumer research carried out by Gossard - including trials with more than 500 women - revealed that comfort was as much of a priority as cleavage. As a result, Gossard has addressed the comfort factor with the creation of its "technologically advanced" Super Boost system. "A continual wire casing, the tilt of the cup and the design of the pad in the lower cup are the three factors that enhance comfort and ensure the biggest cleavage ever," says Angela Masella, the marketing manager of Gossard.

Should you be wishing to expand your frontage with Gossard, an Ultrabra Super Boost costs pounds 21. And whether you are of pea-size or melon dimensions, you should be able to find a cup size, from A to F, that suits your requirements.

John Dixey, managing director of Playtex, which owns the Wonderbra label, says: "There will always be competitors to us and gimmicky products will appear." Ironically, then, Playtex is hoping that its forthcoming pounds 1m Wonderbra advertising campaign, which features the well-endowed model Adriana Sklenarikova and is set to break in September, will cause British women to skip with joy down to their local department store and buy its new set of re-enforced Wonderbras.

The first of these, entitled Adrenaline Rush, is a gauzy hot pink number, which costs pounds 20. It will hit the shops in September, to be followed in October by Purple Rain, pounds 21, (blackcurrant sorbet colour with white silver- lustre lace). And just in case you want to wear the buxom look for the biggest party of the century, the glittery Millennium bra will be available from November, costing pounds 24.

The legendary bra specialist June Kenton, of Rigby & Peller, bra-fitter to the Queen no less, says that the best cleavage enhancer on the market is made by neither of the leading bra manufacturers Gossard or Playtex, but a small company called Michelle Moan, which is based in Scotland and produces the Ultimo bra for pounds 35. Kenton says Michelle Moan has created the most revolutionary engineering, by stitching silicone breast enhancers - which can cost up to pounds 150 a pair - into the cup of the bra for the ultimate push. "You can't get a better cleavage than this," says Kenton. "And nothing falls out when you take it off at night."