Breasts, bottoms and legs are

too obvious for the attentions of

the more subtle designers, they

prefer to expose the nape of the

neck, the ankle, the shoulders and

even the midriff. But as we approach

the party season, it is the elegance

and vulnerability of the back

that has been unveiled

Black full-length bias cut satin evening dress with cowl back, pounds 750, by Amanda Wakeley, 80 Fulham Road, London SW3; inquiries 0171-584 4009

Aqua viscose backless evening dress with large over-turned square collar, pounds 1,370, by Issey Miyake, 270 Brompton Road, London SW3; 0171-581 3760; also available from Browns, 27 South Molton Street, London W1; Jones, 15 Floral Street, London WC2; and Pollyanna, 14-16 Market Hill, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

Black moire back-fastening jacket, pounds 479; and black satin bias- cut long skirt, pounds 237, both by Ann Demeulemeester at Jones, as before

Black acorn-printed halter-neck, floor length dress, from a selection by Nicolas Knightly; inquiries 0171-437 7964

Photographer Howard Sooley

Stylist Liz Thody

Hair Giovanni di Stefano for Bladerunners, London

Make-up Sharon Ive

Model Deirdre at Storm