Part One: Introduction to Chokers –
An iconic jewellery piece, chokers have been a popular jewellery choice for centuries; indeed gold choker necklaces were worn by Sumerians – 2500BC and many current choker designs look like they have been directly copied from ancient Sumerian designs. From a simple ribbon to elaborate multi-layered pieces dripping in priceless gems the seemingly humble choker has endured the test of time in exquisite style. For such an often outwardly simplistic piece of jewellery, a well worn choker look can be quite difficult to achieve. Whether it’s been worn too tight/loose, or the wearer has mistaken the optimal choker width for their body shape or perhaps the fault lies with their actual choker choice – many a woman has donned a choker more suitable for someone much younger or older.
A tantalising mix of feminine ‘delicacy and violence, danger and control’ – the iconic choker now conjures up and evokes imagery significantly more divergent than that simple ribbon (and all of its symbolism) tied around the neck of ‘Olympia’ and immortalised so long ago in Manet’s controversial painting.This contrasting blend of ‘delicacy’ ‘danger’ and ‘violence’ of the choker can easily be found as the choker seems to cut through and dissects one of the most vulnerable places on our bodies. After the mass beheadings during the French Revolution many women took to wearing red ribbon chokers in remembrance of loved ones who lost their lives to the guillotine. The symbolism of feminine empowerment and ‘control’ can be found by our seemingly fearlessness in wearing something so tightly pressed up against such a vulnerable part of our bodies for all to see. As the New York Fashion Week blog once put it a choker is a ‘beautiful warning sign that you’re dealing with feminine ferocity’, now that doesn’t sound like too bad of an endorsement for the paradoxical nature of the choker.
With so many choker designs and styles available, it is important to firstly determine what you want from your choker – what type of look are you going for? Conceivably, this is one of the most evidenced errors that choker wearers make – choosing a choker that does not complement or help to create to look/style you are trying to achieve. You know what I’m saying? your aiming for a little goth look but come of looking more like a mix between Ann Boleyn – 1500’s style – and Alexandra, the Princess of Wales – 1900’s style… yow!
Not to worry, today’s choker trends lends itself to a multitude of styles and combinations of construction materials, textures, patterns and colours, so you should be able to find the perfect style and design of choker to suit you perfectly. Truly, at present there are so many interpretations available that it is easily possible to find a choker to suit every style persuasion, making the choker necklace an essential investment for every woman’s jewellery collection. So, whether you are dreaming of recreating that 1920’s/30’s art deco style (feat. simple velvet ribbon or pearls) or, that quintessential Gothic look or you are keen to create a romantic and feminine style. Perhaps however, you might yearn to re-create that 80’s rock-chick look complete with studded dog collar? No? not your cup of tea? maybe you see yourself as more of a 90’s rock-chick with a minimal understated choker look? Still don’t see yourself? let’s see….. perhaps you see yourself as more of a throwback Renaissance woman wearing everything from simple understated pieces or elaborate choker layers of decadence to achieve that stunning glamour look? Whatever your poison trust us, there is a choker with your style name on it out there waiting for you.
While broadly speaking ‘slim’ is the neck that can most effectively carry off a choker to its optimal potential, the proliferation of choker styles and designs enables all body shapes and sizes to successfully and beautifully carry of a stunning choker accessory – you just need to pick the right one.