Choker Necklaces: A Fashionable History

You’ve seen them come back to the 21st fashion limelight and it looks like they have  no plans of ever dying. Chokers, which are Victorian classic pieces, have been frequently seen on celebrities and people who know what’s trending.

 luxury choker necklaces

According to The Psychology of Fashion, bits of fashion history have a habit of coming back every once in awhile. Perhaps, this happens due to human’s limited scope of creativity or conformism. Whatever it is, chokers are here again, and nobody knows until when.

According to a recent study, the popularity of choker necklaces is continually dropping down. Before they are completely removed in the list of top fashion trends, it may be worth it to at least know how they got popular in the first place.

Ancient Jewelry of the Egyptians

According to the curator of Emerita of Jewelry Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Yvonne Markowitz, women in the ancient Sumer Empire wore chokers with other necklaces as a protective amulet. Like a lot of other ancient jewelries, chokers were deemed powerful. One common design for chokers was one with four to six beads held by a zigzag-shaped spacer.

Chokers as Tribute to Lost Lives

Chokers were seen again in the fashion scene in the 1700s when female French expatriates supported the French Revolution by wearing red ribbons around their necks. The ribbons were tributes to those who had lost their necks to the guillotine. However, some fashion experts argue that chokers’ next comeback was during the 1500s as Anne Boleyn was seen wearing one in a painting of her image.

For the Prostitutes and Royals

In the 1800s, prostitutes wore ribbons around their necks as signs of their profession. Manet’s painting, Olympia, backs up this notion. In the painting, a prostitute wears a black ribbon around her neck.

Ironically, at around the same time, chokers were seen on ballerinas, fashionable ladies, and even royalties. The Princess of Wales, Alexandra, wore chokers to cover the scar she had on her neck. However, she ended up setting a fashion trend for the next 50 years. Queen Victoria was also seen sporting the accessory during her reign.

The Fashionable and the Rebels of the 20s

The 1940s saw the popularity of “dog collars” made from velvet, pearls, lace, ribbon, or diamonds. In the 20th century, “tattoo chokers” made from plastic of netted design were popularized by goths and trendsetters.

Now, chokers are all about materials, colors, patterns, and textures. They come in different forms and can be made with pearls, jewels, stripes, brass, or heavy chains. They have graced the catwalks and Hollywood red carpets.

The Undying Fashion Trend

So, chokers started 500 years ago. They have changed over the years but essentially remain the same. By having stood the test of time, there’s no doubt that these neck pieces are a fashion icon. Even if they go out of trend for the next month, they’ll sure to make a comeback in the next years.



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