ALL CHOKED UP: From Edwardian to the 70s to contemporary renditions, the choker is back
The choker style necklace is coming full circle again (literally) as designers create styles crafted from fabrics, thin diamond wires and bold metal looks. From feminine to sensuous they surround the necks of a new generation who were too young to remember them the first few times they came into style.
Okay, none of us were here for the late 19th/early 20th century dog collars of black grosgrain or velvet ribbon which were designed with cut steel and rose cut diamond buckles, floral motifs and Whitby jet cameos- popularized in the Victorian era. Or when the Edwardians went for more delicate styles of multiple seed pearl strands and garland motifs designed to protect and decorate the necks of the upper classes and royalty of the day.
But as child in the late 60s and pre-teen in the early 70s, the Biba and Mary Quant versions of the earlier Victorian styles caught my attention. My mom wore them either maxi coats and mini skirts imitating those she saw on models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton and actresses such as Ali McGraw.
Punk came into fashion, and with it, more aggressive chokers fastened with safety pins, nail heads and wide leather dog collars that looked like those you would put on a pit bull. Bulgari and other renowned houses softened the look in textured metals of yellow and white gold.
The choker circled back in the 90s, with a mash-up of the previous styles, in stretchy fabrics and thinner wire versions which were finished with cultured pearls or bezel set diamonds on each end.In 2015 they resurfaced and have recently been seen on both the ready-to-wear and couture runways. We’re also seeing them in the studios of independent jewelry designers such as Zoe Chicco, Nikos Koulis, Eva Fehren and Fern Freeman. The millennial generation’s favorite online shop for antique jewelry Theoneilove.com, pairs Georgian brooches with grosgrain and other fabrics. Style setting celebrities such as Rhianna ,Jennifer Lawrence have been spotted with various styles encircling their necks and even kick them up a notch, wrapped and tied, worn with t-shirt for day or gowns for weddings.