When it comes to jewelry, particular fashion necklaces are more than just a passing trend. These are the styles that remain popular season after season. One of the most popular styles of fashion necklaces around has always been the choker. Let’s take a closer look at this close-fitting style of necklace!
Native American Beginnings
For most people, chokers probably conjure up thoughts of the fashion jewelry we all went crazy for in the nineties. It seems like every girl from around age 12 and up was wearing the stretchy black chokers back then! However, the truth is chokers have actually been around for a very long time. In fact, some of the first chokers were worn by Native Americans and were made from bones, glass, and shells. Of course, these ancient chokers were much more than just fashion accessories. Female tribespeople did wear them for decorative purposes, but they were also worn by male warriors to serve as a protective collar while in battle!
The Cultural Significance of the Choker
Chokers have also been a prominent feature in African culture for many years, and once again they serve more of a purpose than just serving as fashion necklaces. Chokers are especially common with Massai people in Eastern Africa, where they are a part of cultural attire. They are decorative, but they also serve as an indication of the wearers civil and material status. Some designs are even used to commemorate special milestones.
A European Fashion Statement
Moving across to Europe now, and the French Revolution. Chokers became popular fashion necklaces among French women, who used red ribbon or tape around their neck in tribute to those who were put to death by the guillotine. Over time, they became more of a fashion statement than a political one, and ladies started to add stones, beads, and embroidery. The trend soon spread to other countries across Europe, and chokers became a favorite style of necklace in the likes of England and Spain.
A Turning Point for Chokers
In the 1800s, Chokers had a hidden meaning. A black ribbon choker was a symbol women used to indicate they were prostitutes or courtesans. However, a very influential woman was about to change the way these fashion necklaces were viewed forever. Princess Alexandra of Denmark was a huge jewelry fan, but she also had a prominent scar on her neck which she went to great lengths to hide. She took the idea of the black choker and made it her own – commissioning her jeweler to create a black velvet choker set with pearls. The tight-fitting choker hid her disfigurement entirely, and within a year all of the ladies were sporting variations of these fashion accessories made from ribbons, lace, gemstones and even gold!
Modern Day Chokers
Chokers continue to be a popular choice when it comes to fashion necklaces. Several of the dominant fashion houses have been using chokers on their runways for several seasons. We are seeing a chunkier, edgier take on the choker using metals and leather instead of lace and velvet. One thing is for sure; chokers are here to stay!
Blue Dress® Boutique is a fashion forward jewelry and accessories line showcasing interchangeable Snap Button Jewels™ that can be worn with our beautiful companion jewelry pieces including necklaces, bracelets, and other accessories.