choker_

From plastic to velvet to pearl to diamond, we take a look at the evolution of the choker.

Queens of the choker age

Women of the 1800's - Manet's Painting Olympia, Edgar Degas' Ballerinas, Alexandra Queen Of Denmark Women of the 1800's - Manet's Painting Olympia, Edgar Degas' Ballerinas, Alexandra Queen Of Denmark

In the 1800s, the choker was the necklace of choice for women from almost every kind of social group. The French painter Manet’s work, Olympia, focusing on a nude female figure with an empowered gaze wearing a ribbon around her neck, has been considered evidence of the choker being a symbol of prostitution. However, a mere ten years after Manet’s controversial painting, the impressionist artist Edgar Degas adorned his rehearsing ballerinas with the similar black chokers.

18ct white gold heart choker featuring 1.55 ctw round brilliant diamonds and figure 8 safety closure. 18ct white gold heart choker featuring 1.55 ctw round brilliant diamonds and figure 8 safety closure.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.41.02 18ct yellow gold Carrera y Carrera choker necklace on wide satin collar featuring removable red enameled flower brooch pendant with diamond accent, fancy cut quartz set above and double stick pin closure and velcro closure at nape. Includes black satin strap bracelet.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.42.27 18ct yellow gold multistrand choker necklace featuring tourmaline beads throughout, ornament at center with tourmaline cabochons and and hook clasp closure.

Further confusing our understanding of the choker's meaning are the official royal photographs of Alexandra of Denmark, Queen consort to King Edward VII. Most surviving photos of Queen Alexandra show her wearing fantastically elaborate chokers embellished with precious metals and stones, suggesting that this may have been the fashion amongst royalty and aristocracy.

The Golden Age of Hollywood

Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend and Moon Of Baroda Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend and Moon Of Baroda

The rise of glamorous starlets in the 50s and 60s saw the return of the choker to the fashion frontline. The chokers of this era took stylistic elements from both the simplistic ribbons and extravagant pieces of the previous century, as demonstrated by the selection worn by Marilyn Monroe in the classic film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In the iconic performance of Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend, Monroe's iconic shocking pink dress was paired with an opulent diamond choker, whilst a stunning green and blue cluster of gems adorned her neck elsewhere in the film. The siren was also lent the Moon of Baroda - a 24 carat pear-shaped yellow diamond - for the film's promotional campaign.

The Grunge goddess 

Kate Moss in the 1990s Kate Moss in the 1990s

Yet another revival swapped the sparkling neckpieces of Hollywood for chunky black velvet and plastic 'fake-tattoo' chokers: grunge was in and glamour was out. During her early career, Kate Moss modelled a number of these heavy gothic pieces for John Galliano, evoking the 19th Century French fashion in the paintings of Manet and Degas – with the provocative new addition of the cross.

Sterling silver Barry Kieselstein-Cord choker with rolo chain, Maltese cross stations and lobster clasp closure. Sterling silver Barry Kieselstein-Cord choker with rolo chain, Maltese cross stations and lobster clasp closure.

2280617 Black braided leather Barry Kieselstein-Cord choker necklace with sterling silver heart and crescent moon pendants and spring ring closure. Includes jewelry pouch.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.45.19 Brass Lanvin oval link choker necklace with wooden cabochons set in silver-tone and bronze and grey crystal embellishments featuring black ribbon, gold-tone bead embellishments and S-hook closure.

The It girl essential

Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian

Today’s chokers combine the trends of some 200 years of jewellery fashion - but, naturally, some new styles have emerged. Kim Kardashian has transformed herself into a walking mannequin for chokers, as she has been spotted wearing a different style at every other appearance. A small collection of diamond-encrusted chokers from the New-York based jeweller, Lorraine Schwartz, have been worn by the reality star and are rumoured to be worth an eye-watering $1 million each. Though it seems not everything in Kim’s jewellery collection is quite so pricey, with the socialite having been seen in a choker fashioned from cut-off denim, as well as a sleek white-and-gold piece.

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.47.57 Black woven Christian Dior leather choker featuring gold-tone center with malachite accents and gold-tone hook closure.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 13.48.09 14ct yellow gold arrow collar necklace featuring prong set triangular slice kyanite and single cut diamonds.

All pieces featured are can be purchased from The RealReal. Check out more here.

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