Dancer On The Stage by Edgar Degas c. 1876-77. pastel on paper. Paris, Musée d'Orsay
The choker is back and we've seen it for some time now, both on a daily basis and on festive occasions. It has been worn by pop culture princesses, gothic fairies, fashionistas, and also by people who have always enjoyed this type of adornment.
So, one day I decided to look back at the history of chokers... And here is the story of this incredibly fascinating piece of jewelry & fashion accessory.
And what exactly it is?
A choker is a close-fitting necklace worn around the neck. Chokers can be made of a variety of materials, including velvet, plastic, beads, leather, metal etc. Of course, such a band of material can be adorned in a variety of ways. We have seen them already - chokers with sequins, studs, brooches, pins and pendants.
From Attribute Of Slavery To Expression Of Style & Fashion
In antiquity chockers were created out of the ideal of slave lockets. Slaves worn iron chockers around their necks and ankles.
As a sign of slavery, chokers or the iron neck rings did not disappear even in later times. Restrained African captives wore iron neck rings and chains either as they were transported to the West African coast or on board ship. The chains would link to the African's hands, or to another enslaved person to keep them from escaping.
And yet, if the neck rings or chokers were made of another material - luxurious, fine, and brilliant, then they became fashionable. But they also became a symbol of personal status. They transformed into necklaces.
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My name is Edīte Parute and I am a fashion historian and researcher from Latvia, association member at "The Association of Dress Historians" (UK) and author of the book "Stila un modes enciklopēdija"/"Encyclopedia of Style and Fashion" (2010) as well as author of many publications.