I surfed the web searching for answers and found some surprising anecdotes about this so-called “Collier de Chien“ (“Dog collar“ in French). Many different cultures wore the choker throughout history for a series of varied, sometimes surprising reasons:
The Ancient Egyptians & Sumerians used to wear chokers as a protective kind of amulet. It was in most cases made out of gold and precious stones like the Lapis Lazuli (the Ancient Egyptians favorite stone for amulets and also Cleopatra's favorite blue eyeshadow powder!). They pretty much only made them with materials that were at the time believed to hold some sort of ”power” given by nature itself to protect us. These nations were in fact known for their use of jewelry as protective tools, placed around fragile parts of the body like the throat, head or ankles.
Similarly, the Native Americans wore chokers made out of birds bones on the battlefield to protect their throat from potentially fatal wounds.
Nefertiti Wearing the Anyixin Moon-Choker
Nowadays you can see ribbon chokers on Tumblr fashionista's pictures but did you know that during the Revolution time in France, you could see women wearing thin red ribbons tied around their necks (sometimes tied on their back and around the shoulders). It was worn as a symbol of remembrance of the guillotined loved ones. Shockingly surprising, right?
During the 19th century, the choker was a sign of wealth due to the fact that it was, of course, made out of extremely expensive materials such as pearls but also because most of these necklaces were personally fitted to the wearer which was another privilege of the “elite“.
But, it is said, that while the choker was seen as a high-class accessory on one side, it also made a few obscure appearances around the same time as a symbol of prostitution and lesbianism (generally plain red or black ribbon chokers)!
Native American Style
Back to the ”VIP's”anecdotes: the British Queen Alexandra of Denmark (herself a big C.N.A.), mostly (if not only) wore Chokers as necklaces! It is said that she was trying to hide a scar that she had on her neck.
Similarly, ladies from South Germany & Austria used a specific type of choker to conceal imperfections. The so-called “Kropfband” or ”Kropfkette” (literally ”Goiter Chain”) was a choker made of a few rows of chains and usually closed at the front with an ornamented clasp. Apparently, it was common at the time for people living high in the Alps, to get lumps (Goiter) around the neck due to an iodine deficiency caused by low levels of iodine in the soil. This explains why women around these areas were also heavy choker addicts...
John Lennon Street-Art Portrait
The fashion history has had more recent periods of quite massive international cases of C.N.A.: the 60's and 90's (remember the stretch tattoo chokers?) even American boy's bands like NSYNC were wearing them! Because, yes, chokers also had male fans throughout time. Quite a few famous male artists, in fact, had their own C.N.A. periods: Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Lenny Kravitz and John Lennon, to mention a few.
So as you can now tell, the choker has quite an interesting story and keeps coming back in different materials, purposes, sizes, and colors.
If this makes you want to get one of your own, make sure to check out the Choker section in Anyixin's shop! You might enjoy or fall in love with one of my Moon-Choker designs and if not, more styles and colors are coming so please stay tuned and follow Anyixin on Instagram!
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