If you’re a follower of fashion trends, you’ve probably noticed that chokers have become popular again. The revival of the choker necklace is in large part due to 90s fashion coming back in style. I’m a huge fan of 90s fashion, so this resurgence has gotten me super excited.
However, while most of us associate the choker necklace with the 90s, it actually goes back much farther than that. Chokers, in fact, have a long history, dating as far back as Ancient Egypt. But since this is a blog on period dramas, I’m going to focus on the use of choker necklaces through that medium.
Chokers are very prevalent in period dramas. It’s easy to see why. They’ve played a huge part in fashion throughout the centuries. Ann Boleyn’s famous “B” choker, circa the 1500’s, springs to mind. They were also very much in style during the 1700’s among royals in various countries, including Spain and England.
Even more interesting is the role chocker necklaces played during the French Revolution. During this time, women would don a thin red ribbon tied into a choker as a silent tribute to their friends and family members who were victims of the guillotine. They could either be worn tied in a bow or crossed into an “x” at the back for a more fashionable look. Women would also adorn their ribbons with pendants or cameo pins to make them even more fashionable. It wasn’t long before this French trend of the ribbon choker spread to England.
Fast-forward to the 1800’s and chokers, specifically black chokers, had begun to take on a more scandalous connotation. A black ribbon tied around the neck was frequently used to identify prostitutes.
However, later in the 1800’s, Alexandra, Princess of Wales was pretty much the sole person responsible for getting rid of the distasteful reputation that chokers had taken on. Alexandra visited India often and couldn’t help but notice and love the way the women there wore their jewelry. With this in mind, as well as a desire to hide a scar on her neck, she began piling on ropes of pearls and velvet, wearing them tight to her throat and stacked high. The choker trend took off yet again!
Keeping this history in mind, it’s easy to see why chokers play such a large role in period drama fashion. If you want to get in on the current choker trend, try looking towards some of these period drama choker necklace moments for inspiration:
A lesser known period drama, Lover’s Prayer, features several great examples of choker necklaces. The Zinaida character in the film, played by Kirsten Dunst, is sure to give you some choker inspiration.
Angelica Fanshawe from the sweeping (and bloody) miniseries, The Devil’s Whore, manages to stay stylish in chokers even while dealing with the chaos of the English Civil War. Props to her!
Kirsten Dunst yet again pulls off some pretty chokers. This time in Marie Antoinette.
Denise (middle) and Clara (right) from The Paradise show us how it’s done.
Sugar from the gritty miniseries The Crimson Petal and the White looks sweet in a simple black choker.
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire knows the stylish impact a simple black choker can have.
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What are your thoughts on the choker trend? Which period drama choker moment is your favorite?
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