All Choked Up

It’s the most extreme version of how far up toward the face a necklace can gravitate: the choker. As noted by Yasmin Sewell, fashion director of Moda Operandi quoted in Harper Bazaar’s Fall/Winter 2011 Runway Report, “Chokers have been off the fashion radar for the past 20 years, but with this piece, I see them making a fresh comeback.”

The piece referenced by Sewell is the multistrand Eddie Borgo choker shown on the page above, along with her other picks of the season.

Another multistrand choker that is putting the style back on the fashion radar appears in this current ad for J’Adore Eau de Parfum from Dior, which features actress Charlize Theron.

When a necklace is meant to encircle the neck, it must fit correctly or it looks ridiculous. This is true whether the choker is rigid or is constructed of multiple strands of pearls or other beads.

Michael Kors has created a rigid choker—pictured in the ad above—that has garnered an astounding amount of press in the past few months. Some magazine stylings utilize the choker well; others, not so much.

Here’s a model wearing the Michael Kors choker with a dress from Proenza Schouler and Lanvin boots, pictured in the September 2011 issue of Vogue. The styling is perfection.

Similarly, the Michael Kors choker looks stunning as the finishing touch on an ensemble that is head-to-toe Michael Kors, from the coat to the shoes, pictured in the June-July 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

In contrast, here’s a model in a fetish-themed fashion spread in the September 2011 issue of Marie Claire. The collar is far too tall and wide for the model’s slender neck—no wonder she is styled wearing a mask. She also wears cuff bracelets from Lynn Ban and rings from Cartier. Her dress and clutch are from Lanvin and her belt is from Louis Vuitton. The elaborate mask is from Paul Seville.

Another beautiful example of a rigid choker that fits the wearer beautifully is this version from Tom Ford, who also designed the model’s cuff bracelet, pictured in the September 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The dress is from Akris and pumps are from Lanvin.

The multistrand versions of chokers must be as meticulous in the way they fit as rigid choker necklaces—perhaps even more so. The September 2011 issue of Harper’s Bazaar features a pair of photographs taken by Karl Lagerfeld which incorporate choker-style necklaces. Lagerfeld, of course, is known for his own signature style of wearing a tall collar that encircles his neck.

In the photo above, the model wears a multistrand choker that doesn’t conform to her neck and accordingly seems to droop and to fight with the collar of her Dior gown. The necklace and bracelets are from Dary’s; her ring is from Lydia Courteille.

In contrast, the model shown to the bottom right of the photo above beautifully wears a multistrand choker from Lynn Ban with her Nina Ricci gown. A choker that fits well is a spectacular way to highlight a long, lovely neck.