Rigid Collars & Non-Conforming Necklaces

Think of them as the equivalent of cuff bracelets for the neck—collar-length necklaces of rigid materials that encircle the neck. These fashionable necklaces don’t fit tight around the neck as a choker-length necklace would, nor do they conform to the shape of the neck; they stand away from the body and create their own space. These dramatic eye-catching circlets have been interpreted by numerous designers and favored by fashion editors this season.

Emporio Armani ran this ad in the September 2010 issue of Elle magazine. Notice how the shape of the collar is the defining feature of the necklace, and echoes the details of the dress with which it is worn.

An ad from Gucci shows a version of a circlet that is thinner in diameter, as pictured in the October 2010 issue of Vogue.

A recent ad for Ports 1961 shows an openwork rigid necklace that is open in the front much like a cuff, along with a matching cuff bracelet.

The October 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar accessorizes a fitted suit by MaxMara with a thick black necklace from Alexis Bittar.

The October 2010 issue of Marie Claire featured this photograph of actress Drew Barrymore wearing a dress, a pair of cuffs, and a necklace all by Celine. These are the cuffs pictured in my blog post of Dec. 9, 2010, and their popularity is emphasized in the following photo montage as well.

Elle magazine categorizes the above collection of fantastic jewelry as “supergalactic,” noting that it consists of “space-age chokers and futuristic cuffs and rings.” Along with a Celine collar and cuffs, Elle pictures a rigid sterling silver collar from Robert Lee Morris and gold-plated designs from Alexis Bittar and Eddie Borgo for Jen Kao. The cuffs are from Celine and H&M; the rings are from Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière, Kate Spade New York, Reed Krakoff, Fallon, Solange Azagury-Partridge, Chanel Fine Jewelry, Lydia Courteille, J. Crew, Bottega Veneta and M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell Laurenza.

The versatility of the Celine collar is demonstrated in this photo from the October 2010 issue of Elle, in which the necklace is shown with a Mexican-inspired striped shawl.

Another neckpiece by Eddie Borgo for Jen Kao is featured in this look from the October 2010 issue of Marie Claire. The earrings are from Smith by Zoe Chicco, the bracelet is from Cartier, and the rings are from Waxing Poetic and Flutter by Jill Golden.

In the same issue of Marie Claire, singer Irina Lazareanu is pictured wearing a striped dress by Stella McCartney and a rigid necklace and cuff from Lanvin.

The November 2010 issue of InStyle pictures actress Jaimie Alexander wearing a mixed-metal choker and two bangle bracelets from Anndra Neen; the middle bracelet of the trio is from Janis by Janis Savitt.

Actress Jessica Alba is shown in the Dec. 13, 2010 issue of People magazine wearing a tress from Cushnie et Ochs and a rigid necklace and a pair of bracelets from Anndra Neen.

In certain cases, the design of the necklaces takes the concept of rigid collars quite literally. For example, Giorgio Armani’s collar-design necklace is showcased in this look pictured in the November 2010 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Designer Delfina Delettrez’s take on the rigid collar is highlighted in the December 2010 issue of Vogue.

A clever variation or accompaniment to the rigid collar necklaces is this brass and enamel bangle shaped like the cuff of a shirt, designed by Stella McCartney and featured in the November 2010 issue of Elle. There’s more than a bit of the dandy in the dashing style of these sartorially-inspired designs.