By Shanel Williams-O’Reilly
Throughout the course of the centuries, across many different cultures and civilisations, at some point or another, the choker necklace has been for women a stipulated form of identification for being a prostitute, a lesbian, a witch and a slave.
However, as popular 90s trends continue to monopolise our current wave of fashion, with its chequered history and objectionable label, I personally believe the choker is more than a rehashed trend, it could possibly be considered a social movement.
If you can please dismiss for a moment, the immediately conjured images of the picture perfect Jenner and Hadid sisters and kindly hear me out whilst I try and justify my chain of thoughts. It all started when I began to notice chokers amongst the everyday civilian outfit offerings; a leather rope tucked in behind a teenagers’ oversized hoodie, a delicate gold chain against the uniform of the woman at the checkout and the thick velvet band on the owner of the exclusive hairdresser’s.
What they all had in common was that they each alluded an understated notion of ‘Sass’-the type of positive energy that said they were making their own quiet affirmation that they were confident, comfortable and self-ruling individuals.
On each occasion and many more after, this observed energy evoked an outward smile, as not only could I identify but it felt like a had stumbled upon some sort of hidden tribe.
If you now recast your minds back to the likes of the Jenner’s (Kendal and Kylie) and Hadid’s (Gigi and Bella)-the current choker wearing connoisseurs, whether you are top of their fan list or not, it is hard to deny that what they represent are all-singing, all-dancing modern business mogul machines.
With their fingers in every pie, colossal media coverage and endless digit bank accounts balances, they are ambitious, driven, industrious and overall, absolutely unapologetic. With this, not only are young women emulating their style, they are using that style to also emulate their attitude.
At present making their own history, we have Theresa May, Hilary Clinton and Angela Merkel assertively taking their seats at the global leadership table, The First Lady actively campaigning for education of girls across the world, peppered with the recent controversy of Beyonce’s Formation video stance and the fact that singer Kesha openly defied music powerhouse Sony to stand up and fight against her alleged sexual assault and bullying.
It is very clear that there has definitely been an elevated social and political mood of female empowerment of late and for me in it’s renewed trend timing – the Choker, an accessory once commonly associated with sex, is once again becoming a positive provocation of power and worn with pride, represents an open acknowledgement of the quality of all women.
So, I hope I was able to successfully convey my latest fashion thoughts and that you are all now looking forward to sharing the vibe with your new found tribe. Needless to say I am already up to my neck in chokers, but as always here are a few of my inspired faves.