The History Of Chokers

(music) hello friends and welcome to another video no, this isn’t a neck brace this is on purpose a little while back some of you guys suggested this choker to me for my wearing ugly stuff for a week series and while it definitely does qualify as a questionable fashion decision and its also quite uncomfortable it got me thinking how did the choker come so far so I thought why not skip wearing it for a week and instead and instead do a brief exploration into the history of the choker necklace I don’t know that I’ll be able to explain this but the choker does have a very long history the word choker when talking about this kind of necklace originated in the 1920’s in relation to flappers who were known to rock a choker or two but this type of tightly fitted necklace worn around the throat has been in and out of fashion pretty much since the beginning of human civilization itself we are at the MET museum in new york right now checking out some ancient chokers yes so were going to see what we can find around the world and throughout history jewelry has been believed to have amuletic powers and religious significance providing spiritual protection from harm literal protection from attack and protection in the afterlife i mean when you think about places where jewelry is commonly worn they’re all vein-heavy and somewhat vulnerable places like wrists, necks, chest, head people wore jewelry (including chokers) for protective reasons all the way back to some of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia one of the earliest known chokers was found in the burial site of queen Pu Abi in the ancient Akkadian city of Ur she was buried with her jewelry so she could bring their protective powers with her into the afterlife she had a lot of it and her chokers are dated as old as 2600 BC the ancient egyptians wore jewelry in general to resemble their gods and earn their favor in particular, they wore layered necklaces and collars made of gold which represented the skin of their sun god Ra in bronze age Europe, Celtic noblemen and women also took to dressing like their gods who were depicted wearing neck rings they wore these chokers for protective powers they also look very uncomfortable almost as uncomfortable as this thing it almost feels like a headband oh its tight! its tight, and it only comes in one size oh God! can you loosen this thing? I think that’s the loosest it can go I can’t wear this, I think I’d die I would take a Celtic neck ring over that so i think same are you gonna wear that for a week? oh yeah i’m just gonna get really strong neck muscles for a week some other interesting instances in which people wore chokers for protection include noblewomen in the middle ages who wore chokers with Saint Sebastian pendants on them to ward off the bubonic plague the middle ages, a tough time for medicine many different native american tribes wore chokers made out of the bones of birds whose spirits they believed would help ward off all kinds of sicknesses but the choker would also literally protect the wearer’s throat from attack during battle so it was a double whammy so protection was a big reason why people wore chokers the neck was pretty vulnerable medicine was pretty bad whether it was coming from Ra or bird bones we could all use some good mojo at some point, like with all jewelery chokers became more than just protective amulets they also became fashion and over thousands of years chokers have come in and out of style with nobles and royals around the world one of the most iconic, historical chokers to me is anne boleyn’s pearl monogram necklace like this one im wearing right now in this painting, shes wearing a few different necklaces like a lot of choker wearers shes going for that layered effect i dont know if people still thought chokers were meant to protect the neck but they might have stopped thinking that after her theres also some really cool illustrations of jewellery that was worn during the mughal empire in india both men and women were often dripping in jewels at least for the paintings and if you were going to be dripping in jewels you had to start as high as possible right at the neck this is an illustration of the wife of shah jahan mumtaz mahal whos death later inspired her husband to build the famous taj mahal as a tomb for her chokers were of course also present in one of the most famously opulent times for aristocrats late baroque or rococo era france now this brings us to marie antoinette who, like anne, also wore chokers and also lost her head which partially started this next trend wherein people started wearing chokers as symbols during the french revolution some people wore red ribbons around their neck to remember those who had lost their heads at the guillotine during the same time some british teenagers also adopted the red ribbon trend to make fun of the french and their revolution and we think diss tracks are savage later, in 19th century france black ribbons worn around the neck became a symbol of prostitution see, edouard monet’s olympia shortly afterwards, also in france the ballerinas started wearing similar black ribbon chokers as depicted in edgar degas’ paintings of ballerinas interestingly, at the time dancers and prostitutes faced some of the same social stigmas another instance in which chokers were worn to signify allegiance to a movement was during the great depression in america where wearing a plain black woven choker or ribbon could be a signal of secret lesbianism now those are all examples of very simple chokers having symbolic meaning but the extremely intricate, beaded necklaces of the maasai and zulu people in africa also carry a hidden meaning different coloured beads mean different things and beads are chosen carefully to convey the status and intention of the wearer social status, marital status etc chokers, obviously, were also used to cover up or disguise neck stuff that one didnt want others to see for instance, in germany and austria in the mid 19th century women living in the alps used to wear chokers made of multiple rows of chains called kropfkette to hide lumps and swelling around the throat from a common disease called goitre one of the most famous choker wearers in history is rumoured to have worn her chokers for similar reasons in 1863 prince edward of england married princess alexandra of denmark who frikkin loved chokers its unconfirmed but the widely accepted rumour is that alexandra started wearing chokers to cover up a childhood scar on her neck at the time, england was searching for some new fashion inspiration as their current queen victoria had been wearing mourning clothes for years so when the new princess was seen wearing army pants and flip flops i mean chokers everyone started wearing them too even her mother in law queen dress-to-depress victoria alexandras widesweeping trend of the late 1800s lasted through the art nouveau period at the turn of the century and into the art deco and flapper age of the 1920s and in the 1940s alexandras chokers, then called dog collar necklaces came back into fashion amongst young women so alexandras supposed scar launched a trend that sold thousands upon thousands of necklaces over 80 years like i said, army pants and flip flops after a brief stint in the 40s chokers didnt really come back until the 60s and the 70s when chokers were worn by quite a few male rockstars as an element of genderbending fashion mick jagger jimmy hendrix elvis david bowie and iggy pop among others all wore them though in earlier times and in some parts of the world chokers have been considered a gender neutral item in 20th century america dudes wearing chokers were somewhat subversive but with the sexual revolution of the 60s everything was changing long hair bell bottoms and chokers could be for everyone especially if you were a rockstar chokers were once again donned by male music and pop culture icons in the 90s when chokers worn by gwen stefani and posh spice were also worn by lenny kravitz prince and jared leto aka jordan catalano so that brings us to basically when my memory begins in the 90s simple dark chokers were signature of the goth or grunge girl look of the early 90s but was more widely adopted as the decade went on with everyone from fashion victim ember to winona ryder to britney christina and princess diana adopting the trend and who could forget the iconic stretchy plastic tattoo chokers which let you wear what looked like the popular barbed wire or tribal band tattoos from the 90s around your neck though the choker style stuck around through the 2000s think paris hilton and puka shell necklaces id say 90s fashion in general began its resurgence in 2014 and 15 and with it the choker came back with a vengeance from the simple plastic and the ribbon chokers of the 90s to the tall stacked and luxurious chokers of victorian england of course not to be outdone by the past weve also created some interesting chokers of our own like this incredibly tall choker this iconic shoelace and this contraption which im wearing once again so that is a very brief scattered and somewhat incomplete history of the choker necklace i think in recent years people also associate collar chokers with bdsm and kink but from what i can tell those movements only became mainstream in the late 20th century so although there is some connotation with them now i dont think thats why queen pu abi was wearing chokers im not entirely sure but i dont think thats why so thankyou so much for watching i hope you guys enjoyed that video let me know in the comments below if you like this type of history video if you like that video make sure to smash that like button and if you want to see more videos like this make sure to smash that subscribe button and if youve already smashed that subscribe button make sure to also smash that little bell icon in the middle to turn on post notifications so you get a notification every time that i post

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