ecklaces in all kinds of lengths have been popular for so long I can barely remember a time when people weren’t neatly layering them up or casually tossing them on in a jumble, lovingly referred to as a neck mess. While these swinging styles aren’t going anywhere soon, another necklace mode, namely chokers, are on the horizon of hotness.
Header image features Stephen Webster jewelry.
These chokers reflect the signature style of designers who create them, as much as the individuality of the people who wear them.Mike Joseph
Chokers are like the jewelry equivalent of a clean slate. They provide a polished look, sitting tidily at the bottom of the neck. Yet these fresh takes have design twists. It’s the biggest point of difference between the new chokers and the diamond rivières that made such a big comeback a few years ago.
These chokers reflect the signature style of designers who create them, as much as the individuality of the people who wear them. Some of the most original styles on the market right now come from COUTURE designers BEA BONGIASCA, MIKE JOESPH, SELIM MOUZANNAR and STEPHEN WEBSTER.
A thread line can always be drawn between the new designs of SELIM MOUZANNAR and jewelry that was made in the distant past. The bejeweled clusters on the front of Selim’s chokers conjure-up images of a late 19th century period drama. Old styles, however, never had the pretty pastel palette of the gems he sets in these jewels.
Selim also altered the antique cluster silhouette by adding a party in the back of the chokers. And what I mean by party is a swinging section of gold chain. This dressing down makes it possible to wear the designs more coolly and casually than a fully gem-set choker.
Mike Saatji of MIKE JOSEPH breaks the traditional circle of chokers in all kinds of interesting ways. Fanciful titanium flowers punctuating the center of his chokers appear to grow up from the necklace on a slender line of gems or dip down from a gold chain.
In contrast to the romantic flowers, Mike’s Shiva choker delivers pure drama. The brushed gold fluid lines of the jewel embrace the neck and curl together in the front creating a central motif that rises to the heavens. One diamond and an emerald accent the ends of the lines.
The edgy elements STEPHEN WEBSTER infuses into his collections is one of the reasons he has maintained his reputation as the rock and roll designer of the jewelry world for decades. His chokers are ravishing rebels.
Fitted closely around the neck, Stephen’s chokers all change beats with different patterns in the design. They shift from chain link to pavé-settings to ascending sizes of stones. Some end in big gems like a final bash of the drums.
BEA BONGIASCA infuses all her jewelry with a sense of joy through bright colors and her chokers are no exception. The designer plays with the silhouette employing various colors of leather chokers accented with gem-set and enamel heart shape pendants.
She makes tubular bead chokers, named Tubini, with bubble gum pink and pistachio enamel beads intermingled with gold and silver beads.
And she creates beaded chokers with rock crystal and glass beads reminiscent of those candy necklaces for kids. It makes you hungry for a choker, doesn’t it?
Founder and Editorial Director of the online fine jewelry magazine The Adventurine, Marion Fasel is as well known for trend forecasting as her comprehensive knowledge of jewelry history. Recently, she wrote the Foreword for The Tiffany Archives book which goes into wide release on December 12.