Jewelry is having a maximalist moment. Sidelined are the shimmering, low-key, layered necklaces that sit discreetly above the décolletage. Instead, it’s time for a statement piece to get us back in the mood to party – and, after a long hiatus, what better than a head-turning choker? Yes, the ’90s hero is back, but this time it’s bigger, bolder and much more decadent.
The A-list stars at this year’s ‘Gilded Glamour’-themed Met Gala were in on the act, providing us with bounteous images of spectacular jewelry moments to feast upon. Take, for example, the YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain, whose antique yellow-and-white-diamond Cartier choker went viral when she paired it with a ruched blouse, bare midriff and flowing white skirt. Meanwhile, Euphoria star Maude Apatow graced best-dressed lists in a multi-strand diamond Cartier choker to top off her sheer black Miu Miu gown, embodying a spine-tingling movie-star moment. Others lauding high-sitting gems included Bridgerton’s Simone Ashley, who looked radiant in a De Beers diamond choker and matching gold bustier, and Kate Moss, who kept it suitably cool in an antique diamond collet – certifiable proof that the choker really is back in vogue.
For inspiration, take a peek at the spring/summer 2022 shows, where the runways dazzled with contemporary creations. Case in point: at Saint Laurent, a luxe gold choker was worn as a standalone statement piece, proving it can be styled with a simple red lip and modern tailoring for day, or a chic cocktail dress after dark. “Chokers can be worn daily in a more casual way, or for a formal or red-carpet event,” explains Rosanne Karmes, founder of the LA-based jewelry brand Sydney Evan. “We have beaded and fringed chokers that are great for daily wear and layering, as well as all-diamond chokers for dressing up.” Look, too, to designers Jacquie Aiche and Lauren Rubinski for of-the-moment designs, or snap up Messika’s new ‘Move Uno’ choker – then throw on your favorite denim and sneakers and wear all three to lunch. Designer Ananya Malhotra, founder of Ananya, adds that her ‘Scatter’ choker necklace “can be worn both casually with jeans and a top, as well as in the evening for a special occasion”. Diamonds and denim are, after all, the ultimate daily wardrobe duo.
If it’s full-on glamour you’re after, though, take inspiration from Tom Ford’s show, where glittering chokers were worn elevated against sequin jackets, silk shirts and low-slung pants in true disco-party mode. Go big or go home is the mantra here, so try Alessandra Rich’s statement chainmail choker or stack the neck with jaw-dropping stones, such as Suzanne Kalan’s baguette-cut diamonds and Shay’s multi-hued sapphires. Whichever look you choose, don’t be shy – if you’re going to invest in a choker this season, wear it all day, then party all night.