Chokers were first worn in early civilisations – Mesopotamian and Egyptian – to
protect the wearer and give them power. Over the years, the close-fitting neck
adornment has held a variety of meanings – during the French revolution red
ribbons were worn in sympathy with those who were beheaded at the guillotine,
while in the late 19th century, black neck ribbons were associated with
prostitution (see Manet’s Olympia). The style grew in popularity during the early
1900s when Queen Alexandra was rarely seen without one (to allegedly hide a
scar on her neck). And, of course, most recently in the 1990s when tattoo chokers
and velvet ribbons were ubiquitous.