RISING hemlines get all the attention, but what about necklines? They’re one of the few things on the rise lately, reaching a recent high — on shirts buttoned all the way to the chin — on spring 2012 runways at Jason Wu, Céline and Dior. It makes a kind of sense, then, as the eye moves north of the collarbone, that chokers, those much maligned neckpieces synonymous with the 1990s, would stage a comeback.
These are not Victorian-style velvet ribbons adorned with cameos or hearts, but clean metal bands, tougher and more graphic. At Lanvin and Rag & Bone, many spring 2012 looks were accessorized with severe bands, tight to the neck. And just as with those buttoned-up collars, chokers confer a naughty/nice suggestiveness. Early proponents include anything-but-uptight dressers like Lauren Santo Domingo, Margherita Missoni and Taylor Tomasi Hill.
Zanna Roberts Rassi, the senior fashion editor of Marie Claire, has been wearing a minimalist metal choker — a half-inch silver band by Robert Lee Morris — day and night. By day, she wears it with a long skinny chain, a T-shirt and leather pants; by night, with off-the-shoulder sequins, her hair scruffily pinned up. “Earrings drag my face down, but a choker seems to frame it,” Ms. Rassi explained. “There is something elegant and a little sexy at the same time. It make you hold your head up high!”