The Choker. Why so serious?

Learned an interesting tid bit the other day that just fascinates me. The choker, a woman's necklace- typically a ribbon worn tightly around the neck, is a fashion trend that is derived from the "Reign of Terror" during the French revolution when people were beheaded on the guillotine. The choker represents the slice mark of the blade.

As the Reign of Terror was winding down, social gatherings called "bals des victimes" or "victim's balls" became popular. It is thought that perhaps the balls were a cathartic means for people to freely express their emotions over the horrors of the Revolution. Basically, to get in to these functions you had to have had a relative who was beheaded. I like those odds! As with most scenes, members had a particular dress code known as "costume a la victime." Both sexes would wear mourning clothes or the plain, shabby attire they were left with in the wake of the upheaval. Women would wear red ribbons around their necks, mimicking the bloody slash of the guillotine.


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