One of my favourite all time movies to watch non stop is Cinderella (1950). Enslaved by her evil stepmother and two jealous stepsisters, only to be seen in rags and stands no chance to attend a royal ball. When all seems lost and Cinderella is about to give up hope, her fairy godmother appears and transforms her into a royal desire. The one thing I love most about her transformation is her little black choker.
But why did Disney give her a chocker?
I consider Cinderella to be the first woman to wear the little Black choker, but she definitely is not the first women to wear just any choker. The history of the choker goes as far back as the 18th century during the French Revolution (it wasn’t just a 90’s trend). During the 1860’s it was considered the uniform of prostitutes. Édouard Manet painted many realism to impressionism pieces of women wearing black ribbon tied around there neck.
Manet’s famous painting, “Olympia,” (1863) depicted a prostitute wearing a black ribbon around her neck.
Not only was it worn by prostitutes, ballerinas and fashionable women during the 1870’s sported them to. History’s most famous chokers can be found in Degas’ ballerina paintings. Edgar Degas one of the founders of Impressionism and over half of his work depict dancers. Countless paintings which he created in the 1870s and 1880s is where the little black chocker appears as part of the ballerinas attire.
The Star 1876-77 by Edgar Degas
I believe most people assosiate the trend of the choker (or dog collars) with the 90’s as it was its most memorable time and possibly its biggest presence and impact on fashion thus far. A big supporting partisan of the accessory during its peek moment goes to Natalie Portman who wore it well! Sporting her thick black velvet choker with a dangling sun pendant in the middle, Mathilda from The Professional (1994).
Understanding a bit more of the black chokers history and its origins, back to my earlier question, why did Disney give Cinderella a choker? For fashionable purposes like the Parisian women and ballerinas from the eras before or was her fairy godmother channeling in her darker side. For what ever reason Disney had for assembled her outfit with a choker, Cinderella to me will always be the girl with the original black choker and one who wore it best.