I (Don’t) Feel Bad About My Neck

The late great writer/producer Nora Ephron, who died in June, 2012, was the subject of an HBO movie, “Everything Is Copy: NORA EPHRON SCRIPTED AND UNSCRIPTED”. This intimate documentary/tribute/portrait aired on Monday evening and was directed and co-produced by her journalist son Jacob Bernstein. Indeed, there is perhaps nobody as brilliant, witty, courageous, and disarmingly honest, or as adept at talking about life’s absurdities (especially as they pertained to women) as Nora, who was once referred to as “The Patron Saint of New York Women” by the Huffington Post.

Her iconic book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman”, published in 2006, is a humorous and on point look at the trials and tribulations women face as they get older. She starts out by saying, “I feel bad about my neck. Truly I do. If you saw my neck, you might feel bad about it too, but you’d probably be too polite to let on.” Among her deadpanned and astute observations is that the neck is one part of the body that does not age too well, and you can’t really do very much about it, short of having a full blown face lift. As she put it, “You can put makeup on your face and concealer under your eyes and dye on your hair, you can shoot collagen and Botox and Restylane into your wrinkles and creases, but short of surgery, there’s not a damn thing you can do about your neck”. As if to emphasize the point, she graces the book’s cover, wearing a black turtleneck that not only playfully obscures her neck, but most of her face (she was known for wearing turtlenecks and scarves).

Rodarte Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear

Whether or not you seriously need to camouflage your neck, or simply love the idea of wearing a statement making slightly naughty accessory that draws attention to your face, (well, there is that S&M connotation after all!), there is perhaps no better way to do it, than by wearing a choker.  While they are never ‘out’ of style, they are really of the moment and in fact, bold, sometimes neck obscuring incarnations (some as wide as belts) were spotted on many runways during the fall/winter 2016 collections that recently ended. Is it any wonder I keep thinking about Nora?

They were sporty, with plenty of streetwise attitude at Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma debut collection.

They were youthful, playful & punkish at Alexander Wang

Alexander McQueen Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear

They were the perfect complement to beautiful, dreamy and Goth like collections such as Rodarte and Alexander McQueen (where the delicate versions perfectly counterbalanced the impeccably tailored blazers).

Balmain Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear

They were architectural, modern, and fiercely sexy at Balmain.“Think Kim Kardashian” (or not).

Loewe Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear

They were made of large gold rings and were paired with whimsical, oversized cats’ face pendants at Loewe.

Among the standouts that are readily available now (I’m getting all ‘choked’ up just thinking about them):

Rosantica’s handmade convertible gold-tone choker with scores of delicate chevron gold chains and two detachable parts (so it can be worn in two different ways), $1530 (Buy now)

Erickson Beamon’s elegant hand strung ‘Swan Lake’ choker made of gold-plated brass, layers of Swarovski crystals and faux pearls, $1015 (Buy now)

Begada’s Octavia Choker Necklace, handmade in India, encrusted with Swarovski rhinestones, tasseled with a blend of Gold dipped diamond cut chains, and shiny Charlotte beads, $340. (Buy now)

MM6 Maison Margiela’s graphic cutout silver-tone choker, $290 (Buy now)

Zana Bayne’s bold 2 1/5 inch wide choker necklace in black leather with oversized polished and gold plated  d-ring, $165 (Buy now)

For the record, like the late Nora Ephron, I am not crazy about my neck either, but how can I possibly feel bad about it when there are so many great ways to camouflage it?

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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