The dizzying allure of his unadorned silver necklace has given it cult status.
The BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s coming-of-age novel Normal People has generated astronomical amounts of attention since it first aired on 26 April, not least for the emotional lead performances from Paul Mescal, playing Connell Waldron, and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne Sheridan. The story follows two star-crossed lovers, Marianne and Connell, who begin an on-off relationship at school that continues well into their university years at Trinity College.
While the series has been lauded as a powerful and heart-wrenching portrayal of youth, love and class, a somewhat unexpected fascination has occurred. The silver chain necklace, worn effortlessly by Mescal’s character, Connell, has become a viral sensation. While the “unadorned silver neck chain” is dismissed as “Argos chic” by one of Marianne’s friends in the book, following the TV adaptation, it has caused a tsunami of thirst among fans.
The unassuming item of jewellery has reached such cult status that it acquired its own Instagram account (@connelschain) which has so far amassed more than 44k followers, including Paul Mescal himself. The silver chain actually saw its heyday in the Nineties when it was worn by pop music heart-throbs, but it's also frequently used as a sexual focal point on screen.
Take the film adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name. One of the first things 17-year-old protagonist Elio notices about his love interest, Oliver, is his Star of David necklace. From this point forward Elio, played by Timothee Chalamet, wears one too, symbolising their relationship and connection. We've also seen them in other films, like when Heath Ledger wore one in 10 Things I Hate About You and Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Lurmann's Romeo + Juliet. In Normal People, the dizzying allure of the silver chain can be attributed to its elegant portrayal of Connell’s complexities, he’s at once hard and soft, strong but sensitive.
If you’re as obsessed as everyone else and want to garner your own neck, your friends or your partner’s with a new chain, here’s our round-up of the best silver necklaces that are as similar as it gets. You’re welcome.