Saturday Scenes

Fri 8 March 2013

Put Your High Heels On

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:53

On the 2nd of March in 1430, the Great Council of Venice passed a law to limit the height of women’s high heels. Chopines, type of platform shoes, were originally used as an overshoe to protect shoes and dress from the mud in the street; however they soon became a status symbol for the nobility. At the peak of their popularity, the shoes could be as high as 20 inches (50 cm). Women wearing these chopines, which were popular with both nobility and courtesans, required canes or even servants to help them walk.

History of Footwear

The Church, which usually abhorred the extremes of fashion, approved the chopines. The height impeded movement, particularly dancing, reducing the opportunities for sin. The chopines caused their own set of unique problems. In England, the marriage bond could be annulled if the bride had falsified her height with the chopines. In Venice, the chopine was eventually outlawed after a number of women in Venice miscarried after falling from the chopines during their pregnancies.

Meanwhile, riding boots with heels became popular with men in England and France. However, their heels were commonly only between three and four inches high. In the 1630s, European women began to wear heels as well and by 1740, men had stopped wearing the boots as they were considered effeminate.

And over five hundred years later, on the 2nd of March in 2013, many fashionable photographs were taken, some from as high as 20 inches!

And these are the fashion-victims who took them:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph on Saturday!

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