You thought Jeffrey Campbell was original? I mean his shoes are all the rage, people can´t get enough of these freakish new fashion, right? I can just hear the older generation saying what will you crazy young people think of next!!! Answer, just open a history book and in some cases a magazine, because we have seen this before. One of the very first fashion fads was extremely high plateau shoes. You thought McQueen was revolutionary? But actually the first plateau heels were made of wood or cork and were around during the 16th century in Italy. The same shoes existed once and they were called “Chopines”. And they usually ranged from 6 to 24-inches in height and were tied to your feet with leather straps.The first plateau heels were made of wood or cork and were around during the 16th century in Italy, but first made popular in Turkey.
The chopine was a type of platform shoe popular during the Renaissance, used as a sort of overshoe to protect a lady’s real shoes and dress from the mud and manure that littered the streets back in the day. They became particularly fashionable among the courtesans of Venice. They were made of wood or cork and covered with brocade or velvet. But just like today´s fashion it got out of hand and the shoes themself became a status symbol, move over Christian Louboutin! The higher the heel, the further up the social ladder you were. Some were over twenty inches high. A woman could literally tower over her competitors, and tumble as Lady Gaga shows us too often today.
But at least person´s were employed to making life easier for women and to enjoy this ridiculous trend comfortably. Women wearing chopines were often accompanied by a servant on whom they could lean on, though much like any Top Model judge would say the Italian dancing master Fabritio Caroso wrote that a proper lady should be able to dance flourishes and galliards with them on. Really? Brandy is rocking those shoes though, without even looking ridiculous.