Friday, March 5, 2021

Chopine shoes

Chopine Shoes  

A chopine is a type of women's platform shoe that was popular in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Chopines were originally used as a patten, clog, or overshoe to protect the shoes and dress from mud and street soil.

Chopines were popularly worn in Venice by both courtesans and patrician women from c. 1400 to 1700. Besides their practical uses, the height of the chopine became a symbolic reference to the cultural and social standing of the wearer; the higher the chopine, the higher the status of the wearer. High chopines allowed a woman to tower over others. During the Renaissance, chopines became an article of women's fashion and were made increasingly taller; some extant examples are over 20 inches (50 cm) high.In 1430, the height of chopines was limited by Venetian law to three inches, but this regulation was widely ignored.Shakespeare joked about the extreme height of the chopines in style in his day by using the word altitude (Hamlet 2.2, the prince greets one of the visiting players – the adolescent boy who would have played the female parts in the all-male troupe – by noting how much "nearer to heaven" the lad had grown since he last saw him "by the altitude of a chopine").

Surviving chopines are typically made of wood or cork, and those in the Spanish style were sometimes banded about with metal. Extant pieces are covered with leather, brocades, or jewel-embroidered velvet. Often, the fabric of the chopine matched the dress or the shoe, but not always. However, despite being highly decorated, chopines were often hidden under the wearer's skirt and were hidden from any critical observation. Although due to the design of the shoes, they caused the wearer to have a very "comical walk".


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