Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Return of Chopines?

I haven't blogged in over a month, but that's because I've been totally swamped: between sewing the Montagnard shirt and a retro brassiere, I just wrapped up my Spring semester at university!

Now that I'm out of school until September, I can get back on track with my blogging again! I know I've been a bad blogger (never one to keep up regular posting as I should) but hopefully this summer the quantity and regularity of my posts will improve.

First off, though, is something interesting I've observed lately. I think a few of us have seen those heel-less shoes (sometimes called gravity shoes) around, and maybe some of us have witnessed a few daring fashionistas clobbering around town in these crazy, gravity-defying monuments to personal style and futuristic high-fashion trends.
$40 from MakeMeChic
Also $40 from MakeMeChic
Image found through my Google search
Is it just me, or do these shoes possess a startling similarity to Chopines, the original 15-17th century platform shoe? Chopines not only protected fancy and delicate shoes from dirty streets, they also afforded their wearers some extra height (and with this, a greater surface area to be covered with lavish fabric). Most popular among Venetian women, the wearers of the biggest chopines are thought to have been prolific prostitutes.

Chopine via Pinterest
16th century chopines via the Bata Shoe Museum

Collection of 16th century chopines found here
What do you think, readers? Has the chopine finally made it through the cyclical nature of fashion trends and made its way, regurgitated in a distinctly 21st century and "modernistic" interpretation, back into the rungs of high-fashion influence? Does this style of shoe still possess the same negative connotations of the wearer as it did centuries ago?


  1. Some hours ago I entered a shoe shop and saw a, well, interesting pair of shoes. Black suede with some silver sparklings and a platform that looked like in your third picture above. I consider this kind of shoe fashion impractical and not really beautiful (but that may be just my opinion). I never tried on shoes like these and do not know if it's possible to walk in them - I think it is not!
    People wearing modern Chopines may want to get attention (actually I'm pretty sure they want to get attention). That's like in the past periods, but dind't women wear crazy things to get attention in every period? ;) However, in the past, as you said, ladies wearing Chopines were bigger and so they had the possibility to show off more nice fabric. Today we want to show the shoes itself and probably very little fabric :D That's a difference. But the original idea of getting attention did not change.

  2. Great post! I see the similarities too! I think it's a cool style, though...well, within reason I guess, lol. Some, like those blue ones, look like crazy alien hoof shoes to me, hahaha