, with either cork or wooden soles, seem to have been something we would call "pattens."
Left, Italian chopines
from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
When displayed, poulaines worn by men and chopines
worn by women could serve as provocations akin to lingerie, aimed at strategically drawing attention to precisely that which it supposedly conceals.
(20) Although English fashions never approached the style of the fifteenth-century Venetians who wore chopines
, or backless slippers up to fifteen inches in height, a shoe with a heel and an arch became a sign of fashionable distinction at the end of the sixteenth century.
Also in the 16th century, women in Italy, France and Spain wore chopines
- a shoe balanced on pedestals of cork or wood as much as 24 inches high.
Platform shoes known as "Chopines
" - popular in Europe in the 16th century - could be over 20 inches tall.
The exaggerated soles of these chopines
are sculpted like inverted ocean liners, with small, ordinary lace-up booties on top.
wait in a corner, suddenly as space-age as a moon-boot imprint nearby.