Venice, early 14th Century: Chopine
According to newhumanist.org ” Thought to have originated in the East, the chopine was a raised wooden platform on which the shoe could rest…Chopines could be as high as 20 centimetres, so high that it was impossible to walk in them unaided. You would either have to hobble around on sticks or lean on your servants.”
England, 16th Century: Elizabethan ruff
“Ruffs, or ruffles, started as a high frilled collar. Fashion then dictated a more feminine and seductive image for women which was achieved by opening the ruffle in front to expose the neck and the top of the breasts. The ruff was then constructed on gauze wings which were raised at the back of the head.” Or so elizabethan-era.org tells us.
Thank goodness they could still expose their breasts. I wouldn’t want the Elizabethan men (also wearing ruffs) to think that their women weren’t sexy.
Multiple points in Europe, late 17th, early 18th Centuries: Fontange
It’s simple: put a wire frame on your head and decorate it in ribbons (source). Bam. Fontange. It’s a little like a parade float, but with lice.
England, 19th Century: Bustle
Victorian women got together and said “I’m happy with all the repressed sexuality and laudanum, but my ass could stand to be bigger.” And so the bustle was born. Click on that vixen below to read more about bustles.