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==== ==== Want More Fashion Articles Like This? Go here: http://fashionforrealwomen.com/v/extreme ==== ==== The 10 Most Extreme Fashion Trends EVER Whats the craziest fashion trend you ever saw? The Zoot suit? The leisure suit? Go-go boots? Goth? As wild as those trends were, they still dont compare to some of the wacky things people have done over the centuries all in the name of fashion. Torture, greed, vanity, lust the stories read like the seven deadly sins and led to some of the most controversial styles in fashion history. If you thought bee hives and bell bottoms were extreme, just take a look at these: Lotus Foot China, 10th Century The royal families of China set a new standard for beauty -and pain- by creating the Lotus foot. Inspired by a Princes beautiful concubine with small feet who danced on her toes in shoes shaped like a Lotus flower bud, women began binding their feet in order to replicate the shape. The practice quickly caught on, and soon the wealthiest families in China were binding and breaking the feet of their daughters at age 5 or 6 to keep feet small and under 3 in length. It was the ultimate status symbol, because by limiting mobility it meant these women couldnt work which by default meant they must come from affluent families. It also meant that they had to marry a man wealthy enough to support them and their servants. In time, the size of a womans foot became the #1 factor in how well she could marry. Remarkably, this practice lasted more 1,000 years and impacted millions of women, until it was outlawed in 1949.

Hairless Face Europe, 11th Century Since clothing styles changed very slowly and only local fabrics (wool, fur) were available, women of rank and status began removing the hair from their face and head in order to distinguish themselves from the lower classes. Theyd remove their eyebrows, eyelashes, and much of their hairline in order to achieve a hairless face and high forehead. It was very labor intensive, as some women plucked every day, and created an almost alien-like appearance. Starting around 500 AD, this practice lasted more than 1,000 years, through the Elizabethan era.

Chopines Italy, 14th Century Venetian merchants trading along Silk Road brought back many new and wondrous things from China including fireworks, spicesand platform shoes. In the days before paved roads, people


would slip into pattens and clogs elevated wooden overshoes used to walk through mud and animal dung but when the silk and elaborated decorated chopines first appeared in Venice, Italian courtesans went crazy for them and began wearing them as a status symbol. The higher the platform, the higher the social standing. Some were as tall as 30 (.762 meters) and required walking assistance from servants less the wearer fall off her shoes. The trend spread throughout Europe in various platform heights and lasted until the 1600s when they were gradually replaced by high heels.

Headdresses France, 15th Century The hairless face took on new prominence when the women of Burgundy began to further elongate the face with elaborate headdresses in the early 1400s. Constructed from wire and sumptuously decorated with silk, jewels and scarves, hats appeared in all shapes and sizes. One cone, two cones, butterflied, and dome-shaped, these hats became the subject of ridicule by children and condemnation from the pulpit. Nonetheless, spectacular headgear for women was a la mode for over 100 years.

Somber Opulence Spain, 16th Century After Columbus discovered the new world, Spain established trade routes to the Americas and quickly overtook Italy as the major importer in Europe. They also began setting styles. Flush with wealth yet devoted to the Church, Spaniards introduced corsets that flattened the chest, hoops that widened the skirts, and ornate collars and sleeves all in sumptuous fabrics and dark colors. This silhouette spread throughout Europe, with fabrication and ornamentation varying by country.

Big Wigs France, 17th Century When Louis XIV of France began losing his hair in the mid-1600s, he started wearing large, curly wigs. His court naturally followed suit. Because wigs were expensive and difficult to maintain, they became and remained an essential part of high society costume for nearly 150 years. Politicians, lawyers, and judges all wore wigs, which is where the term big wig originated in describing someone of importance. By the eve of the French Revolution in the 1770s, womens special occasion wigs had grown to 2 feet in height and might feature miniature ships or castles made of gems. Because these towering wigs were expensive to create, they were often worn for weeks without washing or combingwhich sometimes led to infestations by lice and rats.

Panniers France, 18th Century The hoop skirt of the 16th century returned 200 years later in the form of panniers, a sort of split hoop that widened the hips and distended the skirt sideways (panniers is the French word for large


baskets slung over the back of pack animals). The hoops were so wide that women had to go through doors sideways and would have to buy tickets for the seats on either side of her at the opera or theater. The skirts were much ridiculed by cartoonists of the day, and were even dangerous, as many women were burned by getting their enormous skirts too close to fireplaces or candles. Nonetheless, the style remained in vogue for nearly 60 years.

Corsets Europe and America, 19th Century Corsets originated in ancient Greece and were used off and on since the 1500s. But when a small waist became essential to the 19th century silhouette, women started tightening even more and began introducing their daughters to corsets when they were as young as eight. These exceedingly tight corsets led to misshapen bodies, miscarriages, and more, and doctors condemned and blamed them for almost every female complaint they received. Womens Rights advocate Amelia Bloomer began criticizing corsets as well in the 1850s and called for new clothing standards for women, those that would allow them to participate in sports and move around freely. She was largely ignored and corsets remained popular through the 1920s.

Corsets Europe and America, 19th Century Corsets originated in ancient Greece and were used off and on since the 1500s. But when a small waist became essential to the 19th century silhouette, women started tightening even more and began introducing their daughters to corsets when they were as young as eight. These exceedingly tight corsets led to misshapen bodies, miscarriages, and more, and doctors condemned and blamed them for almost every female complaint they received. Womens Rights advocate Amelia Bloomer began criticizing corsets as well in the 1850s and called for new clothing standards for women, those that would allow them to participate in sports and move around freely. She was largely ignored and corsets remained popular through the 1920s.

Straight Chemise America, 1920s When American women finally got the right to vote in 1919, they decided it was time for a few other changes as well. They cut their hair, threw away their corsets, and started dancing the night away in their figure-obscuring straight chemises. This new freedom was so radically different from the constraints their Victorian mothers and grandmothers knew that it literally sent shock waves throughout the western world. It also allowed clothing manufactures to successfully mass-produce womens clothing for the first time since the chemise did not require the customization that clothes worn with corsets did. The womens ready-to-wear-industry was born.

(c) Diana Pemberton-Sikes FashionForRealWomen.com


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10 Most Extreme Fashion Trends Ever  

Learn how to dress and be in style with these fashion tips and looks at fashion legends