Sunday, May 5, 2013

To Blog a Chopine

Chopines (photograph ©Francis Classe, reproduced by permission)
In the course of my week's activities on the Internet, I found a fascinating blog. It's called Chopine, Zoccolo, and Other Raised and High Heel Construction, and it's dedicated to discussing the construction of shoes from different historical periods.  As the title implies, the author, Francis Classe, primarily makes and writes about the making of high-heeled and platform shoes, one type of which is the chopine, the striking platform-soled shoe favored by the fashionable women of Renaissance Italy. 

Mr. Classe goes much farther than blogging about historical shoes and shoe construction.  A key feature of his site is a number of detailed tutorials, which he refers to as "Project Lessons."  Each Project Lesson shows a pair of shoes Mr. Classe has made, and explains exactly how he achieved his final product, illustrating the explanation with many clear photographs.  The site also contains a substantial body of illustrations and other reference material with regard to shoes and shoe construction.  A picture of a pair of chopines made by Mr. Classe that is the subject of one of the "Project Lessons" appears to the right.

Most costumers (myself included) lack the nerve to develop the skills necessary to make period-appropriate shoes for their historical costumes. Mr. Classe's blog is a fantastic resource for anyone seeking to take interest in historical footwear to the next level, and I heartily recommend it.

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