by John Stoehr
At left is the pianelle, or chopine. Fashionable ladies of 16th-century Venice wore these to keep their flowing gowns away from mud and other nasty things on the street (if you've been to Venice, you know what I mean). Renaissance women slipped their dancing shoes into the tops (you can see where the foot goes). The original Cinderella (the basis for Rossini's masterpiece La Cenerentola) would have worn and lost this über-platform shoe as she scurried away before the clock struck midnight. Can you imagine running in these things? Well, maybe Carrie Bradshaw could. Anyway, the prince, as I say in this post, had a whopping foot fetish, the kind you don't see much of anymore. Or do we? These are The Red Shoes that are de rigueur in Japan, according to my friend Sasha. Looks like our Cindy would have a lot to say. And it looks like our prince charming would be right at home in Tokyo.