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History of Fashion – Lead Based Makeup

Lead Based Makeup

This is probably the longest-running crazy fashion trend in history, beginning in at least 200 BC with the ancient Greeks and finally ending in the late 19th century. Lead based makeup was toxic, and killed many people in their pursuit…

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History of Fashion – The Alexandra Limp

The Alexandra Limp

Alexandra of Denmark, the wife of king Edward VII, was so beautiful and fashionable that women all over England copied her dresses, hair styles and even the way she moved. When Alexandra was left with a pronounced limp after some…

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History of Fashion – Beaks


Okay, so maybe this one wasn’t a fashion trend as such, but you have to admit it’s pretty darn crazy. Plague doctors in the 17th and 18th centuries were called ‘quacks’ because of these beak-like masks that they wore which…

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History of Fashion – Corsets


It is possibly a bit unfair to lump all corsets into the same category, since there were so many varieties over time. The short stays worn by Jane Austen and her friends, for example, were designed to give support, much…

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History of Fashion – Beauty Spots

Beauty Spots

Women in Georgian England were often ridiculed for their peculiar fashion choices, such as in this illustration ‘six stages of mending a face’. It was suggested by the satirists that most of a woman’s beauty regime was about covering things…

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History of Fashion – Crakows

History of Fashion - Crakows

As if the men in this painting don’t look silly enough in their tights and feathery hats, they are wearing ridiculously pointy shoes. Named crakows after the city in which they were thought to originate, these hilariously long shoes were…

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History of Fashion – Enormous Wigs

Enormous Wigs

Enormous wigs took off as a fashion trend in the early 17th century when Louis XIII of France used one to cover his baldness. Soon after the battle over the title of most ridiculous wig began. If you’ve seen The…

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History of Fashion – Wax Cones


We can’t be exactly sure what the Egyptians were wearing on top of their heads in these paintings, but archaeological evidence suggests they were probably perfumed cones made of wax or fat. It is mostly women that are depicted wearing…

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History of Fashion – Bliauts


Bliauts were dresses reserved for the highest echelons of society in medieval Europe, from around the 11th to 13th centuries. The dangling floor-length sleeves were the ultimate way of letting people know that you were far too important to do…

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History of Fashion – Hoop Skirts


Hoop skirts were around for a surprisingly long time considering how impractical they were. From the 16th to 19th centuries, women used these undergarments to give the appearance of tiny waists and ample buttocks. However, large hoops were very inconvenient…

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