Friday, November 11, 2011

Bringing New Meanings to Crimes Against Fashion

Though now-a-days the top hat is seen as a conservative anachronism, when it was first debuted in 1795, it was treated like one of Lady Gaga's more bizarre creations.

London haberdasher John Hetherington decided to wear his on the Strand on January 15, 1795, and caused such a riot that he was brought before the Lord Mayor the next morning. He was charged with "walking down a public highway wearing upon his head a tall structure having a shining lustre calculated to alarm the people."

The Lord Mayor, taking into account eye-witness accounts that "women had fainted... children had gone into hysterics and... one lad sustained a broken arm through the violence of the mob" ignored Hetherington's assertion that he had the right to dress as he chose and fined him the modern-day equivalent of $5,000.