"The history of the corset proves that women have attached great importance to outward appearance and this since more than 2000 years. The corset was not a fashion item for the masses. The first flourishing period for the corset dates back to the Elizabethan and Spanish fashion between the 16th and 17th Century. The strict form of the corset went hand in hand with the fashion of the hoop skirt which was made in hard metal and accentuated female slenderness. The slender the loins, the more beautiful a woman". In 'Fashion Icons', Leen Demeester explores fashion trends throughout the centuries. She traces the origins of items of clothing such as the corset, the bra, the dress, the mini-skirt, trousers, accessories and high heels. These 'icons' show a distinct parallel between the history of women's appearance and the history of female emancipation. Top designers confirm that the image of a woman (and her place in society) still depends on her appearance and especially on the clothes she wears.