Accesorry Ensemble | c. 1880
Flying Rats!? No it’s a muff and scarf..duh!
A rare example made from the heads and feathers of gulls, this accessory set represents the passion for using bird feathers and bird parts to decorate hats and other high-style fashion accessories in the 19th century. The practice ended in the early 20th century as birds were becoming extinct in order to supply the fashion industry. Even among examples from the period, this set stands out for its unusual design. The nestling of the two heads on the muff enhances the overall sense of warmth provided by the object, while the neckpiece draws attention to the wearer’s own swan-like neck. A set like this would have been been worn by an elite member of society who could afford to be somewhat unconventional in her taste.
Arnold Scaasi | c. 1970
I want to wear this and sing a Liza and/or Barbara song…don’t judge.
Balenciaga | c. 1965
If there are feathers on a dress I’m sold. This is tdf.
Yves Saint Laurent | c. 1969
Jaw dropping GORGEOUS!
Louiseboulanger | c. 1928
Feathers of the 1920s swayed with the new music and dance, benefited from Orientalism’s panache and bent for the exotic, and allowed clothing to be more fluid and flexible than ever. Here, the feather trim is individual filiments of ostrich plume knotted together to form longer strands. Each is dyed a different tone for the effect of an ombré cascade. The feather in nature is a beautiful form, but Louiseboulanger’s feathers are purposely governed and distilled beyond natural beauty to achieve a trim synthetic and sophisticated silhouette. (Met Museum)
Givenchy | c. 1898
This is so tranTastic I can’t stand it. Sometimes I find things I love so much I get a chill, this is one of those one of them
The feathers of this dress are stripped down to the tip to create an artificial profile. Indicative of the couture in seeking an improvement even on nature, these contrived feathers elaborate on the feathers’ natural shaping to create a self-conscious artifice. The shorter feathers have been anchored into a scallop pattern that overlaps to imitate a scale or coat in nature, but there is no element left to chance or to nature’s carelessness. The longer plumes are affixed at the stem to be tremblant and animated on the dress.