Come fly with me – Fashion and Feathers

Last week I went to a talk at Norwich Castle Museum by Ruth Battersby-Tooke – the fashion and textiles curator about their recent exhibition on Birds – you can find out more by following this link –

Being a vintage gal I do like a bit of feather and frou frou. Ruth talked about how the feather became popular in the Victorian and Edwardian eras with huge plums and in some cases whole birds in full flight perched on large and extravagant hats. This of course caused considerable controversy and in turn led to the Association for the Protection of Birds (Later RSPB).

Feathers continued to be fashionable into the 20th Century with Hollywood movie stars such as Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow in the 30’s; And who could forget that feather dress that Ginger Rogers floated in with Fred Astaire.

The 1970’s saw a nod to the Native American Indian with jewellery and headdresses inspired by the traditional costumes.

And recently Galliano and McQueen have brought the feather into the 21st century with very strong influences from past decades.

Throughout fashion history there has always been a feather or two especially in the hat and headdress variety.

Victorian Era Hat
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2008 Collection
1930’s feather fantasy
40’s and 50’s feather style
Cher circa 1970’s
More McQueen
Philip Treacy

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