Feathers have hit the run way in the fashion world. From hair to jewelry, prints and textiles, feathers are no longer just for the birds. We would like to think that this is an original trend, but history states that feathers go back as far as Neanderthals.
Found in a cave near Verona, Italy, paleoanthroopologist Marco Peresani found 660 bird bones where feathers were removed and believed to be used for ornamentation. Of the birds found and de-featherd, most were not known to be good food sources, and it was evident that only the most beautiful feathers were plucked.
Native American Headdresses are another early example of feathers being used in clothing and for ornamentation. In the 16th century in Europe feathers were also used as decoration for masks. The rich were the first to sport this trend, but these accessories gradually became more accessible to the common class.
Let’s not forget the 20th century when feathers made it onto the fashion scene during the flapper era. The feathers were thought to add movement to dresses while dancing, and then came the famous feather boas to enhance their performances.
We’re still inspired by the feather in our fashion today. While it may not be practical to wear head-to-toe feathers on an everyday basis, it’s always fun to play with the feathers-as-fashion trend.