Feathers are a fun way to add some elegance to your wardrobe. Too much can be over the top, but just the right amount can go a long way. Feather headbands are popular accessories today, but if you have a sensitive head or don’t like hair accessories, they can give you a headache. Feathers can have the same chic impact no matter how you wear them. Decide how you want to decorate your feather dress. Tufts of feathers around the sleeves or on the skirt of the dress are simple ways to adorn them, or if you want to go all out, a diagonal feather around the entire dress. Sew the feathers to your dress with a simple loop stitch once you decide where to place them.
If you are placing them around the skirt of your dress, drape your boa in a zigzag zag pattern around the skirt. Layer until the entire skirt is covered. This will give a nice volume and cover the entire skirt easily. If your dress has a zipper that goes down to where your feathers start, make sure you have your zigzag boa around the zipper. Trim any feathers that are too bulky for your taste. Cover the hem for a more complete look (if you are putting feathers on the skirt). Trim excess feathers.
If you have any feathers left over, use your leftovers to make some feather accessories.
The feather is regularly honored in the houses of high fashion. Synonymous with lightness and softness, feathers give a unique cachet to the pieces sewn by the greatest couturiers. By combining fabrics and feathers, these fashion designers compose dazzling models. At the time of the haute couture shows in Paris, down, feathers and other textures come to ennoble the composition of the most beautiful creations. Let’s discover this trend of haute couture that leaves a place of choice to the feather.
More and more feathers on the catwalk
Feathers have always been part of the fashion landscape. As a discreet touch on hats or on light and twirling boas, feathered creations have been around for a long time. In recent years, feathers are back in force and cover skirts, evening dresses or couture suits. We notice in particular prestigious pieces such as cocktail dresses, divine coats or beautiful skirts and bustiers. The beautiful feathers are displayed on the entire garment.
Some great designers of haute couture have bet on these atypical textures like Versace, Margiela with John Galliano or Elie Saab. They call upon independent feather craftsmen or illustrious references such as the Lemarié house in Paris, associated with Chanel, or the Vermeulen house.
What type of feathers do the Haute Couture houses use?
There is a wide variety of feathers used in fashion. Pieces worn in haute couture can be made from down or penne, the long feathers of birds.
Traditionally bred birds
Fashion designers use duck feathers, which are particularly appreciated for their variable length. Depending on the family of duck, the colors differ and take on splendid tones. There are even models that use the same filling techniques as those used to make a duck feather and down comforter.
Sewing creations are also made from goose feathers. They offer textures and shapes that allow compositions of the most beautiful effect. As a bonus, their light reflections bring a unique touch of brilliance.
As for rooster feathers, they allow you to create atypical pieces with their colorful shades.
To achieve majestic effects, the great fashion designers sometimes use feather materials from more atypical birds, such as the pheasant. This bird is adorned with feathers whose lines give it artistic touches.
The artisans working with feathers also appreciate the egret plumage and its white plume. This material embellishes haute couture wedding dresses or head jewels with a Roaring Twenties look. Among the textures worked in high fashion workshops, ostrich feathers are among the basics. Their length can go from 15 to 70 cm!
How not to talk about peacock feathers when talking about haute couture? This animal has one of the most prestigious plumage among the bird families.
What are the origins of these feathers?
The feather trade is regulated. The professionals of the sector must therefore adapt.
Natural feathers under surveillance
It is important to know that all feathers are no longer traded freely. Indeed, the 1973 Washington Convention regulates the use of bird feathers. This text imposes the use of animal feathers intended solely for the food industry. Some species are therefore protected, such as egrets, birds of paradise or peacocks.
French fashion houses sometimes make pieces with such materials. They come from old stocks held by the houses of feather makers. In this case, these haute couture productions are made in a single copy and are intended to be worn only in France.
In terms of supply, the majority of feathers for haute couture come from France, for reasons of regulatory simplification. A small portion is shipped from South Africa, Argentina, or Asia.
Some professionals shape feathers from ducks, turkeys, or geese in order to imitate the plumage of a protected bird. Using carving and dyeing techniques, feather artists accomplish wonders by reproducing more than realistic designs or colors.
On a fashion runway, no. The techniques for reproducing a natural feather are extremely complex. For the moment, designers of custom couture avoid fake materials, which are not very credible in the eyes of their customers.
The most striking feather creations
Feather items created by the small hands of haute couture houses light up fashion shows and red carpets.
Versace dresses under the sign of the feather
Throughout the haute couture collections, Versace designers compete with each other to offer sumptuous dresses, some of which are adorned with feathers. This is the case, for example, with this white ostrich feather mini-dress, halfway between softness and audacity.
Donatella Versace and her teams also amazed their guests with a feminine version with a 70s feel presented at the fall-winter 2015 show. The delicacy of its feathers matches with its hippie chic Bohemian look, all in sky blue tones.
The originality of Margiela pieces
On the side of the house Margiela, some pieces stood out on the catwalks because of their detour as the famous white quilt coat. A soft garment that allows you to enjoy the softness of its comforter in goose feathers or duck in everyday life …
The great Italian fashion house Margiela has also made its mark with its autumn-winter wedding dress in the style of a comforter. This dress combines silk sheet and quilted comforter for a surprise effect, but also for the comfort of the chosen one.
This concept of the Italian designer has clearly inspired the students of the Central Saint Martins school, who have taken up the principle of this hybrid dress. As a result, their representations on the catwalk do not go unnoticed, such as this imposing dress-coat comforter.
Feathered couture pieces adopted by celebrities.
This reference distinguishes itself every year during the haute couture week by shaking up the codes of the big names in fashion. With its jet-lag collection, feathers subtly dress the different compositions or come alive in an ode to the party.
Among the actresses that we could see with feathered haute couture creations, Naomi Watts made a sensation on the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Her long silver dress mixing rhinestones and feathers, created by the famous designer Elijah Saab, is a model of elegance and lightness.