I know an editor who has always maintained that fashion shoots – and fashion magazines in general – should be about creativity and escapism. Forget practicality; in her eyes, fashion is all about fantasy.
(This is a very convenient perspective, as it has allowed her to jet off to glamorous countries around the world to photograph models draped in absurdly expensive clothes in ways that made it impossible to see the actual clothes themselves.)
This particular editor and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, but there’s one trend that I think we’d both enjoy: feathers.
For her, a maximalist, feathers are the ultimate form of escapism; for me, a minimalist, they are any easy way to add glamour to an otherwise simple outfit. Who needs colour when you have a feathered shoe, sleeve or top?
Women have adorned themselves with feathers for centuries, but there’s something very post-pandemic about this latest flight of fancy. After brightly coloured dopamine-dressing, feathers and other over-the-top embellishment seem like a new way to distance ourselves even further from the gloom of lockdown. (And, yes, there is a code that regulates the ethical supply of feathers to the fashion industry.)
Little wonder, then, that feathers appeared on countless runways in March, from Loewe to Chanel, Valentino to Victoria Beckham. At the Oscars – historically a very feather-and-boa-friendly event – Euphoria actor Hunter Schafer managed to make a style statement with a single, very strategically placed, feather.
“Feathers are fun!” says stylist Lucy Wood, who pulled together this edit and is a feather fan. “It’s almost impossible to have a bad time in feathers. It’s absolutely the solution if you’re needing to lift your mood a little.”
Discover some of her favourite feathered pieces, below.
Photography: Sarah Adamson. Bemused ducks courtesy of Sydney’s Centennial Park.