Fine feathers make fine birds

This month will see the opening of the exhibition Birds of Paradise. Plumes & Feathers in Fashion at MoMu in Antwerp. For the occassion, the curatorial team is feathering up our Tumblr and Pinterest nest with images from its research for the exhibition.

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Alexander McQueen, S/S ‘11. © Etienne Tordoir/CatwalkPictures - See more at:

Feathers and fashion have always had a love affair. Throughout centuries the application of feathers has rendered fashion and haute couture with an extraordinary level of refinement and elegance.

Just think of the femininity, luxury and wealth of the ostrich and marabou feathers on ladies’ hats in the time of the the belle époque (1871-1914). The immense popularity of feathers during the period led to the near-extinction of certain birds.

societe des journaux europeana fashion momu tumblr pinterest curation feathers momu birds of paradise

Société des Journaux de Mode Réunis. Collection MoMu - Fashion Museum Province Antwerp.

The roaring twenties signified the true heyday of feathers. Flapper girls donned feathers on their hats, boas and dresses. Their feathers swayed as they danced to the beat of the charleston.

But there is a heavier side to the lightness of feathers too. There is a sense of dark romance and loss of innocence to feathers, probably best exemplified by contemporary fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen and Ann Demeulemeester.

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Fan with leaf in pheasant feathers and frame in nacre, 1890–1910, MoMu collection, inv. no. T13/1536/W15. © MoMu. Photo by Stephen Mattues


The curation by MoMu explores themes of feathers in fashion through fashion photography, objects and illustrations. You can view the exhibition on our Tumblr and Pinterest.

Find out more about Birds of Paradise. Plumes & Feathers in Fashion exhibition.Respondents reported that technology contributes to cost reductions and productivity improvements the richer the technology implementation, the more positive the impact

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