January 5, 2011

Birds of a vintage feather flock together

Lately, though we’re knee-deep in the midst of winter, I’ve been seeing a bounty of feathers everywhere. However, I’m not talking about feather that have fallen off (at least not recently) one of our fine, feathered little birdie friends, no the feathers I’ve been spying have been on everything from laptop cases to scented candles, metal writing pens to hair accessories.

Sometimes these emblematic avian images are as gossamer a spider’s web, pale and ethereal in their almost hauntingly angelic elegance. Other times they’re bold and vivacious, rich in palette and alive with more zest than a whole flock of flamingos.

Feathers are having a moment right now (not, if you stop and ask any peacock, that they ever went out of style). From runway to the high street to indie boutiques, it seems that designers have suddenly gone a little bird brained on us!

Yet, using feathers in both fashion and decor is far from new. This ageless material and symbol has been used for millennia and will likely keep nesting in the hearts of those who create and those who shop alike for a very long time to come.

If, like me, you can’t help but feel your heart go aflutter when you chance upon a beautiful feather item, I’ve gathered up a selection of vintage, vintage inspired, and just plaid gorgeous pieces that either include actual feathers or which depict this striking ornithological element. I really hope you enjoy this bird’s eye view of some of my favourite recent online feathered finds.


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{There is such a sweet, feminine grace to this timelessly beautiful, lightweight silk taffeta cocktail dress, with it's lovely princess neckline and subtly dazzling beaded feather embellishments. You could dress this refined frock up with heels and pearls, or down with breezy vintage wedges and a straw handbag. Serenely pretty as a dove, this wonderful vintage 1940s dress fits up to a 34 inch bust/27 inch waist, and is available for $184.00 from etsy seller Allen Company Inc.}


{A feathered accessory, such one of these darling Marabou pillows can add such a fantastic jolt of texture and allure to any room in the house, from the boudoir to the living room. Soft and sensual, a pillow with feathers on the outside (instead of tucked away inside as the filling), is a playful yet sophisticated way to capture this trend and make it work for your vintage decor. "Marabou Boa Pillow" made from ostrich feathers, available in grey or rose (measuring 8" by 14"), $88.00 from Anthropologie.} 


{Glistening with peachy blush hued crystals and set in rose gold plated metal, this intricately gorgeous bracelet is the kind of special piece that captures your heart at first glance. Curvaceous and regal, it would work splendidly for an evening out, as party of your bridal jewelry, or simply as a marvelous work of art on your wrist with any ensemble. "Disney Couture 'Listen to your heart' Pocahontas" bracelet, measuring 8.25 inches long (with a chain adjuster and lobster clasp), $88.00 from Amazon.}


{Understated elegance soars like a bird on the wind from this chic, classic six piece set of Syracuse China bread and butter plates, which were produced by Coronet in the 1950s and/or 60s. From their pale grey border (with platinum trim) to the utterly adorable little pink bow wrapped around the pair of stately feathers, this set of dishware would be such a whimsical, stylish way to help decorate the table at your next tea or garden party, bridal or wedding shower, or simply for a special lunch with friends. Six piece set of Syracuse Plates, $24.00 from etsy seller Pine and Main.}


{If you enjoy feathers in small, highly tasteful does than this stunning warm steel-black hued, one shoulder top maybe right up your fashion alley. Made from silk chiffon and an engaging, playful - yet deeply vixenish - band of jet black feathers across the shoulder, this eveningwear worthy shirt would look sensational paired with 1930s inspired make-up, a flowing full length skirt, and a curled updo in a nod to yesteryear film sirens like May West and Carole Lombard. "Bebe Feather Silk Top", available in "medium", $89.00 from Amazon.}


{If someone were to tell you that they'd seen a pair of rich gold hued vintage glasses with feathers on them, your mind might race to thoughts of costumes instead of couture, but as this photo attests, this show-stopping pair of eyeglass frames is actually incredibly lovely and, I think, would be surprisingly easy to wear with a broad range of outfits. "Tura Winged Laurel Crown 1950s Cat Eye Aluminum Glasses" (without lenses, so that you can have your own prescription put in), $144.00 from etsy seller Bibby's Rocket.}


{Gather your favourite hens and roosters together for a diner or cocktail party and serve them anything little morsel you fancy (something like devilled eggs would be delightfully fitting, don't you think?) on this trendy yet timeless, soft copper-green hued resin feather dish (which could certainly also be used for non-culinary related other purposes, too). "Tray Chic" feather serving tray (measures 17.5" x 6"), $17.99 from ModCloth.}


{Sticking a feather in one's cap has been chichi for hundreds, if not thousands of years, yet few eras came close to the 1940s in matching the staggering diversity and wide spread use of feathers on women's hats. This artistic, striking ecru coloured straw beret style hat features a gathering of pheasant and other feathers all held in place with the palest of dusty blush hued ribbons. "Pheasant and Straw Toque", one size fits all, $35.00 from etsy seller Miss Farfalla.}

{Ready your trusty carrier pigeon, because with these wonderfully chic, sweetly old school feeling thank you cards, you'll soon want to zip off a note to everyone who gave you a gift this past holiday season. "Feather Crest Thank You's" eight piece card set (with matching creme hued envelopes), $6.50 from etsy seller Hear Black Market.}


{What I really like about this appealing vintage brooch is that it manages to be both substantial (thanks to the glistening rhinestones) and charmingly light at the same time (due to the delicate feather design). I think this great costume jewelry piece would look amazing nestled into a cream coloured sweater or coat lapel, pinned to a silk scarf, or perhaps even fastened to your favourite vintage hat. "Mauve Feathers and Amber Rhinestone Brooch", $14.99 (currently with free shipping for US customers) from etsy seller Vixen Designer.}


{There is something undeniably ravishing about this tiny black and white hard shell, feathered bedecked clutch that is so incredibly luxurious and tacitly pleasing. Measuring in a diminutive 6" x 2", this handbag seems to be channelling  the spirit of the 1920s and is exactly the kind of thing I could imagine a girl great-great flapper girl aunt carrying with her as she headed out for a a night on the town. "Bebe bright feather clutch" (which is also available in a gorgeous shade of teal), $54.99 from Amazon.}


{Like something lifted from the costume department of ballet company, this immensely pretty pink feather pen (which comes with a white and gold hued pen stand) would be as extraordinary alongside a wedding guest book as it would sitting majestically atop your writing desk. "Fancy Light Pink Feather (Ball-point) Pen" (made from dyed ostrich feathers), $35.00 from The Bella Cottage.}

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Feathers have a timeless, almost primordial quality to them that never falls out of vogue, never seems dated or trite. They can be as delicate as a sparrow or sturdy as an eagle, and they are something that every woman should strive to include, in whatever form catches her eye, in her wardrobe, and should she so wish, her home decor, too.

Here’s to vintage fans of feathers everywhere flocking together in our shared love of these gorgeous gifts from our avian friends.


  1. Hope you are having an awesome New Year!

  2. Those feathered glasses are wonderful, I have never seen anything like them.

  3. omg! i wnat this glasses!
    Happy New Year!

    xoxo from rome

  4. Happy New Year Jessica- LOVE the first off white dress...wish I had the body for it! lol Gorgeous!

  5. Great pieces! That first dress is gorgeous :)