Call of the Wild Jewelry, Part 1: Feathers

Feathers, the plumage of birds, have been used in personal adornment for centuries by cultures around the world. This season, feathers find their way into all manner of fashionable garments and accessories, including a variety of intriguing designs in jewelry.

Illustration: The September 2010 issue of Town & Country highlights a variety of feathered garments and accessories.

Illustration: A better view of the “Podium” necklace from Dior with gilded metal, resin beads and ostrich feathers, pictured in Town & Country.

Illustration: From the September 2010 issue of InStyle, a close-up of the Dior “Podium” necklace in deeper hues than those seen in Town & Country.

Illustration: An ad for Maybelline mascara from the September 2010 issue of Vogue touts feathers as responsible for “fall’s most imaginative creations” giving a sense of a “new bohemian edge.” The ad shows a necklace that incorporates feathers, along with a handbag, a shoe and a garment that covers the torso in feathers.

Fluffy feathers lend an ethereal element to an ensemble. Feathers used in a more controlled fashion still lend plenty of eye-catching glossy loveliness.

Illustration: A single feather pendant necklace by Ann Demeulemeester featured in the September 2010 issue of Vogue.

Illustration: Brass and feather bangle bracelets from A.V. Max featured in the September 2010 issue of InStyle magazine.

Illustration: From Yves Saint Laurent, seen in the August 2010 issue of Marie Claire, is this intriguing cuff bracelet. Is it made of feathers or fur?

Feathers are scene-stealers, especially when used lavishly in a design. Be aware that feathers may tickle! If you’re very ticklish, choose a feather design that doesn’t continuously tease your skin to make you itch or giggle.   

If you choose to incorporate feathers into your wardrobe, wear them selectively. More than one feathered accessory or garment worn at one time is too many. Happily, one feathered accessory may be quite enough all on its own to cause one’s style to soar.

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