Designers flocked together and showed off their plumage on the runway: quill minis and tops at Dolce & Gabbana, ostrich-feather jackets at David Dixon, feather coats at Proenza Schouler and feathered heels at Roger Vivier.
Along with her peacock-feather skirts and her hats made of feathers, Miuccia Prada paraded digitized birds on dresses while Marni models sported birds-nest hair and birds embroidered on skirts and bags. Most labels heard the call and winged it, even if it was just with colour, like the bright azure, yellow and pink at Marc Jacobs and the tropical "Elvis in Blue Hawaii” look at D&G. Historically, bird motifs were used to decorate Edwardian homes. They migrated through jewellery as well, romantic and sentimental in the Victorian period, exotic and bright in art nouveau. But aside from a penchant for feathered hats over the past several centuries and the use of egret plumes on clothes and headbands in the Roaring Twenties (almost causing the extinction of the species), fashion's feathers haven't been in such a ruffle since the '60s and '70s.
Vancouver-based Tension Clothing has gone from contemporary coordinates to athleisure to, this season, pretty special-occasion dresses. Its new Sweet Chemisecollection picks posies from a fairy tale garden: roses, peonies, lilies and hibiscus, and prints them on flirty sweetheart and sexy strapless dresses in stretch linen, cotton poplin burnout and embroidered fabrics. When designer Joyce Mae wore a sample of the office fave, The Raspberry, to a fashion show, it was an instant success. $135 to $149; www.sweetchemise.com.
At Cirque du Soleil, they don't clown around with their merchandising. Along with such souvenirs as Cirque-inspired fitness clothes, lingerie and chocolate body paint, they recently launched colourful handbags reflective of the big top. "We wanted to bring a little part of Cirque into everyday life," says Johanne Sardi, general director of international merchandising. $35; www.cirquedusoleil.com.
Photo courtesy of Marcio Madeira