FashionMuse: a – aigret


a long feather (preferably from an egret) worn on a hat or a piece of jewellery in the shape of a plume.

BUY NOW: Not just for fancy-dress, a feather in your hair has much more cachet

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Shop @

Feather Arc Headband (sale £6.95)


Because you’ll be in good company. These plumes say;

Status (royalty),

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The Prince of Wales heraldry has featured 3 feathers since the 14th Century. This diamond plume brooch was once owned by the Duchess of Windsor and bought at auction by Elizabeth Taylor in 1987.

Wealth (high society),

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Kiera Knightley as the Duchess of Devonshire

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Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, she of high hair and for whom outrageous was not enough, has become eponymous with eighteenth-century fashion excess.

Vitality (tribal),

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Taipirape tribe – Doc on Vimeo

South American tribal communities, like the Tapirapé,  perform ritual and shaman ceremonies adorned in feathers for their symbolic and spiritual meaning.

Ardour (Venetian masks),

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Venetian masks have a long history of protecting their wearer’s identity during promiscuous or  decadent activities. Made for centuries, these distinctive masks were wildly decorated with fur, fabric, gems, and feathers. Today they are integral to the Venetian Carnival and it’s annual pageant to hedonism.

Defiance (The Flappers). The roaring 1920s, when women were freed from corsets and stays and heavy hair. Feathers as head gear, represented the new, untethered times.

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Beautifully encapsulated here by Austrian illustrator, Mela Koehler, whose affinity for the reform dress movement and women’s emancipation shone through her work. Produced as postcards, these are still highly collectable.


Haute Couture.  The Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty V&A exhibition (2015) was full of feathers and bird imagery. His highly stylized work had nothing to do with wear-ability and everything to do with the aesthetic.

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‘It was about trying to trap something that wasn’t conventionally beautiful to show that beauty comes from within.’ – Alexander McQueen

So feather your head high and stand proud – you’ve got pedigree.

Featured image: An Egret (


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