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After a year of ups and downs and a few too many excruciatingly uncomfortable episodes of And Just Like That…, there has never been a better time for a fashion morale boost. So, imagine my delight when feathery frocks started popping up in runway in shows from Gucci to David Koma—and subsequently, feathers filled my Instagram feed. The feather micro-trend is upon us, and it’s easy to see why everyone wants in. Not to sound like a total hipster, but I’ve been rocking feathers on the regular since 2015.
Feathers in fashion are nothing new. After all, Marie Antoinette was known for wearing plumes in her hair to show off her extravagance way back in the 1700s! Feathers first piqued my interest when I saw a fluffy, over-the-top glamorous marabou robe by designer Catherine D’Lish on the illustrious Dita Von Teese. (What? You never had a phase where you regularly stalked Dita on Instagram? Just me?)
I’ve always associated feathers with Old Hollywood glamour, thinking back to images of black-and-white screen stars like Jean Harlow or Zsa Zsa Gabor, the undisputed queen of feathery frocks. Thankfully, feathers are no longer reserved solely for formal vintage vixens.
These days, the latest plumed styles feel so much more casual—think trimmed tops and mini dresses as opposed to floor length-gowns and dressing robes. And of course, the trend has been creeping up on the runways for a while now. Who can forget the feathers finishing off Prada’s SS2017 collection, or Richard Quinn’s feather-heavy bodices from SS2019? Just this year, Cynthia Rowley sent a bevy of feathers down the runway for her SS22 show.
The new feather micro-trend has expanded past dresses into everything from shoes, bags and even denim jackets, allowing me to comfortably don feathers before noon to pick up my morning Starbucks. My personal collection started small when I scored a pair of fuchsia ostrich earrings from New York brand Tuleste, picking up steam after I saved up for a lavish Catherine D’Lish robe of my own.
It didn’t take long before I was infatuated with all things feathery and fluffy. When I discovered Swedish outwear brand Pelo Bello and snagging a pair of plumed white high heels from Something Bleu, a good portion of my wardrobe started to look like it was going to take flight.
Before the trend really took off this past year, I searched high and low for a fully-feathered spaghetti strap top I could wear to fashion week in September 2021, but came up empty-handed. I asked my friend, designer Jennifer Diederich of SUITE, if she could help me whip me up something to wear.
We headed to the Garment District where we stocked up on marabou in sky blue from a local trim shop, appropriately named The Feather Place. Then, she crafted me my dream top on my patio in a single afternoon. Lucky for everyone else, there are now a plethora of cute feathery finds to choose from without having to DIY your own—although it’s still a viable option.
Even better? Most of the ready-to-wear dominating stores these days is comprised of feathered trim. Meaning, if you’re not ready to cosplay Big Bird in full-body feathers (Although honestly, I’m into it) you can opt for a shirt with just a hint of feathery frill on the sleeve, or a let a feather-trimmed jewelry piece do all the talking for you.
Below, read on for a few of my feathered faves, all of which are on their way to becoming 2022 essentials.
This LaMARQUE tube top is pretty much what I was picturing when I had Jennifer create my DIY version. It comes in four colors.
A Touch of Trim
If you’re seeking something simpler, opt for a top with just a strand of feather trim. It’s enough to make an impact, trust me!
Perfectly Plumed PJs
I never realized how much I needed gingham feathered PJs until this very moment. Talk about beauty sleep.
A Glam Going-Out Heel
You’ll be on your feet all night in these party-ready feathery heels that don’t skimp on glitz.
Party on the Bottom
This cotton dress by Cynthia Rowley wears like a T-shirt, but all the excitement is in the blooming blue feathered skirt.
Pretty Little Midi
Andreeva is known for accenting every piece with a feathery frill, and this midi skirt doesn’t disappoint.
A Feathery Friend
Consider this decadent Kelly green feathered clutch from Mango your new partner in crime.
The Ultimate Statement Top
For a topper that pulls double duty, look no further than this feather-trimmed sequin top by Caroline Vazzana.
A Doable DIY
Already have a piece you want to feather-ify? I won’t judge you for buying some feather trim via Amazon and doing it yourself.