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Peacock feathers have been used in fashion for decades

Jul 26, 2012
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Imagine wearing a bridal dress like this!

PEACOCK FEATHERS ARE UNIQUE IN THEIR BEAUTY
I remember as a small child seeing a male peacock for the first time. His beautiful plumage was breathtaking as he stood proudly with head high, but when he suddenly opened his tail feathers (which I now know is part of a male peacock’s courtship display), I was in awe, and I’ve been in awe of this amazing bird ever since. It’s no wonder peacocks have been a design inpiration for centuries.

PEACOCKS ARE OFTEN USED AS DESIGN INSPIRATION
In searching, I found peacock feathers used to adorn all kinds of items. Dresses and other garments made from fabric printed with peacock feathers, vases painted with peacock feathered designs, hats, earrings, purses–you name it. The garment that amazed me the most, however, was a wedding gown made with over 2000 real peacock feathers. The dress was featured at the wedding Culture Expo held in Nanjing, China. It took eight months and eight seamstresses to complete the dress, with a final cost of $1.5 million. In addition 60 pieces of Hetian jade were sewn into the dress. The dress is considered one of the 10 most expensive wedding dresses ever made.

ONLY MALE PEACOCKS BOAST THESE FEATHERS
Only male peacocks are adorned with these beautiful feathers. An average male sheds about 200 feathers during his annual molt just after the breeding season. This means in order to make the dress, feathers would have been harvested from more than 10 birds over the course of a year. The feathers can grow to be several feet long before being shed. Artists have attempted to duplicate the feather’s striking “eye” that consists of shimmering shades of blues and greens.

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN REAL PEACOCK FEATHERS?
Have you ever seen a live male peacock strutting with his tail feathers spread, or maybe just real feathers used in a garment or other item? Share your comment below.

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  1. User avater CelaS January 14th

    Had a classmate in a costuming class build a costume that has Peacock feather embellishments added. Wish I had taken a picture. It was gorgeous.

    Oh, and please excuse one bit of nitpicking with the writer of this article. All Peacocks are male. That's what the "cock" part of the name denotes. A female is called Peahen.

  2. user-548481 August 1st

    At Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire there is a dress, dating from 1903, which belonged to a Lady Curzon. It has a peacock feather design embroidered on to it.The "eye" of the feather is made from beetle wings and was made by the House of Worth.

  3. SuperiorLiz July 31st

    40 years ago I splurged and bought a length of Liberty Cotton Voile in a classic "Peacock Tail' design in shades of gold and yellow. It became a Negligee with elbow length sleeves that ended in circular double frills hemmed with a minute machine sewn hem. Getting the start and end to merge seamlessly took some doing, and a lot more undoing.
    I rarely wore it, and sadly my mother threw it out after I married and left home. I do have wonderful memories of it though; the bodice was interlined with toning lawn while the skirts; two matched pattern layers over a lining of lawn, were fluted out to the mid calf hem.
    Thinking back the fabric must have cost me, then a starving Fashion Student, far too much but it was worth it when I presented my final exhibition and this was one of the garments Constance Howard, a well known English Textile Artist and External Exhaminer for our year, asked me to model for her.

    Liz









  4. Mamato8 July 31st

    For my son's wedding, all the groomsmen wore peacock feathers as their boutineers.

  5. dckitty July 31st

    Peacock feathers are very bad luck, according to legendary actress Lily Langtree.

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