Friday, August 14, 2009
Fine Feathered Trends
This image, from the Fall '09 campaign from Givenchy, is striking, in a bipolar way. The models, gorgeous as they are, are ghoulish; you get the impression that the art director gave a last-minute directive that the fangs be photoshopped out. Still, the imagery perfectly fits the mood of the clothing, and if that's a measure of success, the ad is superb.
My favorite element is the headdress. Zoom in on it by clicking on the pic. A gothic toque, high as the Pope's mitre but pretty much its opposite in goodwill toward men.
It reminded me a bit of another great high-fashion head ornament, with a playful savagery that perfectly suited the model and mood . . .
Women through the ages have worn feathers to add dramatic height and flourish. Proust writes about his belle-epoque opera-goers showing off the latest aigrettes, or erect, single-feathered headdresses, so named after the egret feathers they often bore.
In modern times, upright feathers can make a brilliant fashion statement. But unruffled can be gorgeous too--plumes worn flat to the head, on a headband or sculpted cap--and these are often more appropriate when raptoresque is not the way to go.
This guineafowl headband, for example, is quite subtle on, yet it has drawn avid comment from at least two countryside gents (who were pleased to recognize the plumage in a setting outside a hedgerow).
Feathered headbands are all over this season, so have a good look around--very nice artificial feathers are also a possibility if you are so inclined. Aloft or low-lying, they are an accessory that gets a conversation going.
(photo of Kate Moss © Juergen Teller for The Face, 1996)