FEATHER BOA

Urban legend claims that women’s clothier namesake Henri Bendel (b. 1868) ‘invented’ the feather boa, yet Wikipedia has this to say about its history:  “Feather boas have been documented for use as an adornment since at least 1820, but they might have been worn as early as the 17th century.”  Feather boas have fallen in and out of fashion many times over the years.   Feather boas have had the reputation of being elegant as well as being considered campy or vulgar apparel. Some historic eras where feather boas were in style or trendy include: the late Victorian era and Edwardian era (between 1890 and 1915), the 1920s, the 1970s during the glam rock and Disco music eras, the late 1990s, and into the early 21st century.  Our model is Arielle Clark.

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 Entertainers have long used feather boas as part of their act.  A few feather boa wearers include: dancer Isadora Duncan, singer Shirley Bassey, actor/comedian Mae West, wrestlers Jesse Ventura, Marc Bolan of the glam rock band, T.Rex, Superstar Billy Graham, and Hulk Hogan,  singers Scott Weiland, Celia Cruz, Cher, Elton John, and numerous other opera and cabaret singers.  Singer and comic book writer Gerard Way has been known to wear a boa while performing too.

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A boa can be made of fur, but it is usually made instead from various types of feathers.  The makeup of these feathery scarves vary as much in style as those who don them.  Whether ostrich, turkey, marabou, chandelle, pheasant or even swan… boas are made from yarn with nary a plume in sight, there can be found a boa for every taste and activity.  Even interior designers have given the occasional nod to festive fluff, embellishing lamp shades, pillows, towels, bedding and floral display.  Feathers go through bleaching or dyeing processes and are glued and stitched into lengths called “ply”.   The more ply, the fluffier and thicker the boa.

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Feathers are everywhere in the fashion world lately.  From the ubiquitous feather hair extensions, to jewelry, to prints and textiles evoking these stylish fowl, feathers are no longer just for costumes or haute couture.  Feathers have gone mainstream, and with their rise to fame, my curiosities and inspirations have reached new heights.

 
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Text via Wikipedia

The Rose | Featuring: Arielle Clark

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