Monday, 13 April 2009
From 1906 to 2006
Looking through a fashion magazine of mine from 1906, one of the features that struck me the most were the hats, in particular their elaborate use of bird wings. The Edwardians didn't just use bird feathers in their headpieces, but entire wings and even whole bodies too. Immediately I was reminded of the headpieces created for Alexander McQueens fall 06 collection, exactly 100 years after the print of this magazine. Obviously a lot has changed over the 100 years; wearing one of McQueens hats today would probably garner you a lot of attention, not all of it good. This type of headgear is best reserved for editorials, special events, or just those crazy eccentrics. However, I don't think any of the bird hats from 1906 would have created as strong a reaction as wearing a McQueen bird hat would nowadays. A design that seems rather extravagant today, is actually rather tame when compared to its predecessor, which would have been worn as day wear. Thats not to say everyone in 1906 was happy with the use of birds in millinery, though it certainly was accepted more than todays society would allow (in terms of both ethics and aesthics).