The Bird is the Word: Flights of Fashion Fancy for Summer

by Alexander Baran
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Have you heard about the bird?  Chanel designers know that the bird is the word.  Chanel Les Trompe L’Oeil, a signature line of temporary body art released in 2010, features 55 ingenious elements, including a romantic and delightful set of gem-laden swallows in flight

Today’s avian attraction in the realm of fashion, however, is actually nothing new.  In fact, bird motifs, prints, and graphics can be seen in traditional Japanese kimono fabrics, vintage western wear, and are even a popular element in Indian and Arabic mehndi.

These feathered friends are also finding their way into home decor across the United States, Europe, and Asia in recent seasons, permeating everything from throw pillows and Spring-weight textiles to china and chotchkies for household display.

Bird jewelry on the other hand, seems to be a relatively recent evolution of the trend, taking most of its cues from the tattoo industry in the US and UK, where body art featuring songbirds, peacocks, owls, swallows, hummingbirds, and cranes has been steadily on the rise since the early nineties.

One of the sweeter and more modern ways to monopolize on this new-found brush with flights of the fanciful and featherful is with monochrome pieces, or simple silhouettes with splashes of bright color.  For those who are pierced, it’s easy to see how this can become twice the fun, like with the flock of navel rings pictured below.

Contrary to their seemingly high-strung nature, depictions of the feathery set are best when accompanying effortless, low-key styles as a bonus, making this one trend that is definitely not for the birds.

by Alexander Baran

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