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Summer fashion is in the air in South Africa, and this season sees a refreshing take on print. This new version is a development from last season’s focus on animal print. It is bold, bright, and colorful, and you find it everywhere you go – from sports stores to fashion outlets. This new animal print finds inspiration from birds’ feathers.
It seems that the fashion of the summer season has turned South African fashionistas into birds of a feather. The trend of birds’ plumage first hit the catwalks with designers such as Matthew Williamson. The rustling designs of Williamson’s Spring 2012 collection were reminiscent of the presentation of wild, exotic birds.
The patterned details, bright colors, and sense of movement in his designs seemed to be inspired by our feathery friends. Scarves ending with long, loose tails and lengthy skirts and dresses with colorful prints are featured in this collection.
The Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 collection showcases head-to-toe ruffles, dense and elaborate enough to resemble feathers, headpieces that cover the entire head (much like the head of a bird, really), and bright, bold, exotic colors. Some of these outfits make one think that the designs in the dramatic film, Black Swan, still have a hold on fashion.
The recent Rio Fashion Week featured this style amongst celebrities and on the runway. Olivia Palermo, a fashionable celebrity, was seen on the runway with a bright, metallic-colored blouse, complete with layers of ruffles. The Agatha catwalk featured necklaces adorned with feathers and layered dresses in a variety of interesting colors, such as marble green, and the Animale collection used the basic black palette of the clothes as a foundation for rich and golden colors, using cuts that float as you move.
This plumage style has been adopted in a wearable form on the streets of South Africa. This fashion suits South Africa’s warm climate and lazy beach days perfectly. Necklaces and earrings with colorful feathers amongst an array of beads, or even just images of feathers, are making regular appearances.
Jewelry is also bedecked with charms and figurines in the form of all kinds of birds. Handbags and clutches have beautiful patterns of feathers and birds adorning them or simply a feather or two hanging from them. Everything from skirts to shirts are embellished with bright patterns of birds and their feathers. Feathers can even be found on shoes.
Fashion is all aflutter with this new trend of birds, and South Africa has swallowed the bait. Whether it is a hat arrayed with feathery patterns or a necklace with ornaments of birds dangling from it, this tropical trend has proven too exotic to resist. If this trend proves a bit too bold for you, try simply wearing a patterned skirt, or adorn your hair with a feather or two. It should be enough to brighten up the dullest of wardrobes.