Bird Brains

Ladies have been wearing feathers and our feathered friends on their heads for centuries.
Whether to show social status, for fashion or for mourning, birds have been a go to motif for milliners for hundreds of years.

bird-hat bird hat

This has not been without controversy and even from the late 1800’s people were speaking up about their concerns for the mass slaughter of tropical and domestic birds for fashion.
You can read about the early support for bird conservation here in a paper by Amelia Birdsall.
The popularity of using feathers and birds also sparked the violent Feather War which you can read more about here.

birds in nest wing hat

Many of the brightly coloured tropical birds were, strangely, dyed black before being mounted on a hat. It is unclear exactly why this was the case but, as mentioned above, a lot of these hats were worn during mourning. And of course black goes with everything.

angela lansbury

Obviously we now have strict laws governing the trade in exotic wildlife and society tends to find it in bad taste to shoot rare species for fashion (and so it should). However, you have to admire a gal that goes to a party with an owl eating a dead mouse on her head. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to……

owl hat

Unfortunately the cover image and the one above are photoshopped (apparently by April Winchell) but I find the concept inspiring none the less. One day I’ll have an ethical owl hat of my very own…..
Twitter: @Death_n_Glory
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