Flights of Fancy: A History of Feathers in Fashion opens June 11, 2010

Flights of Fancy is a colorful and thought-provoking exhibition that explores the historical and contemporary use of feathers in western fashion. Visitors are invited to examine the function of feathers in nature, the historical feather trade and activism against it, and the psychological appeal of wearing feathers. Feathered apparel from the late 19th through 20th centuries from the Goldstein Museum of Design (GMD) collection are exhibited, including garments designed by Bill Blass, Sonia Rykiel, Victor Costa, and Oscar de la Renta.

GMD is partnering with the Bell Museum of Natural History and The Raptor Center to provide an ornithological foundation for the feathered apparel. Study skins of birds from the Bell's collection will be included as examples of birds whose feathers were commonly used in the fashion industry. Two Audubon prints from the Bell will also be on view, one depicting a heron and the other a pheasant. Historically both were hunted for their plumage, and pheasants are still used in fashion today. The Raptor Center will lend diagrams of feather structure to illustrate the unique qualities and functions of feathers. Adam Barnett of The Raptor Center will give a presentation on opening night and bring live birds to illustrate his lecture.

Opening June 11, 2010, 6-8 p.m. (presentation at 6:30 p.m.), McNeal Hall Auditorium
Join Adam Barnett, interpretive naturalist from the Raptor Center, for an opportunity to see live birds of prey up-close. Four live birds will be on view during a presentation that details the natural history of these birds and their preservation. Following the presentation visitors may take photographs with the birds and speak with Raptor Center naturalists.

Bird Protection and Millinery: Exploring the Role of Fashion Media in the Debate
September 8, 2010, 3 p.m., McNeal Hall
Amy D. Scarborough, Department of Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, will present research from her doctoral dissertation. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries women's hats and hair accessories featured feathers, wings, heads, and whole birds. With the conservation movement, formation of the Audubon Society, and women's clubs, the use of birds in millinery became a concern. Fashion and women's magazines contained discussions of social responsibility. In this lecture, Scarborough will explore how bird conservation, the Audubon Society, and millinery were discussed and presented in fashion and women's magazines.

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