The Bowes Museum welcomes Birds of Paradise – Plumes and Feathers in Fashion

The Bowes Museum opens its doors to a spectacular fashion exhibit today (October 25) and we can guarantee it’s a must see!

Birds of Paradise – Plumes and Feathers in Fashion is a tribute exhibit to the stunning use of feathers within fashion. Brought to The Bowes Museum by MoMu Fashion Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, the exhibit features pieces from some of the world’s top designers including Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler, Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier, Prada and Gucci.

The award winning Fashion and Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum being the exhibit’s only UK venue makes this a remarkable achievement for North East fashion.

If you’re a fan of spectacular dresses and somewhat fabulous millinery then this exhibition is something you need to see. Feathers and plumes were used throughout history as an accessory and even as fashionable dress. They are both elegant and fragile and capture the true beauty of any silhouette.

The exhibition emphasises the ancient profession of plumassier in co-operation with the Parisian Maison Lemarié, which is one of the last remaining traditional feather studios. The fashion house has specialised in processing plumes, primarily for French Haute Couture since 1880.

Walking around the exhibit you will notice the dresses are grouped into themes, from the soft white dresses in the Glass Cube that portray innocence to the contrasting black outfits beyond the Cube that highlight aggression.

One of the signature dresses of the show is the ‘butterfly dress’ by Thierry Mugler. The dress, which formed part of Mugler’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1997 collection, signifies the blossoming beauty of a woman.

With so many beautiful dresses on offer in this exhibit it would be hard for us to choose our favourite but we would love to hear yours!

The exhibit is running from October 25 2014 to April 19 2015. For more details contact The Bowes Museum on 01833 690606 or


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