Since prehistoric times, furs and feathers have been used not only for warmth and protection but also for display and adornment. Offering lively insights into the decorative possibilities of pelts and plumes, WILD: Fashion Untamed examines fur’s ability to announce the wealth and status of the wearer by looking at the clothing of Renaissance aristocrats as well as that of contemporary Hip-Hop performers such as P. Diddy and Missy Elliott.
WILD also examines how pelts and plumes have come to define ideals of femininity by quoting the physical and sexual characteristics of birds and beasts. Examples include an unprecedented array of designs by Azzedine Alaïa, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Thierry Mugler, and Yohji Yamamoto. The book also features fantastical feathered costumes of Las Vegas showgirls and coquettish “birds of paradise” creations by milliners Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy.
Lavishly illustrated and entertainingly written, WILD reveals how faunal apparel, whether in the form of pelts, plumes, prints, or animal symbolism, has represented and will continue to represent one of man’s more primal instincts.
About the Author
Andrew Bolton is the Associate Curator of the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.