Throughout history, humans have envied birds' ability to fly. We've always had some rudimentary dominion over water, and the land is our comfort zone, but the great expanse above us remained out of reach until recent advances in modern aviation. The sky is also vitally important as the source of weather and navigational information (via astronomy). Birds' unfettered association with this realm of clouds and wind inspired the awe of ancient civilizations. Wikipedia has an entire list of "avian humanoids", many of whom are winged gods. Feathers symbolize the freedom to explore celestial mysteries without restriction.
// DualD FlipFlop //
Feathers are a natural decorative element, given that you can frequently find them on the ground. Beyond that comment, the mutual history of feathers and fashion is too extensive for me to describe. However, my hypothesis is that feathers have come to symbolize power and luxury as an extension of the dynamic described above. Anyway... the five featured items are bolded.
Blue dress (made in France), silk shawl (fair trade, shown here as a dramatic cape), and misty forest. Then there's the junior prom version:
Pastel pink dress (made in America), watercolor feather (independent artist), fuchsia feather, and flock of birds. Lastly, not in a collage but all on its glorious own, allow me to present this angelic leopard-print creation (made in Italy):
Yup. Leopard-print feathers. I am sooo into it. I also considered this prim Erdem Brenton dress (made in Italy), but it's just not as fabulous.