Furs & Feathers: a Culture of Fashion
A new exhibit at the Clinton County History Center, “Furs & Feathers: A Culture of Fashion,” explores changes in the culture of fur and feather fashion from the late 1800s to the early 21st century, with a display of hats, coats, jackets and capes.
The wearing of fur provided warmth for early mankind. As fashion and culture changed, the wearing of furs took on new meanings. They were symbolically worn during ceremonies; used to distinguish the aristocracy from common man; provided deep pocketed raccoon coats for hiding flasks at football games; became symbols of luxury, glamour and sexuality; and gave evidence that a woman’s husband or “friend” had become a success.
Unlike fur, feathers provide no protection from the heat and no comfort from the cold. For millennium, mankind has used feathers for adornment and symbolically in spiritual ceremonies. Before her untimely beheading in 1793, Marie Antoinette introduced the wearing of plumage in the French Court. As this fashion custom made its way throughout Europe and the United States colonies, thousands of birds were killed for their plumage by the millinery trade.
Whether you called it the Foos Building, the Commercial Club, or the old Eagles Building, you can read the entire history of this former landmark building via our Local History page.