Thursday, July 30, 2009
Recently I've been loving peacock motifs, both in home decor and in fashion. And while it's undeniable that peacocks (especially their feathers) have been having "a moment" in the world of design for the past few years, the peacock has been popular as a symbol of royalty, beauty, paradise (and even immortality!) throughout human history.
In India, the peacock has long been associated with the Hindu god Lord Krishna and has been used in Indian art and architecture for centuries. I love the abstract use of peacock feathers above the door on the City Palace inside Jaipur, Rajastan (shown above).
Among the Romans, the peacock was commonly associated with paradise, renewal and spring and many wealthy Romans kept peacocks in their gardens. Early Christians later adopted the peacock as a symbol of immortality because of long-held myth that peacock flesh did not decay. Examples of peacocks in surviving Roman mosaics (both Christian and non-Christian) are numerous.
The Peacock Skirt, Aubrey Beardsley (1894)
More recently, highly stylized peacocks and peacock feathers became a popular motif in the Art Nouveau and later in the Art Deco design movements. Today, the peacock has reemerged as a design element in both fashion and home decor and there's a "peacock style" for just about every taste: from ethnic to bohemian, flapper to rock 'n roll.
In fashion, I can't get enough of peacock feathers-cum-jewelry or in art deco-style print dresses that reference the classic motif. Flapper-style headbands and head pieces covered in peacock feathers are a great way to perk up an ordinary cocktail dress. For the less daring, peacock feather earrings or a single feather on a necklace are a lovely and more subtle accessory choice.In truth, I am perhaps most drawn to the intense colors of a peacock -- the shimmery blues and greens are some of the boldest and brightest that nature has on offer -- and I think these jewel tones translate beautifully to your home. You can go big and bold with wallpaper from Ferm Living or Osborne & Little or you can just add a few small pops of color with a pillow or even some fun new dinnerware.
This Peacock Armchair by Cappelliani is my new obsession. If only $3,622 were within my budget!