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Nature designs in fashion

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Nature designs in fashion are inspired by the best: Mother Nature herself

Nature designs in fashion are inspired by the best: Mother Nature herself

There was a time not that long ago when nature was our primary fashion designer. Men and women wore fur, feathers, flowers, skins and other parts of animals right off the birds, beasts and plants they came from. Today we let the animals keep their own coverings and wear nature designs created by the top fashion designers. Whether it’s clothing or accessories, it’s easy to find a wide variety of beautiful nature designs in fashion.

Quite possibly one of the first gifts of nature used for fashion was the shell. Whether found on the beach or left over after dinner, shells were the right shape to be wearable, the right hardness to be drilled with holes and the right beauty and variety to be used for both everyday and special occasions. Today, shell patterns appear often on summer apparel and the many shapes and materials are forged into beautiful nature-inspired jewelry for both women and men.

While at the seashore searching for shells, the sun shining through the clear water reflects off of the shiny and colorful scales of fish and other aquatic creatures. The intricate patterns in the scales, the hundreds of tiny individual sparkles and the many colors inspired manufactures to design scale-patterned shirts and dresses and gave jewelry designers a wonderful delicate shape for scale earrings and necklaces. Still on the beach, the bones of larger fish and sea mammals were carved with tiny seascapes or carved into jewelry or display pieces. Today, even the tiny bones of a shark’s vertebrae can be made into stunning necklaces.

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Moving inland, the feathers of birds became beautiful wearables for both fashion and ceremony, often to the demise of the birds. Fortunately, we’ve moved away from using actual feathers and instead use the colors and shapes of birds and feathers for both patterns and color-coordinated outfits. A popular dress design is based on two-toned birds such as hummingbirds or parrots with the head color used for the top and the body color for the dress or skirt. Even though she wore it way back in 2001 to the Academy Awards ceremony, people still talk about Bjork’s swan dress.

While natural animal skins have lost their popularity in fashion design, small bones that or skin parts that have been shed or cast off have been used creatively in nature designs. Instead of the whole skin, designers gold- or silver-plate the scutes or bony plates of alligators, turtles and armadillos to make pendants, rings and other jewelry items. The small bones of rattlesnakes turn into beautiful jewelry as well, with ribs becoming rings and jawbones dangling in earrings

The colors of nature appear on smaller creatures as well, with the colorful camouflage patterns of butterflies, caterpillars and other insets inspiring both clothing designs and jewelry. Don’t forget plants, flowers and leaves – the fig leaf is famous for clothing Adam and Eve as well as providing discrete covering in works of art.

The colorful shapes and forms of nature make the job of a nature designer pretty easy – all they need to do for inspiration is open the door and take a walk.


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