Have you ever really admired the beauty of a feather, examined it close up, twirling it round in the light? A remarkable work of art. Run your finger along its contour, how smooth, how surprisingly resilient it feels; perfectly designed to fulfil its primary functions of protection and flight. No wonder we a have been fascinated with feathers across time and cultures, associating them symbolically with spirituality, freedom, levity and celestial wisdom.
Never a day goes by without Prune Faux-Révoil thanking her lucky stars for her serendipitous encounter with feathers. Be they fine, fluffy down or ethereal, elegant plumes, she fell under their spell over a decade ago and has never looked back since. At the time, Faux-Révoil was studying Fashion Accessory Design at Mod’Art International in Paris and was obliged to choose a speciality. Feather work, the art of a plumassier/ière, or feather artisan, was the only area of expertise she knew absolutely nothing about, so she applied to Lycée Octave Feuillet, the last French school teaching this fine art, to find out more. Little did she know she would discover her true creative passion walking through their doors.
A born natural, Faux-Révoil was lucky enough to study under Maître d’art plumassière Nelly Saunier, one of the world’s most renowned feather artists, who brought her craftsmanship back into the limelight when she created a magnificent, multi-coloured parakeet bolero for Jean Paul Gautier’s Spring ’97 collection, requiring over 300 hours of work. Saunier took Faux-Révoil under her wing, teaching her the precise hand movements and meticulous techniques of this magical, ancestral craft in addition to sharing her deep love and respect for feathers. It didn’t take long for Maison Lemarié, one of the last remaining ateliers specialising in feather and flower creations for luxury fashion houses, to spot her talent, allowing her to spend three years honing her technical skills before designing and creating samples for the likes of Chanel, Dior, Givenchy and Valentino. She recalls being given free rein to produce a headdress for Karl Lagerfeld at very short notice as a memorable moment in her Lemarié career. And then she took flight...
Extract from the article A Rare Bird Indeed: Prune Faux Plumassière in Issue 103 Showstopper, written by Deborah Beau. Find out how to read the rest of the article here: