Re: My Peacock Obsession


Painting of Ruth St. Denis in her peacock costume which shows a strong Indian influence. Miss Ruth was one of the first American dancers to present actual Indian dance on the stage–and was roundly denounced for it.

This all started when I saw Troupe Mirage, a group of fabulous dancers from the southern part of my state, wearing skirts with a peacock feather design. While I didn’t want to imitate their costume, I did become intrigued with the idea of creating a peacock-inspired dance outfit of my own. My immediate problem then became how to create an ensemble that was danceable, flattering to my figure, and that said “peacock” to the audience.

One of the things I noticed right away as I was searching for peacock images is that you can’t be too subtle. Small peacock designs don’t cut it. You need to be big and bold.

Another problem is how best to convey the tailfeather fan image that says “peacock” to everyone. Costumers seem torn between the upper torso fan and the lower torso skirt or train.


This commercial peacock costume gives you the best of both worlds–wear the tail up or down.  Points have to be taken away, though, for the rest of the romper-style costume.


Balticon Feather Lady 2008 by catface3 (Flickr)

I like the idea of a floor-length dress and I covet–how, how I covet–that splendid fan she is holding. She must have made it herself as I’m pretty sure that you can’t buy fans like that.


I was very impressed by her headress as well.


Peacock belt by meadow sweetie (Flickr)

I like the belt for this costume.


Peacock Dress 2007 by angelica star (Flickr)

Another stunning dress. Electric blue and teal-green seem to be popular colors for this type of project.


Peacock Feather tights from

One of the problems with projects like this is that you start seeing peacock images everywhere. These tights are from They also come in black.

My biggest hold-up right now is finding the proper fabric (or fabrics). I was hoping to find some Indian-style fabric that would do, but I just don’t see what I like at the local JoAnn’s.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. siphokazi
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 13:12:44

    im am a fashion student in, and for my b.teck practical i have taken my inspiration from peacock and i cant wait to finish with my project to show you guys!


  2. Megan H.
    Sep 26, 2009 @ 10:39:29

    I was looking for peacock images as I am thinking of being a peacock for Halloween and am trying to put together a costume. During my “images” search I came across your website by clicking on one of the pictures/images you have here.
    I have two quick questions.
    1. Where can I get the commerically available costume with the small hat and fan that can be worn as a skirt? It is the costume that reminds me a bit of a saloon girl.
    2. If you made it yourself, do you mind me copying it/some parts of it for my own costume?
    Please write me back!
    Megan H.


  3. Haley
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 14:20:36

    beautiful painting, very inspiring. i’m making a peacock halloween costume, and these picutres were very helpful!


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