‘Put a Bird on It’ Is Back—but Don’t Groan Yet

‘Put a Bird on It’ Is Back—but Don’t Groan Yet
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Photo: Getty Images

Back in 2011, there was no greater symbol of all things overly twee than the bird. This, of course, was thanks to the skewering that the feathered creatures received in “Portlandia”‘s “Put a Bird on It” sketch:

“What a sad little tote bag—I know! I’ll put a bird on it,” said Carrie Brownstein‘s character. “Did you see this bag before? I didn’t. Now there’s a bird. It’s flying! It’s free!”

To be fair, it was about time: Five years ago, you couldn’t walk into an Urban Outfitters, an H&M, or—god forbid—an Anthropologie without seeing flocks of hand-stitched sparrows, embroidered doves, and screenprinted chickadees adorning everything from fit-and-flare dresses to cutesy greeting cards.

Since then, they’ve fallen mostly out of favor with the fashion crowd—who wants to look like a hipster from the early aughts?—but for Spring 2016, designers are boldly venturing into the aviary once again, with Gucci’s Alessandro Michele leading the charge. The label’s buzzy spring collection is laden with winged motifs taking flight on the front of sweatshirts, the flaps of logo bags, and the tops of loafers.

The current batch of avian accoutrements is more tropical paradise than Portland, however. Elsewhere, Roberto Cavalli and Alexander McQueen have dressed up denim with embroidered birds, Valentino and Emilio Pucci have put the print on cape dresses, wide-leg pants, and tie-neck blouses, and Loewe has adorned T-shirts with Canada geese patches. At Fendi, the concept has been given a less literal spin, with birds-of-paradise (the flower, that is) forming the central theme for spring.

Ahead, shop the trend and boldly put a bird on it once again.

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Dionysus GG Supreme Shoulder Bag, $3800; at Gucci

Camrose Silk Dress, $378; at Boden

Plumeria Skirt, $75.34; at Sister Jane

Fendi Bird of Paradise Printed Silk-Cady Mini Dress, $1990; at Net-A-Porter

Botany Bird Shell, $62; at Oasis

Bransby Entwinden Feather Folded Detail Top, $79; at Finery London

Onia Birds of Paradise Print Swimsuit, $195; at Intermix

Valentino Bird Print Tie Neck Silk Blouse, $1590; at Nordstrom

Bird Print Flowing Bermuda Shorts, $39.90; at Zara

Skater Dress in Wallpaper and Bird Print, $46; at ASOS

Cacharel Bird-Print Two-Button Blazer, $482.57; at Farfetch

Conscious Patterned Jersey Tank Top, $12.99; at H&M

Roberto Cavalli Bird Embroidered Jeans, $1541.65; at Farfetch

Garden Print Long-Sleeve Top, $69; at Style Nanda

Loewe White Circle Patch T-Shirt, $305; at SSENSE

Stella Jean Multicolored Bird Print Dress, $500; at Stella Jean

Nicole Miller Artelier Sleeveless Bird Of Paradise Sheath Dress, $375; at Neiman Marcus

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