“I was always fascinated by anything that can fly. I love feathers and how creatively I can mix pieces to create magnificence,” explained Charles – Donatien. “I am a plumassier, a feather designer. I work with feathers to create objets d’arts for fashion and interior design.”
Eric Charles-Donatien’s haute couture universe has wings, he is the last plumassier in Paris, France.
He is born in Paris, France with parents from Martinique and India. Charles-Donatien designs feathered clothes and accessories for the fashion industry.
“The craft of feathers has been there for several years. Feathers are from a natural source, birds. Feathers represent height, honor, sophistication, status, royalty, and elegance,” explains Charles-Donatien. “Several years ago, chiefs, kings and even queens used feathers through fly whisks or wore on their crowns. Today, feathers are worn for fashion or used in interior design or as art.”
His background is evidence of his love for all things beautiful. He studied at the Ecole Duperré and the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Charles-Donatien learnt his craft under the guidance of Monsieur André Lemarié who was a star in the universe of feathers. He created Maison Lemarié.
“Monsieur Lemarié trained me more than 20 years ago. He guided me and showed me the path to nurturing my craft. He took me to other maisons such as Monsieur Lacroix, Givenchy and many other places. When Chanel bought the family business of Maison Lemarié, I left the maison to work for myself with fashion, art and interior design,” he said.
In 2010, his company MOYE & DA was born, a real-life creative laboratory where he creates his magic using his hands the feathers.
He has worked with a wide list of prestigious such as Dior, Vera Wang on her wedding collections and Met Gala gowns, Thierry Mugler, John Galliano, Roger Vivier, Cartier, Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Peter Dundas, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy and Montblanc.
Celebrities who have worn gowns with feather designs he has created include; Kim Kardashian, Rita Ora, Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman.
One of his art pieces is a permanent feature at Hotel Crillon in Paris, France. He created a feather alcove for the hair salon in the hotel.
He sources feathers from several regions inclusive of Karoo in South Africa, Asia, South America and while walking around the flea markets and taxidermy stores in Paris.
“Feathers are different from fur. No skin or killing is required. I work with feathers from chickens ducks, geese, turkeys, peacocks and ostriches. All my feathers are sourced from suppliers who strictly follow the regulations of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” Charles-Donatien expounded.
“My purpose is to show people that they can live with beautiful pieces from nature. Nature gave us the idea of beauty and my work is to use this beauty and turn it into objects of art. Every piece that I make represents beauty from nature that we can all appreciate just like we appreciate sunsets and sunrises.”