Feathers and Frocks


A costume maker whose career has spanned theater, film and television, Brooke Stanton’s career has included building fantastical creatures for films like Star Wars The Phantom Menace, as well as creating costumes for countless live theater performances across the country. When theaters across the country shut in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Pembroke resident found herself sitting at home and itching for a creative outlet. Being a lover of birds and vintage fashion, she happened to come across a photo of a bird with shocking similarities to a photo of a historic gown in a museum collection.

“For fun, I popped the two images into photoshop side by side and shared the image with my friends on social media, and a lot of people responded to it,” says Stanton. “And once you see one similarity you start seeing them everywhere.”

To keep herself busy during this time, Stanton sewing cloth face masks by day (she made more than 5,500) and searching for more examples of birds that resembled vintage gowns by night. She became fascinated by the history of the gowns and the people who wore them. Eventually, after creating over 50 collages, Stanton published “Feathers and Frocks,” a book filled with her creative comparisons. “I just want to make people happy with color and pretty things,” says Stanton, who sells copies of her book at Local Pottery in Norwell. To learn more about her work, visit brookestanton.com.