However, their symbolism, use, and effect has altered drastically over the course of history. Historically, feathers in dress were used to denote status, and were appreciated for their value. More recently, designers such as Alexander McQueen have used feathers to promote freedom of thought and self-expression. Feathers and birds were a recurring motif in McQueen collections to express the transformative powers of clothing. He tried to transfer the beauty of a bird to his models whilst at the same time making the women appear stronger.