Yes it does remind feathers, doesn't it?
i did have an idea to make it as you say in peacock colours using iris seed beads but this piece needed to be done in quite short term so I used what i had in my "craft box".
But there are a lot of possibilities to use it as whole piece without separate pieces!
I also have got an idea that if you make 4 little pieces"bracelets" they could be transformed into belt.
It's a wonderful stitch!! every time i work with it I get new and new ways of using it!!