Monday, October 5, 2009

Fashionable History: Veils

I've always been fascinated with vintage hats with veils and the glamorous mysterious effect they have. After making many veiled headband fascinators last week and posting a tutorial on how to make them, I began to wonder about how wearing veils came about. Certainly there are many religious origins to the veil, think Catholic Nuns and Muslim Burqas. There is also the wedding ritual where brides wear veils ( like the gorgeous one above) to represent their virginity, a tradition that still carries on with meaning or not. There is also the somewhat old fashioned use of black veils at funerals worn by widows and those in high mourning. But where does that leave us in the fashion world where wearing a veil is a choice not a societal standard?

Let's have a look:
In Victorian and Edwardian times, large veiled hats were popular to keep sun off of the face and dust out of your eyes while riding in an automobile. Practical and pragmatic.

Bette Davis in the 1940's. Veils are worn by glamorous women. They define a lady's space and separate them from the common woman.

In the 1950's a lady never went out without a hat and her gloves.
Veils attached to fancy cocktail hats were an option for formal occasions.

Another image from the 1950's when wearing fashion veils peaked.
Sophisticated, mysterious, refined, and very lady like.

Modern times.
Veils make a come back for a glamorous night out.
Drew Barrymore is stunning in her birdcage veil at the Grey Gardens premiere.


boofsmom said...

Drew Barrymore is that perfect combination of old Hollywood Glamour and Modern Fashionista. SHe can wear almost any decade easily and look great doing it. But I think she looks best doing Old Hollywood.

LOVE the photo at top-I should know, but who are they?

Thank you for posting this-in my Fashion History class we are currently studying the period right before the Tudor period, and discussing headdresses. This fits right in with the post I just made there on burqas and veils. I could look at pictures of clothes and hats and veils all day!

BaronessVonVintage said...

wonderful post. thanks for this.

A said...

I adore veils! Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

GAH Drew looks divine!! So pretty- yet if you remove yourself from it- looking at it can be quite startling as in NO ONE wears veils in front of the face anymore. Just odd to see. xo

TheBlackWardrobe said...

Loved the post and the pictures are gorgeous!