I’ve always been drawn to subtle gauzy veils in fashion; since I was 15 looking at pictures of Marlene Dietrich or the New Romantics of the 80’s, or the veils of the late Victorian’s perched hats. I love the air of mystery and soft focus beauty a veil or a veiled hat suddenly brings a woman. A little taste of other worldliness and beauty, for a special occasion or outfit.
When it comes to bridal veils, they were originally worn in ancient Roman, Greek and Jewish cultures to ward off evil spirits (and apparently flame red and falling to the floor – this sounds amazing I want!) and the Medieval folk wore them to symbolise chastity, purity and modesty. But history aside think today it’s worn out of ceremony and beauty, and also to mark a special occasion – when else would most of us have the chance to wear something as special and different in our busy day to day lives?
Around the 1920’s one of my very favourite types of veil, the Juliet Veil came very much into fashion, a lovely example pictured here;
And my own design as a part of my first concise collection of bridal accessories, here, the Aurora Veil, a Juliet style veil with hand sewn lace and crystals, which is perhaps a little more in line with the 1930’s style Juliet veil which was more subtle, flowing than the 1920’s.
The 1940’s, a troubled as well as amazing period in our history, bridal veils for the average woman were often simpler and petite, as couples were hastily married during a period of Make Do and Mend and rationing. But that was no excuse to lose out in the glamour stakes as far as the 1940’s ladies were concerned and the wealthier bride could still cut a very dramatic figure nevertheless.
The Trixie Veil is pictured here with the Silk Organza Circle Caplelet. All handmade in my London studio.
Here’s a great picture of Jean Shrimpton in the 1960’s wearing a Christian Dior Creation;
And the silk Pearl Crown Cap I designed inspired by the caps and veils of the 1960’s;
The 1960’s and 70’s became more ethereal, relaxed keeping with the fashion and culture, before the 1980’s exploded onto the scene with Princess Diana’s world famous wedding. Which then later saw a dip in the wearing of veils, I guess it seemed to elaborate and traditional for a time, but in modern times veils have made a comeback with the bridal choices of the Duchess of Cambridge ( a long silk tulle veil, very simple) and Kate Moss (a delicately embellished Juliet veil).
Below: the genius of Christian LaCroix Haute Couture, one of my all time favourite bridal and gown designers and his fantastical take on modern veils.
Take a look at my own handmade collection of bespoke veils and accessories and styling services at the fair or visit my page here;