The Veil in Olden Times - The Veil in the East - A Protection and an Aid to Beauty - The Last Touch of Smartness or Dowdiness - Absolute Freshness Essential - Some Effective Ways of Arranging a Modern Veil - The Protecting Motor Veil of Gauze or Chiffon
The nun on her withdrawal from the world takes it to enshroud her gentle head. The bride commencing new life veils her modest eyes. The gay Parisienne uses the veil to intensify the beauty of her delicate complexion.
The veil also leads our imagination to the East, the land of veiled women. How jealously does the veil enfold the dark-eyed Mohammedan. In the East it is a covering for the head as well as for the face, for it is not good that man should see so much beauty. The face veil, or "burka," is just a strip of muslin which covers the features entirely with the exception of the eyes.
But the West also has known the veil in the guise of a headdress. In mediaeval times, as to-day, the veil was worn over the face as a covering or protection. At a later period fair women gaily flaunted their ethereal veils from their tall, peaked hats. Such a veil was an elaborate and costly appendage which fell in graceful lines to the hem of my lady's brocaded gown.
What is the position of the veil to-day? It seems to have become a combination of all that it was in the past.
In a motor it envelops the head, shielding the eyes and hair from dust, protecting the skin from wind and sun. At a garden-party the veil becomes once again the aid to beauty. It hides eyes a trifle tired, or adds an entrancing languor to their depths.
A veil is the last note of dowdiness and the last touch of smartness to a twentieth century toilette.
How truly complex, then, is the character of the veil. It can make and destroy a woman's charm. It may be supremely fascinating and woefully unbecoming So much depends on the age of a veil, so much depends on how it is adjusted to suit the exigencies of the fashion of the moment.
Who has not noticed the effect of a dowdy veil on a well turned out woman? A pretty hat, charming gown, and dainty gloves, and a veil that has obviously been put on in a hurried moment - a fatal moment - for the veil has been torn. That tear, slight as it may be, is sufficient to ruin the tout ensemble of the woman. Cast the veil aside if it has the suspicion of a tear, far better not to wear one at all than have that disfiguring mark across the features.
An arrangement of the veil that should suit the tall, statuesque woman. A white veil is especially becoming arranged in this way
When worn as here shown a running is put in the top of the veil to keep it in position. It is then caught up loosely at the back
The next veil to be avoided is the one which is no longer in its first youth. It has lost its subtle crisp-ness; when arranged it falls flat against the features. It outlines the nose, and at the same time robs that organ of any beauty it may have possessed. To make matters worse, the veil no longer in its prime hangs disconsolately around the chin, and, fatal of mistakes, it is as often as not at this stage of its career drawn up into a hard little knot under the chin. The veil is now an instrument of torture. It is often worn by the busy woman paying afternoon calls. The knot will not untwist. How cruel is the hostess who presses such a guest to stay "for tea."
A veil to be truly a veil is one which adds a softness to the skin. It must be fresh, silky, and carefully arranged.
There are five supremely fascinating ways of wearing a veil. The first is often affected by the pretty Frenchwoman. It is carefully arranged to fall just below her lips. A veil worn thus adds an almost startling fairness to the skin of a woman, especially if her complexion is a thing of beauty. It is a distinctly coquettish way of wearing a veil, and it was often worn in this manner years ago when the fascinating little "princess" bonnets were in fashion.
Many women from time to time have tried to raise this method of wearing a veil to fashion's favour, but it must be frankly stated that it is a mode which can be successfully adopted only by a really pretty woman.
The tall, statuesque woman looks well with a veil hanging down from her hat in a straight severe line. This veil rather reminds one of a curtain, and to the woman with classical features it is distinctly becoming. A white or black lace veil is always effective worn in this manner.
There is a delightful way of wearing the popular Russian veiling which so many women affect. A running is put at the top of the veil, and this running will always be found most useful to keep any veil in position on a hat. The veil is caught up loosely at the back of the hat, and it hangs in a loose fold around the neck. This is the best way of wearing a veil with the collarless corsage.
A rather novel way of wearing a veil with a large hat is to fasten it each side of the hat just above the ears. The veil is caught up in folds, and pinned down each side of the hat. The folds are kept even, and it certainly has a very smart appearance.
Then there is the veil beloved by the "summer girl" and by "the globe-trotter." It is swathed around the brim of a wide hat, and it hangs at the back of the hat in long, graceful folds which almost reach the waist. In delicate colourings in chiffon and gauze, these filmy veils delight our eyes. How truly fascinating is this relic of the past, and this joy of the moment, the veil which not only protects the skin but also adds a beauty to the eyes and a smart touch to one's tout ensemble.
With a large hat a veil may be fastened at each side just above the ears. This has a very smart appearance
Our American cousins, with their keen sense of the value of detail in dress and millinery, were before us in this mode of wearing the veil. Indeed, so exclusively did they adopt it, and so generally was it worn, alike by the daughter of the commercial "king" and the charming but less well-endowed travelling "school-ma'am," that at first the idea of an American woman in the mind of the ordinary "Britisher" was that of a well-tailored suit and a hat with a voluminous swathed veil.
The veil beloved of the "globe-trotter," swathed round the hat and hanging in graceful folds at the back
The advent of the motor-car has changed all this, and the fashion is no longer confined to America.