Sunday, October 3, 2010

Profound Thought # 7; Veils

Norma Desmond with Veil in Sunset Blvd.
Before Botox, there were veils.  I saw this last week while watching Sunset Boulevard, and how the aging actress Norma Desmond, employs many types of veils to conceal her age.  How ingenious!

Elegance Magazine, 1967
 I reflected on the 60's when veils were really in vogue.  I remember my mother having veiled hats with the netting shown here, and I think I had one  too.  It was sort of the feminine mystique type thing.

But then who could forget this image of Jackie Kennedy in her black veil at her husband's funeral?  This image is a vivid one for all of us~
AP photo

And now enter the burka.  That took all of the fun out of the veil for me.  Gone was the feminine mystique of it all--now it is the paradigm of female repression.  And wouldn't you just love to see men wear burkas for a day??

So, in contemplating your next hat, would it be veil or no veil?


  1. OK, I was once in an elevator in a fancy hotel with a woman in an exquisite raw silk burka wearing the most expensive looking stilleto sandals and a big enough diamond ring to finance the purchase of a Lear Jet. It kinda challenged my concept of women in burkas.

    In Turkey, I was about to enter the gardens surrounding a mosque and I had stopped outside the garden wall to cover my hair and neck with a large scarf that I carried for that purpose and two local women spotted me and smiled and nodded, clearly approving of my respect for their culture.

    So, don't let the burka (or headscarf) put you off.

    I remember my mom owning a couple of great little pillbox hats with mini netting. And anytime I see one in a vintage store I'm compelled to try it on. Sadly, I look stupid in almost any kind of hat. But, if the netting veil comes back...It'd be kinda great. (And I never thought about how it hid those little facial imperfections until you mentioned it above!)

  2. Second try. I had typed a lengthy reply and then it vanished into cyberspace.

    I don't wear many hats and can't imagine wearing a veil or a burqa.

    I know three Muslim women fairly well. All three are veiled, but do not wear a burqa. Only one resents it all all, but she wears it out of respect for her father's wishes. Underneath the veil, all three of these women are quite lively personalities and stylish women.

    I always find though that veiled women seem intriguing to me (less is more), but I think this ignores the real issue here. A burqa is not the same as a hijab. For American women a burqa seems oppressive because it is dictated by men who find it easier to cover up all women than to learn to control their own impulses.

  3. I agree - once men wear burqas and hijabs, I will accept them!

  4. To All~The whole burqa/burka/hijab thing we could debate forever-but the netting veil thing is definatly not in style now. I don't think many brides are doing the veil thing now anymore either....

  5. I'm remembering a sentence from my vanished comment. That photo of Jackie at her husband's funeral always gives me pause, because of John-John's salute.

  6. I love hats lately because I'm just figuring out how much fun they are.
    It all started with an attempt to keep the sun off.
    I have no memory of veils, although the images are familiar. I hope we never put them back in the fashion rotation!