These Veils Are Not an Illusion

Last winter, veils made an appearance in the fashion world, driven by designers including Raf Simons for Jil Sander and adorning such luminaries as Daphne Guinness, Drew Barrymore, Lady Gaga and, in an InStyle fashion spread, Miss Piggy. This fall, veils are back, along with another face-covering accessory: the mask. Both designs are worn with jewels or sometimes themselves bejeweled.

The cover of the October 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar provides an extraordinary example of this fashion trend, picturing actress Kate Hudson in a stone-encrusted veiled headpiece by Armani Privé.

In “Nina’s Couture Report” for the October 2012 issue of Marie Claire, the magazine’s fashion director Nina Garcia focuses on several veiled looks as being among “the season’s top players and their shows.” Above are three veiled looks from Armani Privé Garcia writes of Giorgio Armani’s “glittering midnight-hued evening gowns complete with celestial veils.” The ring pictured is from Atelier Versace’s debut fine jewelry collection.

The second page of Nina’s October Couture Report highlights veiled models appearing among wall-to-wall fresh-cut flowers, setting the scene for Raf Simons’ first collection for Christian Dior. Garcia reports that “Victoire de Castellane’s Dear Dior jewelry served as the perfect punctuation mark.” The earrings pictured are from Dior Fine Jewelry. Notice also the two looks featuring “bedazzled fencing masks” from Maison Martin Margiela, the most extreme variation on the face-covering theme.

Continuing the common theme, Garcia also features a veiled look from Giambattista Valli, writing: “Fairy tales are what Giambattista Valli creates—his piles of leafy organza ruffles, gilded twig necklaces, and butterfly-net headpieces evoked and enchanted forest in which any girl would be delighted to get lost.” Bottom left are looks that feature mask-like “futuristic highway-patrol-style sunglasses” from Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy.

The October 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar pictures a pair of floral dresses from Giambattista Valli’s fall 2012 couture collection, the models veiled in red and devoid of accessories other than a gilded animal-motif belt.

In the October issue of Vogue, actress Keira Knightley appears in costume with veil playing the title role in the upcoming movie Anna Karenina. Her ensemble is accented with pearl and diamond earrings and ring from Chanel Fine Jewelry along with her own engagement ring. The costume designer responsible for the gorgeous apparel is Jacqueline Durran.

Knightley wears one of Armani Privé’s midnight-blue evening gowns complete with a veil in October’s Vogue, above, and veils are a component of almost every look in a multi-page spread that plays off the Russian costumes. The designer of the triple-drop earrings is not credited.

Here’s another styling from Vogue featuring Keira Knightley in an ensemble from Dior Haute Couture worn with an uncredited hat and veil.            

October’s Vogue also promotes the style of an extra-large hat—the one pictured is designed by Stephen Jones Millinery, worn with a Leah C. Couture Millinery veil. The model wears an Yves Saint Laurent dress with chain-mail neckline.            


In this advertisement for merino wool in the October issue of Vogue, a look from designer Alexander Wang includes a semi-sheer portion of a top that is worn pulled up over the lower portion of the face.

Leading off the “Best of Beauty” feature in the October issue of Allure, the model wears an elaborate mask designed by Threeasfour. Her tiny hoop earring is not credited.

Harper’s Bazaar is so enamored of the bejeweled full face-mask designs of Maison Martin Margiela that the magazine features two full-page photographs of the look, including the image above, in its October issue accompanying an article about skin care.

Lest you think all the veils and masks look a bit sinister or scary, consider the interpretation provided by the November issue of Town & Country in a column titled “Veiled Threats”: “In an unstable economy, it’s wise for couture clients to practice a measure of discretion, but must they hide their faces? Masks and veils appeared at Maison Martin Margiela, Giambattista Valli, Dior, and Giorgio Armani. The veils at Armani Privé (below), the designer said, ‘hinted at a wordless mystery that speaks of otherworldly enchantment.’ At Margiela the crystal-studded masks concealed the models’ faces entirely. Historically, face coverings promise anonymity, but they also suggest celebration, even license. A hand-embroidered mask shown during Paris couture offers both while providing a high fashion alternative to Carnevale in Venice or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.”

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