Friday, November 13, 2009

Mantilla Veils...

Brides often bring Mantilla veils with them when they come in for a trial run before the big day and more often than not, they sheepishly avoid saying the word Mantilla and simply use "veil". Let's dispel the question now and set you all to ease - it is "Man - tee - ya". I know, I know - it is just like that crazy french term "chignon" we chatted about last month....

A favorite article of adornment by Queen Isabel II of Spain, Mantilla veils became an item of popular dress during her reign in the mid 1800's. It quickly fell out of favor upon the exile and eventual abdication of the Queen as it was seen as a form of support to the dethroned Queen. In the region of Andalusia women continued to employ the mantilla as a way to cover their heads durning religious event, during Holy Week, and for meeting with the Pope. It is believed that this is the genesis of the popularity with Catholics as an adornment during First Communion and wedding ceremonies.

Mantillas are sleek and sophisticated and without the pouf associated with bridal veils. They are meant to be worn alone with a beautiful border being the focus of attention. The shape of the veil is oval or round and is one single layer of fabric. The borders can range in size and material; some are wide bands of lace, and others are full of lace to the center, with scalloped edges, and yet some have tiny piping along the border giving a touch of definition. This graceful veil can be short or full cathedral length.

There are 3 main types of Mantilla Veils:

1. "Blonda Lace Mantillas": these are handmade comprised of two types of silk and the lace is floral themed.
2. "Chantilly Lace Mantills": are heavily embroidered with vegetable, fruit or floral designs. They are named after the region in France that the lace comes from.
3. Modern Lace: are embroidered tuille and a blend of the Chantilly and Blonda Lace styles. This is what brides today mostly wear.

How to wear a Mantilla Veil:
Drape the Mantilla over the head
Pin or attach with a small comb on the top of the head
Drape the material so it softly frames the face and upper body.

They are simple, yet elegance at its best. If you wear one for your wedding day - send me a photo! Jacki Norrie

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