Unveiled Today's brides choose smaller headpieces

May 01, 1991|By T.J. Howard | T.J. Howard,Chicago Tribune

In recent seasons, brides have moved away from frothy, embellished gowns to a look of sleek, sophisticated elegance. In keeping with these new pared-down silhouettes, headpieces also are simpler.

"If there is too much going on directly on top of the head, it can look like the bride has antennas. I prefer to show off a woman's face," says New York bridal designer Jim Hjelm. And brides are opting for shorter veils because they don't want anything to detract from their dress.

This season, designers are using simple pillbox hats, silk flowers and pristine lace bows to inspire an elegant look for headpieces. With a gossamery layer of veiling, these singular elements make headpieces that neither weigh down the bride nor create too much fuss atop her head.

Vera Wang, a former fashion editor of Vogue magazine who opened her own bridal salon in New York last fall, is experimenting with headpieces using tulle and fresh flowers to complement '50s- and '60s-inspired hairdos. She is also designing bridal hoods, which "provide a very romantic look."

The headpiece can be a relatively inexpensive way to inject drama into the wedding ensemble. Instead of opting for a long (and costly) train on her dress, a bride can wear a long veil.

Perspective is everything, though, concludes New York-based millinery designer Eric Javits. "You have to consider the time and location of the wedding. You don't want a cathedral-length veil if you're being married in your living room."

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