Sunday, October 04, 2009

Mantilla week...

Crescat is presenting a whole thing - like fashion week - on this style of head covering for women. Even Michelle Obama donned a mantilla (photo) - of course it is protocol at the Vatican - Queen Elizabeth does so as well when she visits. It isn't a matter of devotion.
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I have nothing against mantillas per se - although I think they do look dumb on some women - yet the long standing issue has been not what covers the head as much as it has been that a woman ought to have her head covered in the first place. It used to be a requirement in Canon Law that a woman was to have her head covered in Catholic churches. But for many years, devout Catholic women just stopped doing it.
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That said, before Jackie Kennedy popularized it in the yankee U.S., a hat or a scarf was usually the general norm for WASC (like WASP) women. Of course, if you happened to be Hassidic - you could wear a wig. In our day of the reform of the reform and trad is top drawer, the unwritten head covering mandate for women has become synonymous with the mantilla. Even in the Philippines, when a woman wears a hat in church - some people expect her to remove it. Yeah. Only men are expected to do that. (Although bishops may wear mitres and priests may wear birettas in church.)
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Of course, it is well known that in an earlier, more genteel time - such as the French Revolution (LOL!) - it was customary for women to cover their heads at all times - bonnets and veils you know. Many nuns and Amish women still do. On the other hand, in the mid-20th century, ladies frequently wore hats while indoors - at parties and the theater, and even in the office. (A gentleman always removed his however.)
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Which reminds me of a very chic french woman I once knew. Madame X, who had been in the French Resistance and decorated by de Gaulle, worked for a local interior design firm, and she always wore a hat while working in the office. She also smoked while holding her cigarette between her last two fingers: "That way, cherie," she advised, "the scent of ze nicotine will not affect your lover's palate as you feed him bon-bons." She also agreed with Chanel, that the good wife should rise an hour before her husband in order to do her toilette, style her hair, and put on her make-up so he will not be disappointed when he sees her.
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Mantillas are beautiful indeed - especially if the rest of your look compliments...
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Good night ladies and gentlemen!

7 comments:

  1. The veil might be nice, but Michelle, the bow had to go!

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  2. One of my college friends reported that her mother had gotten up before her father and always went to bed after he did. He never saw his wife without her makeup.

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  3. Classic Terry post. Love you!

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  4. You are right about hats being the general thing; my mom used to wear some elegant hats. I was a kid and not so elegant. I used to pin a hanky or kleenex on my head for school Masses. When everybody started wearing mantillas I regret to say that I had a fuschia one (along with some more respectable white or black ones). I don't miss the head covering thing. Unless I could wear one of those Dior knock-off things like Mom had.

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  5. Yeah, the doily on the head, or as they used to do, the kleenex on the head was pretty,gauche?
    But a mantilla, black or white, or whatever color, in Church, is to me, (a very "backward medievelist", by some peoples' standards!) is just appropriate and well..classy.

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  6. Good night, sweetheart! <3 =)

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  7. Great post!
    :>

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