Jean Paul Gaultier unleashed a sartorial tsunami last week when he released his Spring 2012 couture collection, a very literal interpretation of the personal style of Amy Winehouse, the troubled, soulful singer who died last June. In addition to clothes that channeled the singer’s eclectic vintage style, the models wore Winehouse’s signature cat eyes, beehive hairstyle, and beauty spot. Gaultier called the collection an overdue tribute to a fashion icon. Many fashion commentators, as well as the singer’s family and friends, called it exploitative.
Whether the clothing and styling were a tribute or a rip-off, Gaultier did show us a whole lot of original with a fashion accessory that ran through the collection: the dramatic veil.
The designer’s veils, mostly shown in black, evoked the dark drama of Winehouse’s final troubled years and the iconic video for her track, “Back to Black,” but they were original. Their boldness and the novel techniques used to finish them will likely inspire wedding veil designers for many years.
The veils were draped simply — no gathers or poufs. They were long, some chapel length, and they sported dramatic details.
Here are some of the details that we will likely see cross over into mainstream bridal fashions in the coming seasons:
- Widely-spaced pin tucks creating substantial graphic edges,
- Edges finished in wide swaths of bias-cut fabric,
- Overlays of large baroque patterns, and
- Large head pieces on top of the veils.
And specific details aside, Gaultier’s veils have renewed brides’ license to bring on the drama.