You sometimes get the impression that vicars and priests wouldn’t mind a brief sashay down the catwalk instead of the aisle, so colourful and inventive are the vestments they wear.
If this is an aspiration, then seven vicars, rectors and curates from dioceses in north western England are going to be in an equal number of heavens on Wednesday, when they model new designs from ecclesiastical outfitters.
The fashion show involves work from the likes of Juliet Hemingray, Hayes and Finch, Cross Designs and J&M Sewing, the last a Royal Warrant firm in Newcastle upon Tyne whose motto, ‘There’s always time for courtesy’, goes with a small history by the two women founders. It’s called You had us in stitches.
Although women have changed the face of the clergy since the first were ordained by the Church of England in 1994, male models are still in a majority. Male clerical fascination with silk, plush and jewellery goes back for centuries, although not all are gripped.
Read it here.
The Telegraph also has “More teal vicar? with more photos.
I don’t know that anyone means to be saying that women in the clergy have caused the growth of clergy in fancy dress. You’re free to jump on that question, and whether there’s chauvinism behind it.
I do have two other questions which I do hope you will engage with:
1. Clergy fashion is not just about vestments. Have designers succeeded in providing women clergy alternatives to dressing like their male counterparts (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
2. About vestments, are we experiencing the 1980s of fashion design?