Flash and Virtue

Some may wonder how Kanye West and Church Merch bring back “Sunday Best”. At a distance, they seem like lilacs waving under scorching desert sun. Up close, they have dollops in common — wearing mottled lavender and dusty-mauve streetwear. Almost all people like musicians, dancers, choir members orbit a man who regards himself a god. On Easter Sunday, a special Sunday service performance garnered attention from the public, because of celebrity-filled crowd and sensational effects. Having tapped into a recent cultural phenomenon, Trust West deploys a clever marketing scheme. Viewing from pricey sneakers worn by pastors and unique inspiration of non-secular outfits from church wife, most people’s fascination has reached heavenly heights.

In recent years, the young generation tend to be less religious around the world. In 2015, research reveals that the Christian share in America fell by 6.7%, and 35% of American millennials in their adult hood are religiously unaffiliated. After last year’s exhibition — Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, the show ranked first among thousands of shows, with the extremely large number of attendees. At a star-studded Met Ball, celebrities dressed up in the special occasion. In recent years, the fashion has gone towards conservatism. Modest dressing came back to fashion circles, which originates from religious norms.

A conservative-yet-subversive dress line draws inspirations from Victorian, Amish, and Hasidic culture, which was inspired by puffy-sleeve and below-the-knee pieces. In 2017, a journalist investigated the trend for T Magazine, indicating that more women are sheathing themselves in long pieces. Clothes with baggy silhouettes are prime choices of liberal non-believers. The most noticeable place resides in eschewing any traditional strictures on her choices, sartorial or otherwise. The extremely plain style invokes a vibe of cultish. The only trace of opulence lies in the price tag.

A curator Jade Papa says, “In the beginning, I really appreciate such clothing bridged division between ordinary people and the church”. In the 13th century, silhouettes started imitating shapes of awe-inspiring Gothic cathedrals. Designers were inspired by towering spires and add elongated waistlines to clothes. In the mind of mankind back then, people believed that spires shorten the distance between them and God. In history, religious garb signified many details like authority, hierarchy, gender, virtue, modesty and belonging. But some people believed that pursuit of fashion was a matter far from the sanctity of religion. Secular clergies could wear vestments and there is also origins of secular dress in religious orders of the Catholic Church. Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s Wendy Wu curator also suggest that the relationship between fashion and religion is intimate. It could also be concluded from the fact that French fashion scions and shareholders of luxury groups have donated to rebuild Notre-Dame.

In literary traditions, outer garments will reveal something inner. In the Master and Margarita, a monster wore gray suits finished with exquisite craftsmanship. In addition, a French beret covered on its head. In Middlemarch, a pious person announces, ” A cross would be the last one he would like to wear as an ornament”.