Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Monsignorial Chic?

No, it's not April Fools Day -- the inspiration behind Versace's spring collection is someone closer to home than you'd expect:
Donatella Versace has often raised eyebrows — and hemlines — with her outrageous designs for women. Yesterday, however, she stunned even blasé fashionistas by launching a “clergyman look” for men, inspired by Father Georg Gaenswein, the handsome 50-year-old private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI.

The outfit, modelled at the Milan menswear 2007-08 winter collection, features grey-black trousers and jacket with a clerical-style collar. “I was thinking of an austere, severe and ethical man. I find Father Georg’s austerity very elegant,” said Ms Versace.

Spirituality was “not the same as bigotry”, she said, adding that she was open to the idea of civil unions between gays or heterosexual couples. Proposals to make civil unions legal in Italy have divided the centre-left Government of Romano Prodi and aroused fierce opposition in the Vatican.

“It is the moment to display the muscles of the mind, not those of the gym,” Ms Versace said. “Fashion needs more rigour.” She said she had used a fabric that was “as soft to the touch as the wings of an angel”. The result was dubbed “priestly chic” by fashion writers....

A Versace spokeswoman confirmed that the clergyman look had been inspired by Father Gaenswein, adding: “Few other places in the world are as influential as the Vatican.”
On a related note, some have noted that Ganswein's taken a lower profile of late when appearing at the Pope's side, even going so far to say that he's been looking "cowed."

Whatever's going on now, by the looks of the story, it seems that his impact had already been made.