Monday, November 21, 2005

Cassock War, Cassock Truce

So one of my cherished ops, on Roman holiday last week, has sent me some photos of what you would see if you looked into the window at Gammarelli, global Catholicism's atelier par excellence since the days of the Fig Leaf.

And for some reason, the shots won't load. But the simple showcase: a sash embroidered with the current papal coat of arms (sans beehive, of course), a white zucchetto laid out on a doilie, and a gold pectoral cross cord with tuft, was clearly designed to send one unmistakeable message:

"DESPITE MEDIA REPORTS TO THE CONTRARY, Gammarelli are still VERY MUCH the Papal tailors!"

Contrary to previous reports frothing over papal fashion -- one of which (on CNN, done by Delia Gallagher of all people) included a comparison between the Benedict XVI's red loafers (allegedly by Prada) and "the last famous pair of red shoes," at which point they ran Judy Garland clicking her ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz (in what is quite possibly the MOST HORRIBLE ANALOGY OF ALL TIME) -- Raniero Mancinelli is making but one cassock for his longtime customer, now Pope: a project which will be his own hand-sewn creation from start to glorious finish.

(Of course, Gammarelli blew it with the cassock on election day, but it's already been established that Ratzinger is quite the humble and forgiving type. And let this be a lesson unto your triumphalist newly-ordained American neocons....)

Questo e' tutto di Mancinelli
, I'm told, as Gammarelli -- who gave St. Peter his first gold cord for the stunning pectoral cross that came with The Keys -- is still getting the commissions for the zucchettos, fascias (sashes), etc. And a photo (above) did pop up last night of the Big Man wearing the red double-cape favoured by his predecessor when on pilgrimage (tip to Radio Vaticana). You'll agree that it's such a lovely touch.