Development in Vestment Design: An Example

Following upon our recent consideration of symbols in vestment designs, lest one think I am calling for immobilism in "the informal canon" of design, I thought I would show our readers an example of a vestment that has attempted to develop from the established design patterns but in a way that both builds upon it while also coming off very well. (In fact, that design is such that it may well be classed as "Other Modern" for this reason.)

To be clear, the consideration here is not the placement of the symbol of the Virgin and Child (which, frankly, I'm not entirely sold on as I suspect it comes off better in black and white than it might in colour, but I'll reserve judgement barring seeing a colour version of the chasuble). No, the focus is rather on the orphrey design and that around the shoulders.

As readers will be more than familiar, typically an orphrey is designed such that it is formed by a central panel traced by a galloon to either side.This is the case in fuller gothic forms as much as it is with the 'pianeta' (i.e. the so called Roman form). In this particular instance our designer has altered this such that the main orphrey galloon, rather than going vertically up either side of the orphrey column as it usually does, has been designed in such a way that it appears to wrap itself around the galloon like a vine might wrap itself around a tree. Interspersed between these is a secondary galloon and fleur-de-lys as well as another at the breast and shoulders.

If you were simply to describe it, it might sound off-putting, but I think the end result speaks for itself:

A vestment design that is at one and the same time rooted in the tradition, innovative and noble. 

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