A Contemproary Marian Chasuble in the Medieval Tradition

One of the challenges that I've frequently observed with fuller, "gothic" styles of chasubles is that frequently many of the designs we come across are often lacking in variety; they can seem very much the same. Some of this is accidental by virtue of the fact that this fuller shape of chasuble was revived at a time when industrial-commercialization was taking place and with it the advent of mass-produced, catalogue vestments.  At that time, there was also expansion going on in places such as North America which saw many new parishes being erected -- and new parishes need liturgical art, and quickly. They weren't able to benefit from centuries worth of sacristy accumulations and donations; the net result was that mass produced vestments were frequently the go-to out of sheer necessity and that has had a way of limiting the imagination in their regard.

In point of fact however, when you look at actual historical vestments from the period, while we can find very simple one's, we frequently also find extremely ornate one's similar to what we might expect of Renaissance and Baroque era vestments.  Silk velvets, stonework, detailed embroideries all featured with these, especially in important churches and monasteries.  This meant that there was a much greater variety to be found in these works than we perhaps have come to associate with so-called 'gothic' in the modern age.  

However, we do see examples of gothic-styled works in our day that do attempt to re-introduce some of this medieval ornamentality and variety, and a good example of just such as thing came to my attention recently by way of X-Regio Roma -- a firm generally more known for its contemporary approaches to vestment work. This particular chasuble, which they describe as a chasuble "for feasts and solemnities of the Blessed Virgin Mary" features a gorgeous blue and gold velvet from the famed and historic Venetian textile maker, Tessiture Bevilaqua. 

Added to that are orphreys and a neck ornament that approximates a medieval apparel that are augmented by stones (495 in all). Stonework in gothic styled vestments add a textural element that I always find really sets them apart from other gothic works.  Here are a few details:

Of course the velvet itself also adds a layer of texture as well. The end result is truly spectacular and certainly a vestment worthy of important feast days and solemnities -- and imitation. 

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