Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Priestly panache...

Ah, afternoon coffee break...and I shamelessly confess to stealing a story from Rocco Palmo's blog and putting a female slant on it.

It is *very* hard to look sexy in a cassock - in clericals, it's dead easy (as a friend of mine discovered when a model told him as much) because it's very similar to wearing a suit; but in a cassock, or even worse, a habit, it's bloody near impossible. You need broad shoulders, narrow hips and a well-fitted cassock - there's a seminarian up the road who has all three and looks like a fashion plate. The Dominicans, bless them, are handicapped by colour (white, bleargh!) and cut of habit. They do, however, look fab between All Souls' and Easter, when they wear their black cappas over said habit.

Ok, fair enough...these are men vowed to celibacy and chastity, and they're not - and shouldn't be - trying to turn heads. However, when one does manage it, he's overcome such odds that I feel it is worthy of mention. Fr Gaenswein, private secretary to the Pope, is one such man. So much so, in fact, (as per Rocco) he has inspired Donatella Versace to include a clerically themed suit in the Milan menswear show for winter 2007-2008. Here's a picture of the man himself in cassock:

Trinny and Susannah would be proud: posture, attitude, a lack of self-consciousness all come together to make this one priest who will send every woman to Gammarelli's for her boyfriend's/husband's next outfit. Also present here are the self-awareness and confidence that make men so much sexier in their 40s and 50s than in their 20s. For example, Mark Harmon, voted People Magazine's "Sexiest man alive" at 35, blows his younger self *out of the water* at 56. It's a standing joke in my house that if I'm watching NCIS, you have to say my name about 3 times before I'll look away from Mark and look at you. Either that, or wait for an advert break.

However, Gorgeous Georg Gaenswein does not win THE top prize for looking good in robes. That, I'm afraid, goes to Judge John Deed...

...who manages to look dead sexy in red robes and a wig - at 62. I have to say, I wouldn't kick him out of my bed for eating crackers - and I wouldn't say that about Fr Gaenswein, cleric or no.

It has occurred to me that this post is the sort of thing that makes people refer to me as a "dark horse" - something my housemate Mark did just this weekend.
I responded, patting his knee as I walked by, "Is that because I'm so 'sensible' and 'mumsy'?"
He tactfully replied, "That might have something to do with it..."

Sounds like it's time to head into town to buy that cardigan...and those knee-high, black leather boots.

[Out of the gutter, darling, you're standing on my snorkel. You *know* who you are...]


LL said...

I wouldn't wish to look sexy in my habit, but I certainly believe that the full Dominican habit is one of the most beautiful in the Church! :)

Irim said...

The full Dominican habit absolutely *rocks*, m'dear. I *love* it, and I think y'all look fabulous in it - especially all together in choir during a Christmas midnight mass, say, or during Holy Week.

It has real gravitas and fashion inspiration potential. Donatella, eat your heart out.


Anonymous said...

The qoolness value of cassocks is mostly limited to their novelty factor - where else does anyone dress like that? - and the fact that saying 'cassock' is a lot of fun. Major kudos, she'enedra, for highlighting the exceptions!

I suppose that, as an apostate, my opinion on priestly pulchritude is a bit irrelevant these days. But I must say, I concur with your opinion about the seminarian fashion plate.

And that it *is* dead easy to look sexy in clericals. Mmmm...

Love the contrast between Gaenswein and Papa Ratzy, by the way. No one can say the last election came down to a beauty contest... or at least, I hope not!


LL said...


This reminds me of a friend in the US who wore his cassock to do hospital visits. Coming round a corner, this kid sees him and says:

"Qool! That's totally Matrix, dude!"

As for me... I get the Batman theme hummed at me when I walk in the streets! :)