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A famous fashion designer unveils liturgical vestments for the reopening of Notre-Dame

A famous fashion designer unveils liturgical vestments for the reopening of Notre-Dame
A famous fashion designer unveils liturgical vestments for the reopening of Notre-Dame

 


A collection of 2,000 pieces of stoles, chasubles and dalmatics for the 170 bishops, 700 priests and 700 permanent deacons should be created for the reopening of the emblematic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. These vestments will also be used during major diocesan celebrations such as Chrism and ordination masses.

For this vast commission, financed by art and craft houses, the archdiocese turned to Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, who had previously designed the clothing for the 1997 World Youth Day in Paris. The designer is also known for his collaborations with pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Katy Perry.

Castelbajac was inspired by the choir cross of Notre-Dame, made by Marc Couturier, which survived the fire of 2019. I had never used gold in my work before, he explained . For these clothes, I wanted to put the cross in the foreground like a lighthouse, a landmark, a standard.

The golden cross features prominently on chasubles, bishop's miters and stoles. The vibrant colors symbolize the rebirth of Notre-Dame. Castelbajac aims to send a strong message to believers and young people in search of symbols, by creating an image that inspires admiration.

A little spiritual epic

The chasubles for bishops will include 12 colored crosses representing the Apostles. Castelbajac, thinking of his four-year-old daughter and 16-year-old grandson, wants to use contemporary imagery to engage younger generations in spirituality. He also wanted to add a bit of spiritual epic. We need to talk to younger generations about courage.

Castelbajac, who witnessed the Notre-Dame fire in April 2019, considers it one of the saddest and most upsetting moments of my life. Being asked to design these garments is a great honor. Inspired by the tunic of Saint Louis in the Notre-Dame treasury at the age of 17, Castelbajac's life was changed by World Youth Day in 1997, leading him to merge his talent with his faith and its popular movements.

For this new commission, Castelbajac demonstrated self-discipline, aiming for sobriety and elegance without breaking too much with tradition. Discussions are underway with several French workshops for production.

The creation of these vestments aligns with that of liturgical furniture, all contributing to beauty through creation, declared Mgr Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, rector of Notre-Dame. It is about showing joy and hope for the reopening of the cathedrals.

After the initial period extending until Pentecost 2025, each Parisian parish will receive a chasuble.

The Archdiocese of Paris had previously announced its intention to extend the celebration of the reopening of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the emblematic church of the French capital which was almost destroyed by a fire in 2019. Mgr Laurent Ulrich, archbishop of Paris , published in February a new pastoral letter entitled “The 2024 in the Archdiocese of Paris”, with a precise calendar of ceremonies surrounding the official inauguration and reopening of the cathedral scheduled for December 7. The special events will begin on December 8 and will continue until June 8, 2025, the solemnity of Pentecost.

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