As Pope Francis alighted out of the clothing store of the Gammarelli’s in Downtown Rome his simplicity became prominent in his very way of adopting a pruned version of papal trousseau with an ethereal, pristinely pure white cassock coupled with equally toned down black shoes and trousers.
The personal style statement of the Pope has become the talk of the town reverberating the spirit of humility and sobriety which he preaches and won him the title of being the “Best Dressed Man of 2013”. As the Pontiff gears up to bestow the responsibility of the Church on the “New Princes of the Church” by crowning them with the red hued silk biretta, it remains to see whether they will adhere to the Papacy’s way of simplicity or will they take to what some of those of the First- World has indulged in by binging on exuberant attires.
While the regular cardinal outfit borders on the white, those for the festivities dwell on the red with the whole papal attire beaming in scarlet from the top skull cap made of silk to the vibrant red socks adorning the feet. Additionally, the rochet beautifully embroidered in white lace is put over the cassock or the shoulder cape. Raneiro Mancinelli who has been involved in weaving papal clothes for over 50 years is of opinion that cardinals today stave away from the ostentatious flaunting and splurging in general.
Lorenzo Gammarelli too opines in unison with Mancinelli, “Our customers didn’t change their mind since the election of the Holy Father Francis. The ones who preferred simple things before continue to prefer simple things. The ones who preferred more rich things, continue to prefer richer things.”
A number of things go into the curtailing of the attire- from the relatively cheaper synthetic counterparts to replace the cashmere and silk fabrics of the cassock to the machine-made red buttons. It must also be noted that since the time Saint Francis turned the Pope the papal attire has mellowed down to quite an extent, thanks to the global recession. However, Gammarelli’s clothing shop has not recorded any declining business due to any such economic effects. As for the costs of even the simplest of papal outfits, well the amounts escalate up to hundreds or as much as thousands of euros.