The most photographed tailoring these days can be found at number 34 Via Santa Chiara in Rome, a little shop named Gammarelli. This little shop has been in charge of clothing Popes for centuries and is drinking in all the attention they’re getting. They prepared three white cassocks to be offered to the newly elected Pope in different sizes so he can present himself to the world as well as possible.
I have always been fascinated by religious clothing: it’s wealth and pageantry is about the importance of beauty and raised us to be the top. Not only that, little has changed from the original looks, which highlights the importance of these clothes. We use these white clothes to identify the Pope in the same way we identify a king because he’s wearing a crown.
Nonverbal communication is still very present in religious clothing, which is why I find the analysis to be very interesting. Since we will be exposed to a barrage of information from the Vatican for several days, it is worth it to know how to identify the dress codes. During his reign Pope Benedict XVI recovered Papal attire that had been forgotten. The Saturn (red shovel hat and embroidery), the camauro (red velvet hat trimmed in white ermine), and the hood (red velvet brimmed hat) were some of the items that caught our attention.
But if anything, the Pope is identified by his white cassock, his skullcap (white cap that only God should discard), his pectoral (cross), the fisherman’s ring, and fascia (white sash with coat embroidery. Other elements, such as the red layer (tabarro) or white coat (called dulleta) are also elements that quickly associate the Roman pontiff.