I realized watching the most ceremonial event in the Catholic Church, the selection of Pope, the influence the church has had on my career in fashion.

My mother sent me to Catholic school in the first 4 years of my elementary education. This included mass in the mornings and the beginning of my exposure to pomp and circumstance, costumes and fragrance. The choreographed symmetry of the mass. The resounding sound of the organ and the choir rising above with angels voices. Gregorian chant like sounds as a part of the mass as well as the scent of incense wafting though the cavernous church with the highest ceilings I could ever imagine existed .

The size and grandeur of the church compared to my physical size was part of the of the awe experienced in the ceremony. The tapestries and brocades, the candles, and the bar reliefs, and sculptures, and the holy water. Every one of my senses was a
part of the experience .

The nuns were still dressed in black robes with the starched white frame around their faces. The priests walked the sidewalks gathering kids who were late for school and would go into your home if you didn't go to school. Then at 9pm they would walk again throughout the neighborhood to make sure all the kids were off the streets and home. The impact of the church in an Irish Catholic neighborhood was powerful.

The influence this experience had on me creatively is amazing. I was only in Catholic school for 4 years the impact was profound. I love including all the senses whenever possible in the experience of personal image has always been a priority.
From the time you enter a space the awe factor is key. Then the scent, the ability to offer clients tea, and the symmetry of displays, the fabrics textures and details enhance the experience. The personal connection to the brand creates a bond if we do all that in a way that consumer enjoys the experience.

I believe the Catholic Church is a master at ceremony and the spiritual experience. However, I have been moved and had strong spiritual feelings in Jewish ceremonies, Hindu Temples and Mosques. In all cases the brand creates a feeling of awe and an experience for all of our senses. The message in each brand is to transport folks to a spiritual place and they are.

My work will not spiritually transform but appealing to all the senses and creating a good experience when my clothes are worn is what I try to do and when it is appreciated I am thrilled.


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