Dec 31, 2013

    Esquire lauds Pope's divine sense of style


    HE HAS been called many things, from Holy Father to Supreme Pontiff, but the latest title for Pope Francis, from Esquire, is less conventional.

    The men's magazine has named the Pope its Best Dressed Man of 2013, saying that his "sartorial decisions have subtly signalled a new era (and for many, renewed hope) for the Catholic Church".

    Dr Mark-Evan Blackman, assistant professor of menswear design at Fashion Institute of Technology, told Esquire: "His mode of dressing really does reflect the mindset behind it.

    "I remember when John Paul II was buried in those opulent bright red shoes. When the current Pope was elected and chose not to wear the red shoes, I thought that was very reflective of his approach to being a person functioning in a role."

    Back in October, the magazine had paid tribute to Pope Francis' approachable style and the bold changes he has made to one of the oldest institutions in the world by calling him "The most interesting man in the world" on its cover.

    Now, it explained that it chose the Pope over more conventional choices, like actors Bradley Cooper, Chris Pine and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, because the significance of his pared-down sartorial choices goes beyond the red carpet.

    Dr Ann Pellegrini, associate professor of Performance Studies & Religious Studies at New York University, told the magazine: "This Holy Roman emperor really does have new clothes."

    Pope Francis has been riding a wave of popularity and was chosen as "Person of the Year" by Time magazine and the United States gay-rights publication The Advocate because of his now-famous remark on gay people: "Who am I to judge?"