Thursday, 21 April 2016

From Catwalk to Cassocks

Anything is possible - Veronica James is the complete embodiment of this phrase. With her red velvet coat worn over her regulation black shirt and dog collar, the Reverend Veronica has many sides to her character.

She originally trained at the London College of Fashion where she studied Fashion and Business Management and after internships with premium clothing brands she secured a full time job with Wallis Fashion Group. In parallel with the rather superficial world of the rag trade, she was exploring her spiritual side with her local church.

When God's call could no longer be ignored, Veronica started training for ordination in 1997 (before women were accepted into the priesthood). The course demanded a 3000 word essay every 3 months but Veronica went the extra mile and challenged herself to paint each assignment too. This was the perfect way to combine her artistic character with her spiritual side.

When ordination eventually arrived, the question of suitable robes arose. There was only one solution and that was for Veronica a make her own. The result was a highly individual garment (with a delicious cerise lining!) that even the Bishop noticed it had a nice swing to it!

Her stoles are quite literally works of art. With the help of a good friend and embroiderer, she has transcribed her paintings into motifs to adorn the traditional vestments.  The result is both unique and beautiful.

Veronica's talk gave a fascinating insight into her life, her art and her beliefs.

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