P for Prada, P for Pope = PASHION

Dan Cardle

I've been married for the last 4 years of my life and I’m sure you all familiar with my wife. “Who is she?” Her name is Fashion. I come from a tiny island full of beaches in the middle of Europe.

I’m a very bubbly, funny, outgoing person with an ambition to succeed. I hope that you’ll love reading my articles as much I want you to.

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As we ‘welcome’ a new leader of the Catholic Church, how could I resist looking back at the previous Pope, Benedict XVI’s style? Caution: I’m about to present the idea that he is much more fabulous than we may have given him credit for. In fact, he probably has more things in common with fashion goddess Heidi Klum than any of us browsing this website.

19 April 2005 was a cloudy day for the Pope’s debut. Let’s be honest, it’s not like most Catholics even like him and it’s not like he really tried. Anyway, I’m not here to discuss religious beliefs (he’s not fit enough to make me want to do that), I’m here to talk fashion! Mr Pashion is the name I’ve thoughtfully given to Pope Benedict and here’s why: he was without doubt an iconic Pope, as Popes go, for the fashion world. He had a great sense of style and despite his age he hadn’t succumbed to crocs. Though I can’t help but wonder how he would have looked in them.

Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Lorenzo Gammalleri, Alexander McQueen and Valentino were some of the designer brands which Pope Benedict’s wardrobe consisted of, to name but a few. Lace and leather were everywhere at the time and were frequently modelled by the man himself. From the runway shows in New York and Paris, straight to the Vatican Catwalk. Even Britney Spears sang an ode of the same name in honour of the pairing.

The Vatican once said: “The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ” Well, PRADA IS CHRIST. DUH! At least in the fashion world.

Pope Benedict’s most memorable outfit has to be the classic look inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. We saw him wrap up for winter in a crimson wool cloak trimmed in gold braid. I dread to think of the price tag for that creation. Mr Pashion also had love affairs with several hats. A few days before Christmas, during his early years of papacy, Pope Benedict wore a red velvet cap trimmed with ermine. More commonly known as the Santa Hat.

He claimed that he only wore it because he was feeling the cold and he happens to have a sensitive head. LOL please! He’s stubborn and hard-headed, not sensitive. There was also the time when all he needed was a horse and a whip for the complete cowboy’s outfit. He had decided to wear a fetching ‘Saturno’ hat during his weekly audience with the public. Every child present must have been terrified. Clearly Pope Benedict had a great sense of humour.

Now let’s consider the Catholic Church’s very own “Lord Of The Rings.” I couldn’t possibly write an article on what our ex-Pope wore and leave out his ring, so to speak. Caludio Franchi, the goldsmith who made Pope Benedict’s ring originally came up with two different designs. The most traditional one was etched with an image of St Peter, the first Pope, and is more commonly known as the ‘Fisherman’s Ring’. The other had an image of a pelican, which symbolizes crucifixion, as a pelican is said to feed her young with her own blood by piercing her breast. Mr Pashion chose the ‘Fisherman’s Ring’ and it’s known to contain 35 grams of pure gold.

In conclusion, being German and wearing that much expensive designer clothing is classic Heidi Klum behaviour.

My career goal in 30 years time is to be the Pope. Expensive designer clothing and a throne. What more could I wish for?