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Models pose in historic vestments for Belgian cathedral catwalk show



Clad in elaborate priestly garments, volunteer models strode down the runway to organ music in the Cathedral of the Belgian city of Tournai,

The unusual show on Wednesday organised by the cathedral, is part of an effort to promote its collection of religious textiles it says are Belgium’s richest. It featured around 30 garments including liturgical capes known as chasubles embroidered with gold and silver thread.

This was the first time in 50 years the garments were shown to the public, cathedral historian Michel-Amand Jacques said.

Rudy Opsomer, the president of the Friends of the Tournai Cathedral, said the garments were usually kept in the church’s chambers, far from the public eye.

“It was a shame that they were no longer visible to the general public,” Opsomer said. “It’s an opportunity to see things beyond the religious side of these clothes.”

During the show, models presented the garments, which showed the evolution of priestly attire from the 17th to the 21st century, to an audience of around 100 people. Ornaments dating back to the 15th century that are stored at the cathedral were too fragile to be shown.

Opsomer said that since the clothes are considered sacred, they could not be donned by people other than religious officials. Church tradition obliges cathedral staff to burn the garments once they are worn out.

So, he said they were lucky to have the permission of Tournai’s Bishop Guy Harpigny to hold the show.

The way priests dress has evolved through time, Jacques said, with the more detailed and extravagant garments worn in the Baroque period being replaced by simpler ones that follow guidelines set by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

In the 18th century, Jacques said, a set of priest’s clothes cost 15,000 to 18,000 French livres, which today amounts to around 250,000 to 300,000 euros ($286,000 to $343,000) – the same price as a medium-sized church at that time.

“Times have changed, the church has changed,” Jacques said. “We have to put ourselves in the shoes of people at that time, in the 17th or 18th century, when these ornaments were an offering to God.”

Harpigny, who attended the show, said the event was not a way for the church to brag about its past riches, but rather to show how the institution accompanies cultural and artistic movements throughout time.

“The fact that we’re showing the national heritage of the church to society is a wonderful thing,” he said.


(Reporting by Ardee Napolitano, edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


Designer Virgil Abloh remembered at Fashion Awards



Designers and celebrities paid tribute to Virgil Abloh at the Fashion Awards in London on Monday, where the late Louis Vuitton and Off-White creative force was honoured as a leader of change within the industry.

Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, who became fashion’s highest-profile Black designer, died on Sunday following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

The 41-year-old, who also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been menswear artistic director at luxury label Louis Vuitton since March 2018.

“Genius, disruptor … (he) will be missed tremendously by all,” veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger said on the red carpet. “He inspired designers as well as the public.”

Designer and television personality Tan France called Abloh “incredible and a visionary … (who) has done the most beautiful work.”

Abloh, who founded label Off-White, was known for mixing streetwear with high-end suits and gowns while at Vuitton. His influences included graffiti art and hip hop.

“Everyone here is going to be talking about Virgil, everyone here has been impacted by his brilliance,” actor Gabrielle Union said.

At the awards, where Abloh’s photo was projected on stage, the designer was among 15 individuals and brands named leaders of change for their actions in the past year helping the environment, people and creativity.

Others on the list included Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, and Kim Jones, artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture as well as menswear designer at Dior. Jones was also named designer of the year at the awards.

Michele also won the trailblazer award, while Hilfiger received the outstanding achievement award.

“I’m absolutely grateful, appreciative, humbled by it, but happy to be here and happy to still keep the business rolling,” Hilfiger, 70, said.

Demi Moore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Dua Lipa were among the celebrity guests attending the event, a fundraiser for British Fashion Council charities.


(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Karishma Singh)

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Bank of Canada to work with Indigenous groups on reconciliation



The Bank of Canada will work with Indigenous groups to understand the wounds caused by decades of discrimination and determine how reconciliation can create a more inclusive and prosperous economy for all, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Monday.

Macklem, opening a symposium on Indigenous economies, said Canadians could work to correct some of the consequences of those “ugly periods.”

Ottawa forcibly removed thousands of Indigenous children from their communities and put them in residential schools in an effort to strip them of their language and culture, a practice that continues to scar families and individuals.

“The Bank of Canada will be working with a broad spectrum of Indigenous groups to set out what reconciliation means for what we do,” Macklem said.

“Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada — toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone,” he said.

Canada‘s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential school system “cultural genocide” in 2015, as it set out 94 “calls to action” to try to restore Canada‘s relationship with its Indigenous people, including economic reconciliation.

“We can’t go back and change what’s happened. But we can try to correct some of the consequences,” said Macklem, adding that it is the central bank’s job to create conditions for opportunity for all Canadians.

“Taking concrete steps toward economic reconciliation is our responsibility too. And it’s incumbent upon us to take the time to do this well,” said Macklem.


(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Canada’s Trans Mountain still ‘days away’ from restarting pipeline



Canada‘s Trans Mountain said on Monday it was “still days away” from restarting the key oil pipeline at a reduced capacity as heavy rains continue to impede restoration efforts.

The pipeline, owned by the Canadian government, ships 300,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products from Alberta to the Pacific Coast. It was temporarily shut down as heavy rains and flooding caused widespread disruption in parts of British Columbia.

The operator said assessments of the impacts from the latest storm are being undertaken with a focus on the Coldwater and Coquihalla regions.

Work was interrupted at some sites on Sunday due to high water accumulation or lack of access, the company added.

The company on Friday had said it was working toward restarting the oil pipeline at a reduced capacity this week.


(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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