May 16, 2014

​English Fashion Designer Launches Updated Clerical Line for Women

 ©2014 Religion News Service

A London-trained fashion designer has launched a
new range of clerical wear for women in the Church of England.

Camelle Daley, who founded the label House of
ilona, says it’s high time for a shake-up among Anglican clergy who, like Roman
Catholic priests, still wear traditional black shirt and collar.

Daley said she got the idea when a recently
ordained friend said she wanted a new look for a new age.

The result?

Daley’s collection, now selling briskly, includes
peplum dresses and tops, classic black dresses and a fitted green blouse with chiffon

She has received hundreds of orders from women,
who now make up one-third of the clergy in this country’s established church.

“Today, more than ever, women in ministry are
complaining about the boxy, shapeless shirts on offer,” she said. “Why should a
woman’s style go from stylish and elegant to manly and boxy when she is dressed
in her clerical attire for ministering?”

The launch of her clerical clothes coincides with
the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women as priests in the Church of
England. Within a year or so it’s likely that women will be consecrated as

“The style is not about flaunting the body,”
added Daley. “It is about clothes that accommodate the female shape in cut and

For Daley, the latest line is a labor of love. “I
love designing,” she said. “This is my way of giving back to the women in
ministry who have affected my life so greatly.”