With A Bang Not A Wimple

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In the mid-1960s controversial Irish nun order The Sisters of Mercy commissioned Sybil Connolly to design new habits and what have you for their 30,000 members.

Several designs were contemplated, including this waist-nipping ensemble (above), which the order considered “too stylish”.

The sisters settled on this compromise.

Set off with gunmetal mesh stockings and cuban heeled pumps, the outfit’s skirt length was a daring 12-14 inches off the ground (depending on height of nun).

“I had thought in terms of 10 inches,” said Syblil, “but they didn’t want to take half measures.”

The designer remarked that it was the older nuns who wanted a more radical break from their all-enveloping, Rome-endorsed Burka.

“They [younger nuns] felt they had married into the church and wanted to keep their wedding dresses,” she said.

Good times.

Quotes via Montreal Gazette, November 25, 1965

Sybil Connolly

Thanks Sibling of Daedalus