Cliff Chally began making vestments during his career as a Costume
Designer in the entertainment industry. He has designed several television
series and movies for television, earning five Emmy nominations. Mr.
Chally is President ex-Officio of the
Costume Designers Guild and has served
on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
His vestments and paraments, while often incorporating striking designs, are always
appropriate for their setting. This result comes from
years of collaboration with Production Designers and Art Directors so that
the costumes “marry” with the setting to create a visual harmony.
Architectural details, trademarks, environmental elements, or
personal interests can signal what is needed in the design. Traditional
spaces and individual taste may require a more traditional approach.
Contemporary designs may be more harmonious in contemporary spaces. In every
case, there is a personal element that is incorporated into the overall
design. Classic style with contemporary elegance is the perfect combination
to satisfy the challenges of creating inspirational vestments for the modern
Church. Each project is designed specifically for the setting where it is to
be used or for the individual for whom it is intended. No two are alike;
each project is fully custom.
For example, the vestments featured here for St. James’ Church are of a more
traditional style because the American Gothic Revival architecture of the
church calls for
that. The copes, chasubles, and tunicles, and the dalmatic are all made from
traditional damasks in the classic style, recalling those made hundreds of
years ago. By contrast, the vestments and paraments in Kresge Chapel on the
campus at the Claremont School of Theology are a modern adaption for a
modern space. In a primarily white setting, the only color is in the
abstract design of the stained-glass windows. This design provides the key
motif that is repeated in the scapulars which adorn the chasubles and
dalmatics, frontal, antependium, burse, and veil.
When executing a commission for individuals, a key design element is used
that will distinguish the vestments as unique. For instance, the copes, mitres, and chasubles that are worn by the Bishops of the Diocese of Los
Angeles all bear the Hands in Healing cross designed for the Right Reverend
J. Jon Bruno by Laura Smith as a symbol of his ministry. That same cross
also marks the set of vestments that was Bishop Bruno’s gift to the 14th
Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, The Right Reverend Suheil Dawani. Another
custom vestment commission was for the institution of The Right Reverend
Kirk Smith as Bishop Coadjutor of Arizona. The colors of the sunrise were
airbrushed into the hem of the cope, chasuble, mitre, stoles, burse, and
veil. The aqua lining provides a visual and symbolic contrast to the fiery
sunrise, representing the water of baptism.
Attention to detail is vital. Each step of the process from dyeing (if
desired) to embroidery, construction, and fitting are personally supervised.
Because each piece is one-of-a-kind, no samples or inventory are available.
Samples of prior commissions can be found on our
Pricing is by the project (and its needs), not by the piece. To discuss your
special, unique requirements for custom vestments and/or paraments,
contact us today!