about us

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 portfolio page.  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!