Home Fashion How religious celebs like Kanye West inspired Sunday 'church' fashion – New York Post

How religious celebs like Kanye West inspired Sunday 'church' fashion – New York Post

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When Robelsie Collado orders her weekly shipment of designer outfits from Rent the Runway — a $159-a-month subscription service that’s like a library for fashion — she makes sure to set aside a special ensemble for church.

“I grew up watching my mom wear her nicest things on Sunday,” the 25-year-old wellness coach tells The Post. “So I always carried that mentality with me.”

But instead of the high heels, silk dresses and smart slacks her Catholic mom would wear to Mass, Collado favors flirty dresses and rompers, high-waisted jeans and snazzy sneakers for the Sunday services she attends at Midtown megachurch Hillsong.

As a kid, “I would never even wear a tank top to go to church,” the Westchester resident says. But now, “the church and fashion thing is just fun for me. I wear whatever I want.”

Forget Easter bonnets, fusty florals and tasteful saints medallions. The new Sunday uniform has gotten a millennial makeover, complete with leather jackets, Kith hoodies and full-sleeve tattoos.

Openly devout celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin and Kanye West (who just named his newborn son Psalm), have helped to make Jesus cool again. So have congregations with clubby names (C3, Hillsong and Forefront), with gatherings that feel more like pop concerts than Mass.

But fashion’s at the forefront of Christianity’s image rehab.

“People in New York use fashion to express who they are,” says C3 pastor Josh Kelsey, who performs his sermons in ripped jeans and T-shirts. “I think young people come in here and feel at home and feel like they can just be themselves and come as they are, which is cool.”

There’s an Instagram account, @PreachersNSneakers, with 163,000 followers, which calls out pastors from all over the country wearing fancy shoes by the likes of Louis Vuitton and Gucci. There are C3’s gregarious greeters, standing outside Music Hall of Williamsburg in their bright white kicks or minimal C3-branded streetwear — including $15 neon knit beanies and $35 graphic print hoodies — ready to welcome churchgoers with a fashionable flourish.

Kanye West performed his  'Church Sunday Services' at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Easter Sunday Morning in Indio, CA.
Kanye West performed his ‘Church Sunday Services’ at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Easter Sunday Morning in Indio, CA.MEGA

And then there’s West’s stylish invite-only weekly Sunday Service, a series of live music worship sessions visible to the public only on his also-Christian wife Kim Kardashian’s Instagram stories.

The faithful, including the Kardashian krew, Chance the Rapper and Katy Perry, don color-coordinated outfits straight out of a Yeezy Fashion Week runway collection to sing along with a gospel choir led by West. One week, parishioners — including West and Kardashian’s 5-year-old daughter North — donned snakeskin print. Another time, black ensembles paired with combat boots and tiny shades were the go-to uniform.

The rapper also sold his own “chuch merch” at one spiritual gathering-turned-performance at Coachella last month — where the hue of choice was lavender — charging $225 for a drab-colored hoodie screen printed with phrases like “Holy Spirit” and “Trust God,” and $50 for socks printed with “Church Socks.”

He faced backlash for the expensive God goods, and apparently stopped selling them on his own site, but the re-sale market is feverish: On eBay, a search for “Kanye West Sunday Service” pulls up 172 items, with some sellers hoping to fetch upwards of $300 for T-shirts and sweatpants.

Although it may seem tawdry, using style to sell religion works, says fashion blogger Josip Majer. It’s what brought him to C3’s new Williamsburg location on a recent Sunday.

“I saw from the photos and everything [that] it looks cool,” the 32-year-old tells The Post, adding that his aunt had suggested he go to “the hipster church” while he was in New York City.

“This is the ‘Sunday best,’ ” adds the Croatian Majer, dressed in plaid pants, a paint-splattered rain coat and colorful sneakers. “When you go to church . . . you want to look good and acknowledge the fact that you’re going in a temple and celebrating something that is bigger than life. So of course you want to be presentable.”

Stylish Hillsong attendee Chelsea Davis rocks a jumpsuit, and fashion blogger Josip Majer rocks his Sunday best for a C3 service.
Stylish Hillsong attendee Chelsea Davis rocks a jumpsuit, and fashion blogger Josip Majer dons his Sunday best for a C3 service.Courtesy of Chelsea Davis; Stefano Giovannini

The hordes of trendy teens and 20-somethings at these haute houses of worship, however, can be daunting.

“The first time I walked into Hillsong, I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” says 22-year-old Chelsea Davis, who studies fashion merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Like, what you see people wearing in Vogue is very much what they wear to church.” She was “intimidated” on her first Hillsong trip, and remembers thinking, “Oh my God, every single Sunday I need to show up looking on-trend.”

Davis — who favors wearing vintage mom jeans or jumpsuits paired with high-heeled booties to services — has also noticed that “a lot” of churchgoers seem more interested in snapping selfies of their “lewks” than listening to the Word of God.

“It’s becoming trendier to go to church now, which I think kind of opens up the door to, like, are you really going for the right reasons?” she says. “Or are you going because all your friends go and take cute pictures in their cute outfits?”

But Collado says she sees fashion as a way to express her faith.

“I’m coming to meet God when I go to church,” she says, and “I like to feel good for God. It makes me feel good to know that I dress up and make an effort for him.”

Additional reporting by Sarah Conboy

Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen heading to dinner after a 2018 church service in Beverly Hills.
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are seen heading to dinner after a 2018 church service in Beverly Hills.SplashNews.com

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