Robes Through the Years

Talk about Libera here in.

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Robes Through the Years

Post by alcesalcesobservator » 2 years ago

Just for fun, I decided to overview the changes in Libera's robes.

First Album, 1987: Robes are ankle length, and flared from the hip with obvious ruching on all side seams. Neckline is gathered, reminiscent of a suplice, and there is a substantial cowl hood. Image
Sleeve ruching is especialy evident in this still from "Light the Candles". Image

Alan Tischmarch program, 1990: Picture is blury, but robes are no longer ruched. Cowl hoods are still used. Image
The change is obvious on the 1993 CD cover:

Visible here on Liam O'Kane in 1997 is the deeply overlapping cowl hood, and what appears to be three box pleats on each shoulder.The robes had drop shoulders, as apparent by the horizontal sleeve seem visible in the lower right corner of the picture.

Here's a trial run of a two-piece getup--according to Libera Historian Amiee Hill, this picture was "probably taken around 1999". The ensemble appears to be an oversized surplice over the 1990's pleat-front robe.


This picture from the early 2000's shows shows the robes with side slits.

In the 2001 video of Lachrymosa, the robes seem unchanged, but are worn with belts.Image

Vespera,2001:The neckline pleats are clearly knife pleats. Note how "crisp" and heavy the hood material is. Image

By 2005, the robe-buying committee had settled on a simpler design, and had done away with pleats and side slits. Image

There was still some variation in the robes, though subtle-- Here, in 2009, the boys are wearing robes with hood's that open at the throat...
while here, also in 2009, the boy are wearing cowl hoods.Image
Notice how in 2012, Isaac's hood begins at his throat, while hood of the boy behind him has a much deeper overlap, crossing over to the left:

In 2013, Libera switched their robes again. In the 2013 Taiwan tour, robe hoods began at the throat...Image
and by the Phillipeans tour later that year they were all wearing cowl hoods, which now seem to be a permanent fixture.


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Re: Robes Through the Years

Post by Surpinto » 2 years ago

Cool! Thank you for the detailed analysis; always interesting to see how things evolve over time.

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Re: Robes Through the Years

Post by PaulWSpaceRockDodger » 2 years ago

I'm impressed by these detailed observations about the evolving styles of Libera's white robes, which have become such a wonderful visual trademark for the choir. The robes also provide an ideal surface for reflecting the various colours that are projected in the lighting by the visual-effects crews during many concerts. On a separate point, I wonder what kind of material is used to make the robes, which could be very warm to wear under concert lights and in summer performances, especially in tropical places like the Philippines and Singapore.

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