From ball gown to baggy look

No, Heidi Klum really does not come. But at least Bruce Darnell is now appearing in Osnabruck's Stadthalle – even if only as a life-size cardboard figure and with his voice from the tape. Over the loudspeakers of the crowded hall, the model trainer calls for more facial expressions, more pizzazz, more drama. The Katholikentag stages its only gala, under the motto "God is beautiful".

Green, blue and red spotlights shine on, catchy catwalk beat booms from the speakers. In a figure-hugging, ankle-length dress with a leopard pattern, the incarnate "Miss Africa of the Hearts" appears, as moderator Matthias Sellmann puts it. Followed by Benedictine Carola, who opted for a flowing religious habit with a black veil. And generally for the life in the monastery, "because God is beautiful".Many people at all times seek not only the good and true, but also the beautiful. Today whole industries live from it. Live more beautifully, travel more beautifully, be more beautiful. Or everything only beautiful appearance? Sebastian Maria Fischenich, a designer of high-end brands, confesses in any case: "For me, something is beautiful if it is genuine."Model Lionelle Ulrich agrees with him. In her industry, the credo should apply: "Beauty must radiate from within. And one must never allow oneself to be manipulated by others." So not only grace, but also courage.Now it's up to the public. Ten more or less volunteers have to come on the catwalk. Teenagers, the 50-plus generation and religious women. Hip jeans and habit, baggy look and scarves, gladly also with imprint of the catholic women's community. And the moderator celebrates: "Even if most are not here in ball gown, but in Catholic flannel – we Christians have every reason to celebrate."Because God is beautiful. And so does Allah, as Ayyub Axel Kohler of the Central Council of Muslims adds. The beauty expressed in the poetic writings of the Koran, for example, is "part of God's message. Similar to the biblical psalms, many suras represented a "hymn to creation". Because of the ban on images, Muslims relied especially on ornate ornaments, splendid colors and sublime calls to prayer.Visitors queue up in the four "action corners" of the hall. For example, to be beautified by the make-up artist who has already styled the band "Tokio Hotel". Or to get hold of perfume samples that match the current emotion. Or to have themselves photographed to their advantage by a professional photographer, who has set up a small studio especially for the occasion: "In this picture, I finally look really beautiful," 14-year-old Dominik is pleased to say.Again the spots flare up, again a fashion show, where mainly models with migrant backgrounds show up. Again and again thunderous applause. Fabrics and cuts would do honor to any show in Milan, Paris and New York. And yet: they come mainly from workshops in developing countries, support projects of the Episcopal Relief Organization Misereor. The textiles are sewn by women who take their lives in their hands and do not go in sackcloth and ashes. The backless coral wedding dress, which looks downright sexy, was even made by an African nun. Suddenly "sing hallelujah" resounds, the end of a gala for glitz and glamour. Fine – and good. "That's the truth," Bruce Darnell lets himself be heard from offstage.

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