Framework

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Norma Roberts, left, and Diane Fortin chose the same bright color for their Easter dresses.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Sharon Walton stands with her 92-year-old aunt, Grace Wheeler. Said Walton: "It's the beginning of spring, when you dress up for church."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Dish Haason completes her Easter outfit with a fan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Rev. Dr. William G. Code Sr. said of his suit: "It's special, I've only worn it twice. I bought it for Easter but will probably give it away. You don't wear this around anywhere on any day."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Thelma Pendergast chose a purple bonnet.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Makeda Wilcox, 14, left, and Candace Martin, 12, got dressed up as well, though many churchgoers complained that the younger generation dresses too casually. Makeda disagreed: "We love dressing up; it's a big fashion show for us." But she conceded that "I don't wear hats, unless it's one of the cool hats that tips to the side."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Sadie Kages said of her outfit: "Red lifts my spirit. My deceased husband picked out this hat. We were married for 58 years."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Mildred Cummings has been a member of Trinity Baptist since 1976 and now brings her granddaughter Kimora Johnson, 4, to services with her.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Elijah Massey, 6, with his grandmother Jean Massey, who says of her grandson: "He always dresses nice when he goes to church with me."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Brenda Hunt on her bright bonnet: "This is one of my Easter favorites. My mother said, 'Put this on.' It is a color she likes."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

A palm-leaf cross adorns Bettye Phillips' outfit.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Church member Dr. Deborah Neal always dresses up for Sunday services.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

John Phillips, a church member for decades, looks crisp for Easter.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

A dapper-looking Melvin Ivory.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Charles Peters' bold tie adds flash to his Easter look .

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Deaconess Tanya Shalby-Murray's ensemble is picture-perfect.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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Easter Sunday at Trinity Baptist Church

Dressing up for church these days is a dying custom. Casual Sundays are normal on the calendars of many churches. The idea of documenting people in their Sunday best brought me to Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Trinity has been around since 1917 and has a loyal membership.

I set up a photo booth and made photographs of parishioners dressed in beautiful bonnets and colorful suits. It is an old-school tradition that, hopefully, the new generation will embrace and respect.

Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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