Going Behind The Curtain Of The Glass Fashion Show

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pictureAlexandra Fresch is the show coordinator for the Glassquerade glass fashion show. We chatted with her about the annual fundraiser, the challenges of putting it together and her own glass costume.

What is Glassquerade? And what is your role?
Glassquerade is our annual fundraiser at Glass Axis. It’s a masquerade-themed party. This year’s theme is “fire & ice,” so there are glassblowing demonstrations, fire dancing performances, ice carving, music and dancing. And the culminating event of the night is our glass fashion show; I have the exciting role of being the coordinator of it.

Is this the first time you’ve done a glass fashion show?
This is actually Glass Axis’s Third Annual Glass Fashion Show, but my fourth show, personally. I started doing glass fashion shows in 2012 with the Glass Arts Society. They host a show every four years so after Glassquerade. I will be in their show in June, which will be taking place at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. I started participating in their show for fun and it has blossomed into a great passion of mine, leading to fantastic opportunities, such as now coordinating the glass fashion shows at Glass Axis.

What has been the most difficult task as your role as Glass Fashion Show coordinator?
Getting artists involved and coordinating all the moving parts has been very challenging. Lighting, staging, music and engaging the art and fashion community are just the beginning. We also have to spark the interest of the non-glass community. As a non-profit, we try to get donations for as much as possible. This year we have had great improvements in our community support.

I also organize studio work days at Glass Axis to assist the artists in making their costumes, where they use our facility and supplies. There’s nothing better than having a bunch of creative people together to share ideas and working as a team to help bring ideas to life. All of this on top of making my own costume.

What goes into your costume? Isn’t it heavy?
Every artist has a different approach, so some will make solid forms such as corsets that, yes, can be heavy, while others use glass to make individual decorative elements that they attach to an underlying structure or fabric.

My first outfit consisted of a glass corset I made out of decorative glass pieces and stripes, murrine and cane, which were melted together and placed onto a mold of my body so that it would fit perfectly. It truly is a restrictive corset.

This year I am using a hand held torch to make patterns that I will mold to my body and then sew onto a dress. I am hoping to create a lace-like look that’s delicate and elegant. Then once everyone’s outfits are finished, we have both professional hair and makeup artists backstage at the event to complete our final looks for the runway.

Tickets to Glassquerade: Fire & Ice are available at https://glassaxis.org/fire-and-ice . Tickets are $50 presale; $60 at the door. Glass Axis is offering CYP members a $10 discount on admission by using the coupon code CYP2016 at checkout.