Glass garments get their chance

The Glass Art Association of Canada celebrated its 20th anniversary with a sexy glass fashion show. The bump-and-grind runway parade of glass garments mostly modelled by the artists themselves, involved considerably more than placing Tiffany lamp shades on their heads, although one artist did just that.

Artists from across Canada, more used to making functional glass vessels or fanciful stained glass windows, explored the possibilities of wearable glass.

The challenges are huge, says Laura Donefer, a world-famous glass artist from Harrowsmith. While traditional clothing is light-weight, fluid and soft, glass is heavy, fragile and hard.

The link between glass and fashion has mostly been in beadwork and costume jewelry, and of course shoes, but that is the stuff of fairy tales.

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto explores this latter link in Fragile Footwear, an exhibition inspired by Cinderella's famous slippers, on view till June 17. Forty-three artists made sculptures for the display, organized by the glass association and the museum curator, Elizabeth Semmelhack.

The fashion show included glass bustiers, flapper dresses made of glass roundels, glass cowboy hats stained glass masks and a remarkable glass link evening dress.

600450 Glass garments get their chance
Date: 17 May 2003

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