Groundbreaking Belfast Glass Runway exhibition merges fashion and glass artistry

Female wearing artwork
-Credit: (Image: Glenn Norwood)

A one-of-a-kind catwalk show and exhibition is set to bring together glass artists and fashion designers from across Ireland, showcasing the unexpected potential of glass as a wearable material.

The event aims to challenge gender bias in the fashion industry, with participating artists using their skills to spark thought-provoking discussions on beauty, gender, and equality.

Organised by the Glass Society of Ireland and The Council of Irish Fashion Designers, this unique exhibition will be held at Craft NI Gallery, Belfast from 6 June to 25 July.

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With a focus on promoting gender equality, diversity, and inclusion, the show will feature 20 glass artists and fashion designers presenting both collaborative and individual pieces, including glass bags, millinery, dresses, and jewellery.

The first-ever exhibition of its kind in Ireland, a pioneering cross-border collaboration between two representative agencies, is set to take place. The event will kick off with a Live Fashion Show on June 4, from 6 - 8pm at The MAC, Belfast, where the public will get a glimpse of the showcased objects and clothing.

Northern Irish fashion designer Sara O'Neill, the creative genius behind the wildly successful Eadach brand, whose designs have been seen on the red carpet and winners' stages of The Oscars, The BAFTAs, The IFTAs and the Emmys last year, will be the special guest for the opening of the Glass Runway Live Fashion Show and will deliver an introductory talk before the event.

The term "Glass Runway" in the industry refers to gender inequality, which affects many aspects of society. The GSoI and CIFD aim to spark a conversation about inequality, diversity, and inclusion by exploring these themes through this exhibition, inspiring new ideas and statement pieces in this exclusive collaboration.

Roisin de Buitlear, Chair of the GSOI, commented: "the themes of inclusion, diversity and gender equality have been challenging yet enriching subjects for our glass community, with which they have fully engaged. We are excited to show this innovative work which has been selected by an international jury.

"In this, our first collaboration with the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, fashion designers and glass makers have extended their ideas and knowledge to create truly original works for this show while developing lasting and meaningful relationships through the design and development of their pieces. We look forward to the runway event and exhibition where we can fully celebrate those experiences."

Eddie Shanahan, Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, spoke about the forthcoming event: 'We find collaboration projects invaluable in stretching the imaginations of our designers, in exposing them to new materials and craft techniques and, in the case of the Glass Runway in particular, in providing a platform to celebrate inclusivity and gender equality."

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