Believe the Impossible @ WMODA

Wow! What an unbelievable event we had on Saturday, January 22 to kick off Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week and the United Nations International Year of Glass. Chelsea Rousso’s amazing glass fashion show was a huge sell-out success and inspired us to Believe the Impossible @ WMODA!

At the stroke of noon, Trace Barfield, our DJ and MC, set the mood with Kerli’s Welcome to the Tea Party, which had everybody dancing in their seats. Trace’s marvelous music mix was perfect for our WMODA Wonderland, curated by Louise Irvine and inspired by Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass.

The spectacular costumes presented on the runway by the zany cast of Wonderland all included wearable glass designed by Chelsea Rousso, including her iconic Glasskinis, corsets, and other glass accessories, such as the Mad Hatter’s bow tie and the White Queen’s tiara.

Chelsea’s sons, Clay and Derek Rousso were first down the runway as the Fish and Frog Footmen, loyal servants to the royal family of Wonderland. Dr. Gretchen Heinsen was the White Rabbit who was frantically late for her very important date. She lured Alice, our heroine played by Whitney Fair, into Wonderland where she sipped from her Drink Me magic potion bottle.

Estefanny Torres, the reigning Miss Hispanic, was the Cheshire Cat with her wide glassy grin accenting her costume made by Lily Marotta. The Cat first told Alice that everyone was mad in Wonderland and introduced the Mad Hatter, played by Sam Fray. The Mad Hattress was an inspiration of Chelsea’s to symbolize female empowerment and Alena Alberani clearly showed that anything HE can do SHE can do better!

Gabriel Ugas was the mad March Hare and showed clearly that he was no stranger to sit-ups with the rippling abs on his glass vest. Next came the four playing cards who strutted down the runway to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. Their glass turnover chains denoted their card suits played by Stephanie Duarte, Marielena GQ, Sydney Herrera, and Lannia Burns.

Georgina Bachour was the Duchess, a volatile cousin of the Queen of Hearts, wearing a gown designed by Tatiana Cochagne. She carried her unfortunate baby which turned into a pig much to Alice’s surprise. The Duchess was invited to play croquet with the Queen of Hearts who arrived shrieking “off with their heads.” Dr. Maria Portilla played the fabulously fierce Queen of Wonderland and the audience cowered, lucky not to lose their heads in her commanding presence!

The White Queen from Through the Looking Glass was modeled by Tania Marin, a former Miss Venezuela. She encouraged Alice to challenge her imagination and believe “six impossible things before breakfast.” As the White Queen walked down the runway, half a million Swarovsky crystals sparkled on her gown and her train revealed: “Believe the Impossible”.

After the curtain call, the WMODA guests visited the cast in the Queen’s crazy croquet garden and the Mad Tea Party. Cameras flashed paparazzi-style as the stars posed for photos and selfies with their fans. The audience was invited to vote for their favorite character and the results will be posted soon.

Thank you to the cast and crew who have generously given their time and energy to create the glass fashion show at WMODA. We are also indebted to our sponsors who donated fabrics and accessories including Jeffrey Michaels, Thibaud, and Valley Forge. Thank you to our event photographers and videographers Suzanne Barton, Humberto Vidal, Justin Oletsky, and George Hawthorn as well as guests in the audience who captured some great images. The event was made possible with support from Broward County Cultural Division.  Kudos especially to Chelsea Rousso who worked tirelessly for months designing and sewing her amazing costumes and kiln firing her glass creations to help WMODA Believe the impossible!

Don’t miss Chelsea’s Creative Glass Workshop in Wonderland on February 11 when she will be teaching others how to make fused glass plates for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Then join us at our curious tea party on February 25 to see your latest creations on display in our WMODA Wonderland.


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