The Crucible combines fashion, fire and metal for the Hot Couture fashion show

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A stained glass gown and a dress bejeweled with images displayed in LED lights are just a few of the pieces of evening wear made from steel, wire, leather and other industrial materials that will be paraded down the runway this weekend at The Crucible in West Oakland for the Hot Couture fashion show.

During Thursday night’s dress rehearsal, the sounds of hammering and metal on metal provided an appropriate backdrop to the black runway, lofted off the concrete floor by compact aluminum pylons, and lit by two flaming chandeliers that floated above the stage. The catwalk’s centerpieces of silver twisted metal were lit with red lights, as if they were on fire. Actual flames burst periodically from them, briefly illuminating the runway and models with red flashes of fire. Everything was black and red, metal and fire—as if the audience would be entering a forge where the models were being welded together and hammered into the shape of the show’s creations.

The Crucible’s second Hot Couture: A Fusion of Fashion and Fire will run on Friday and Saturday evenings, January 11 and 12. The show features works created by nine teams of fashion designers and artists who have partnered to make fashion pieces out of industrial arts materials. The more than forty designs shown in Thursday night’s preview show will be accompanied this weekend by Heather Katz on fire-breathing violin—a contraption made by artist Peter Kropf—and performances from aerial acrobat Rose Nisker.

The show will mark the 14th anniversary of The Crucible, a nonprofit arts center located in a West Oakland warehouse. The center provides youth and adult education programs for over 5,000 students. They offer training in both fine and industrial arts, to promote the reuse of materials and new, unique forms of design and expression.

The Hot Couture fashion show will take place at The Crucible (1260 7th Street in Oakland) on Friday January 11 and Saturday January 12, 2013. Doors open at 7 pm, and the show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are available online, prices range from $30 to $75. The VIP tickets include hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a special runway viewing area. Buy tickets here.

 The designers featured in the show are: Annamarta Dostourian, Anthony Asterisk, Autumn Adamme, Bonnie Heras, Chris Jefferies, David Dawson, Elwyn Crawford, Erin Mahoney, Greg Ames, Gustavo Fricke, Heather Wakefield, Jeaneen Brunck, Klyph Bohm, Kristin Neidlinger, Lara Grant, Latex Fashionistas, Leanne Alaman, Miloh Alexander, Miss Velvet Cream, Nan Eastep, Rachel Lyra Hospodar, Rachel McConnell, Saan Nti, Stefanie Ku, and Sylvia Wood. 

See interviews, designer profiles, photographs, and behind-the-scenes coverage of the Hot Couture event.

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