Fashion gives chapel a prayer


Fashion came to the rescue of a 19th century chapel in the heart of Middletown, Conn. on May 20.

“From Gothic to Light: A Day of Art, History, Music and Fashion” was organized by Jennifer Sequenzia and All American Productions as a fundraiser to help the chapel, which is showing its age. Portions of the chapel, which sits in the Indian Hill cemetery near Wesleyan University, are sectioned off where the roof is still a danger of falling. Although much of the exterior has been restored, it still needs work.

The chapel was built in 1867, a donation from Frances Russell in her memory of her late husband, Samuel. Samuel Russell was an entrepreneur and founder of Russell and Co., the largest trading house in China in the 19th century.

As part of the fundraiser, Sequenzia turned to Connecticut fashion designer Kathryn Paterwic of Redfield Designs. In the spirit of the time period of the chapel’s construction, Paterwic presented a fashion show featuring her designs that offered up a gothic Victorian feel.