"Gucci. Prada. Armani. TROJAN."
This line from a series of clever ads for this year's CONDOMONIUM reminds us that safe sex is always in style. The CONDOMONIUM fundraiser hosted by CHOICES - Memphis Center for Reproductive Health is back after a successful inaugural event last year promoting such a sensitive topic in an entertaining, unconventional way.
“Memphis has very high rates of HIV, STI’s and unintended pregnancies. Condoms are an effective way to prevent all these things. CONDOMONIUM helps to reduce the stigma of buying and using condoms. Plus it’s one fun party,” says Rebecca Terrell, Executive Director of CHOICES.
Part of what makes the event so unconventional is the one-of-a-kind fashion presented in this Saturday night’s fashion show. Local artists and fashion designers will showcase how they can turn condoms into couture apparel and accessories. “The event is innovative and forces you to push yourself creatively. I mean, you are designing garment out of CONDOMS!” says participating designer Andrea Fenise.
Designer Amie Eoff, who also designed for the show last year, sees how changing the way condoms are presented can reduce its stigma. "If you take something unpleasant and turn it into something beautiful, it doesn't seem so bad anymore. Condoms have such a negative stigma and so many people, especially younger people, are too scared or insecure to go out and buy a box of condoms in a store. I feel like making these fashions out of condoms will help people become more comfortable talking about them with their partner and using them to prevent disease and pregnancy."
Amie also gave a little insight on working with such an uncommon material. “Making a dress out of condoms is much more challenging medium than I ever imagined. It takes much longer than one would expect because glue does not really work on them and when you try to sew them on a sewing machine, they stretch. A lot of detail has to go into the patterning and planning in order to get a good result.” Amie will be showcasing a red floor length mermaid silhouette gown.
Preview a few of the custom-made pieces by Amie and other designers in the slideshow below along with the rest of the promotional posters.
CONDOMONIUM March 1, 2014, 7 — 10 pm, Playhouse on the Square.
Tickets are Pay Your Age (in advance), Pay Your Age + $5 (at the door).
Proceeds from the event will support CHOICES’ reproductive health education program and patient assistance fund.
Go to www.memphischoices.org.
Images courtesy of CHOICES.