[caption id="attachment_3384" align="alignleft" width="532" caption="Last year’s Condom Fashion Show was a hit with students and filled the VU Multipurpose Room. File photo by Joe Rudko/The AS Review."][/caption]
Kelly Sullivan/The AS Review
Wearing condoms in public isn’t usually socially acceptable.
However, at the second annual Condom Fashion Show, they are almost all that will be worn. During the show, the rubbers will not be used for contraception, but as the cotton for dresses, the silk for gowns and the cashmere for sweaters.
The Associated Students Sexual Awareness Center is calling for designers and models to conceptualize and present original creations for the May 26 event, which is co-sponsored by the AS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance. The center is also looking for performers to be included in the festivities.
Each group or single participant must sign up through the SAC, which is located in Viking Union 515. Each contestant will be provided with 800-1000 free condoms. They may use as many or as a few as they need to complete their costumes.
Shawna Leader, SAC coordinator, said the purpose of the fashion is to promote safe sex in an entertaining way.
During last year’s show, Leader modeled a dress with a top made of green condoms sewn onto a black sports bra and a thick skirt of unrolled yellow condoms held together in tight knots.
“It was all pretty memorable,” Leader said. “It’s kind of nerve-racking to walk out on a runway like that.”
Leader said this year the goal is to make sure each contestant remains enthusiastic and committed through the entire designing process. She also wants to avoid last-minute dropouts by previewing the outfits a few weeks before the show. Auditions will be held only if there are too many contestants.
The show is a great way to promote your club, said Alyssa Piraino, the center’s assistant coordinator.
Last year groups like Vox, Voices for Planned Parenthood of Western Washington and the Chinese Student Association created outfits.
The guidelines for costume designs are simple. The outfits cannot expose genitals, nipples or butts. They must be as durable as possible so there are no onstage wardrobe malfunctions. If they are transparent, clothes must be worn underneath, but swimsuits are acceptable as long as they follow the aforementioned guidelines.
Piraino said that all levels of designers are encouraged to submit outfits. She also gave some latex-specific fashion advice: The glue from hot glue guns peels right off of condoms, but crazy glue will stick permanently.
KVIK Coordinator Royce Andrews helped organize the show last year.
“It was the first one,” Andrews said. “We were not sure what we were getting into.”
Last year, the SAC raised about $1,000 from the show to go toward Planned Parenthood, and they packed the VU Multipurpose Room. Comedic acts and musical performances filled the stage in between the evening’s eclectic fashion statements.
The show makes it okay to talk and laugh about condoms, Andrews said. It also breaks down taboos and makes contraception something to be celebrated. The fashion show is great for promoting safe sex, good body image, sustainable health and sustainable art by recycling expired condoms in a constructive way, she added.