Thursday, October 7, 2010

Condom Couture

Two words. Condom. Couture. These two words accurately describe my twenties and thirties. If there are two things that were at the forefront of the last twenty years, it would be safe sex, and haute couture. Not necessarily in that order.

I was the probably the only 14 year old girl that subscribed to Women's Wear Daily. While my friends were reading SEVENTEEN, I was memorizing the pages of WWD and VOGUE. I got high from the fashion and it bit me hard. My cardio was Loehmann's and Saks back then and to this day. Why would I want to join a gym when I can do laps at Neiman's?

Condoms were a part of any sexual activity in my youth. Having gone to college the same year Magic Johnson came out as being HIV positive, it seemed logical that any sex would be protected. HIV prevention was just part of my culture. Up until that point anything you contracted sexually was treated with a shot, but AIDS was some scary shit. No glove, no love! Condoms became fashionable.

My grandmother gave me a LENOX candy dish when I moved into my first house. This was a beautiful pedestal dish, trimmed in 14K gold borders, but the last thing I wanted in my home was a bowl full of candy. I lived alone. Any supply of candy would be eaten entirely by me. Instead of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, I stocked the Lenox dish with festive and pretty wrapped condoms. Gold coins, ribbed, colored, and novelty designs were a whimsical addition to my powder room. It was a self serve dispenser and when guests used my bathroom, they could help themselves. It was condom-pal-ooza over at my place.

Fast way, way, way, forward to tonight. I attended the annual Condom Couture for Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio. Not only did I get my fair share of fashion, I helped a worthy organization at the same time. It was fabulous.

I knew we were in for a beautiful celebration when I noticed the corsages on the hosts.
Created from condoms and pearls these beauties were a refreshing change from carnations and baby's breath.

Fashion with a cause has never looked better! The party before,

during and after the show was half the fun. I got to have a smart cocktail with my friends, dress in my vintage Chanel lace skirt, and gab about who was there and what they were wearing. PERFECTION!

The evening features a runway, couture inspired fashion show with dresses made from condoms. The designers are local students from COLUMBUS COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN, who compete for a grand prize. The spirit of the evening was lively and the dresses were unbelievable. I tried to capture runway images like I was the 614 Paparazzi,

but with my wimpy digital camera I did a decent job of getting the backside of the dresses and a ton of out of focus shots. Thankfully I was able to shoot some video from the final walk through on the runway,

and I had access to the models after the show. I took so many photos because even up close, you could not tell these dresses and outfits were constructed from condoms.

The styles and craftsmanship was truly a work of wearable art! Can you believe these dresses are crafted from condoms?

The evening was splendid! Condom Couture. In my world, this is as good as it gets! New York, eat your heart out, the folks in Columbus know about sex and fashion!


Anonymous said...


loren said...

I cannot believe those dresses!!! Wow.

And Anon... sign it or save it!

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Hypocrite? C'mon Anon, if you are going to start the drama, you gotta do better than that!

Jessica said...

Those dresses are absolutely UNREAL!! I can only imagine the smell though that the designers had to endure while working with them! Those little buggers are stinky!

Melanie said...

That's some amazing fashion. What a great idea for a great organization!
And to Anon - how is she a hypocrite? I'd like you to point out exactly where Helene has said she is anti-safe sex and anti sex education?

Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

Hypocrite? I would love to know how so... If you think it is hypocrital that she encourages safe sex and yet has 4 kids then you need to remember.. THOSE children came alone during a marriage. A planned, prayed for and mutually executed event. There is nothing hypocritical about people with children encouraging and endorsing safe sex and condom useage...
and Just in case this is a " You did it and now condmen us from doing so"( coming from a younger crowd maybe?).. Adults who have *been there and done that* have every right to discourage activities and behaviors that they have lived through and can see would be better left avoided...

Anonymous said...

How can a woman who so obviously loves her children support an organization that seeks to destroy human life? Abstinence is a form of safe sex.

Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

Anon... I agree.. Abstinence is the ultimate form of safe sex. I will teach my own children my beliefs on Abstaining.. I will also educate them about the risks of engaging in sexual activity out side marriage. In addition to teaching them how children are created and how diseases are spread I will also be educating them on the idea of free will and personal decision making. Sure I would prefer my children NOT sleep around, putting their lives at risk for potentially life threatening diseases, but in the end they will be the ones to make those choices. I will teach my children what a condom is and how it should be used. I will also teach them that should they end up creating a life that they are not ready for.. that they had better grow up fast... Just because you support PP doesn't mean you are advocating everyone get an abortion...

ree said...

O M G!

I so need to move into your kind of world! This sounds like a fantastic event!

Thank you for the picture proof. This is hard to believe without seeing it. Some very very talented people!

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

Oh good lord, I am away from the house for a day and a half, I get back, check email and find this ANON drama.

Where do I start?

First I have to agree with ANON, I do adore my children and as a parent it is my job to enrich their lives with a broad education. While I may not agree with every decision my children might make as young adults, it is my hope that with all the facts and information they will choose wisely based on truths.

The truth about absistence is that it is 100% effective when practiced 100% of the time. Sadly, most young people do not abstain from sex, so why not give them the education to make the decision to have safe sex?

For those want their kids to know only their beliefs, that is their choice. I will however continue to support Planned Parenthood, and their agenda. While it might not be for everyone, it is an option for those who seek to learn more about preventative measures.

Should we ask Sarah Palin how her abstinence only education failed Bristol Palin? Perhaps if a local Planned Parenthood in Wasalia Alaska had been available, Bristol could have sought out the help she needed to protect herself from both sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy- none of which she learned at home.

As for the abortion agenda, I believe it is the woman's right to choose, and for this woman it was never a consideration, but who am I to tell others what is right or wrong for their own bodies?

Planned Parenthood is not only about preventing pregnancy, it is about educating, and helping women seek medical help when other sources may not be accessible.

Condom Couture, while a fun evening, was held to raise money for the worthy organization that in turn gives back to the community.

Anon, I love the idea that Planned Parenthood is an option, it is not a place where women are forced to go, they can seek it out or choose to walk the other way.

After all, life is about choices.

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

and just so you know, I donated my boxed condom party favors to Mitchell. He is 18, a legal adult, and is now in possession of about 2 dozen colorful condoms. What he does with them are his business, and he knows the risks of not using them, should he decide he wants to have sex.

Anonymous said...

I seriously was not trying to create drama. For the record, I have two sons of my own. My husband and I will teach them about abstinence when the time is right and expect that from them. This is NOT a naive idea; children listen to their parents and desire high expectations. To tell them to not have sex but then teach them how to use condoms is diminishing their capacity to reach those expectations. Abstinence requires self-control, something that is fading fast from our culture.

As for the abortion debate, I will not get involved. I know I will never change your mind, Helene, but know that my prayers are with all women who feel that abortion is a reasonable option when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

No worries on the abortion debate ANON, I am actually opposed to the idea of abortion personally, but would never want to take away the choice to someone who may be inclined to want one.

I was offered selective reduction when we discovered it was triplets, and by offered I mean it was encouraged since I suffered a singleton loss at 18 weeks gestation. If I was unable to carry that pregnancy to term, how was I going to get the triplets to viablity?

After some internet investigation and due dilligence about triplet pregnancies, I made an informed decision to decline selective reduction of one or even two of the triplets.

I agree to disagree that educating teens about safe sex not negating the belief of absintence, but offering a alternative to your view for their consideration.

Should your sons decide that they will have sex outside of marriage, and they might just do that, it is nice to know that Planned Parenthood will be there to help them learn how to properly use a condom to protect themselves and their future partner from both sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

I am happy to support an organization that offers information when it is needed or wanted. Planned Parenthood is not actively seeking patients, they are there as a resource on demand.

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