Indiana students throw 'condom fashion show' for Valentine's Day
The fashion show’s design team picks the event’s participants and gives them 250 condoms. From there, it’s up to the designers—some of whom use models in the show while others parade around themselves—to envision and create the outfits.
Decked out in condom couture, students at Indiana University hosted a “Condom Fashion Show” just two days before Valentine’s Day.
According to the Indiana Daily Student, IU’s student newspaper, the fashion show’s design team picks the event’s participants and gives them 250 condoms. From there, it’s up to the designers—some of whom use models in the show while others parade around themselves—to envision and create the outfits.
“The style I’m going with is an 18th-century Victorian gown with condoms falling in with the sea theme by being stylized to look like a coral reef system,” Christopher Simanton, an IU junior, told the Indiana Daily Student.
Simanton apparently got creative with this year’s costume. He said he was creating “little diamond bubbles” out of the condoms using cookie cooling racks.
The newspaper reported that Simanton, who has been involved in costume design and drag shows—including a Disney-themed drag show—for many years, is participating in the Condom Fashion Show to eradicate any negative stereotype condoms may have.
“You hear the word ‘condom’ and you think that time in sixth grade when your teacher wrapped it around a banana,” Simanton told the Indiana Daily Student. “There’s this weird cultural distance. I want to try and bridge that distance and make it seem like condoms are colorful, fun and you should be safe.”
“The goal of the event is really all about teaching people how to use condoms and giving people access to condoms because there’s a lot of stigma around condoms,” ?Executive Chair of the Condom Fashion Show Israel Rodriguez said.
With free HIV testing prior to last Thursday’s show, Rodriguez said that besides redefining what he perceives as a negative connotation towards condoms, the event empowers gay and bisexual men while educating students on sexually transmitted diseases.
The theme for this year’s show—which used to be a part of a now defunct project called Illuminate—was “#DiveIn.”
“It’s all about #DiveIn, there’s always a sexual innuendo,” Rodriguez told the Indiana Daily Student. “It was one of those things, I just woke up and thought, ‘Water would be cool,’ but I didn’t want to do #Wet, that would be a little much. #DiveIn is more underwater-ish.”
Two stars from “ RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a reality television show that attempts to search for “America’s next drag superstar,” were to attend Thursday’s performance. JuJubee from the second season and the all-stars season will attend along with Sasha Belle from the latest season.
According to a promotional flyer, the sponsors for the Condom Fashion Show include: IU’s GLBT Student Support Services, the Indiana University Health Center, IU’s Residence Halls Association, IU’s Graduate and Professional Student Organization, the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, IU’s School of Public Health, Community AIDS Action Group, Eta Sigma Gamma, and IU’s Union Board.
According to the Condom Fashion Week’s Facebook page, VIP tickets to the show sold out last Wednesday, the day before the event.
Event organizers did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform in time of publication.
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