CCAD Students Make Condoms Fashionable

October 20th, 2011 by Katlin McNally
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First place winner Shirley Wang's design with model Robbie Banks

The lights dimmed, and the show started. One by one 15 models came down the runway in a one-of-a-kind CCAD student designed garment made of …condoms.

This was the annual Condom Couture Fashion Show which took place this year at ShadowBox Live on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.

The Condom Couture Fashion Show is a fundraiser benefiting the Planned Parenthood of Columbus Ohio and it is also a competition. Each designer is challenged with creating a wearable garment using condoms. The garments are then modeled by members of the community to a packed house.

This year’s judges included, Miki L. Gotch (CCAD 2010), assistant technical designer at Lane Bryant; Dennis Parker, professor emeritus of theatre at The Ohio State University; and Maren Roth, owner of Rowe.

The panel of judges evaluate the garments based on theme, color, creativity, attractiveness, originality, technique, and concept.

Each designer was given 800 Proper Attire condoms to create their ensemble (Proper Attire condoms are designed for the fashion-conscious women). Inspiration ranged from sweet 16 cakes to vintage wear.

Second place winner Michelle Watson's design with model Deja Redman

Of course some of the designer encountered challenges in the construction.

“The most interesting part about working in this medium has been trying to figure out how to get them to not break…you just want to cry every time that happens,” said Elousie McGill, a junior fashion designer.

“There is a lot of research involved. It really takes a while to come up with the proper technique in order to capture the look you are trying to achieve,” said Bridgette Stevens, sophomore fashion design major.

Despite the unique challenges designers were excited for the event and as McGill said,  “actually getting to see my design go down the runway will be a big day for me as a designer.”

Not only did the designers see their garments come down the runway, but they heard the cheers and applause of the enthusiastic audience.

As  Lisa Perks, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio, noted “the condoms have been stitched, braided, knotted, and glued by students from the jewel of our community, CCAD.”

The 15 designers involved included, Pohrt Kaitlyn, Qianyu Shirley Weng, Elouise McGill, Joella Stallard, Byonka Taylor, Dahui Li, Bridgette Stevens, Jocelyn Williams, Jamaica Gilliam, Keser Haji, Michele Watson, Skyler Riggan, Pavani Kolli, Peyton Godfrey, and Marquis Engle.

Third place Jocelyn Williams' design with model Katie Burk

After the models had strutted the garments down the runway, each designer had an opportunity to speak. Then the winners were announced.

Jocelyn Williams, a sophomore majoring in interior design took third place with a brightly colored romper. It had shades of teal and blue featuring a large, white bow in the back.

Michelle Watson, a fashion design senior took second place. She designed a slick, tight-fitting, one shoulder dress. The dress had the condoms layered,  painted white, and then stretched to appear cracked.

Shirley Wang, a fashion design senior, took first place with a seemingly simple, but complex black dress. It included braiding of the material and hand beading at the top.

Second and third place winners received a $500 scholarship with first place receiving $1,000.

One designer summed the process up when asked how difficult it was to construct a piece from this material, “as a designer you face challenges all the time and this is one of those challenges, but it is better to look at them as opportunities and not get discouraged,” Keser Haji, a senior fashion design major said.

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One Response to “CCAD Students Make Condoms Fashionable”

  1. dellie says:

    The annual Condom Couture Fashion is a great idea which not only supports a good cause but provides a wonderful opportunity to learn how to think outside the box in order to solve design problems. shirley wangs