WHAT: Condom Couture, a fashion show to benefit Planned Parenthood South Atlantic of Asheville
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m.
WHERE: New Mountain
WHY: Planned Parenthood South Atlantic is touting the benefits of wearing one condom by dressing models in hundreds of them. “It’s a runway show,” says Nikki Harris, the nonprofit’s director of philanthropy for Western North Carolina. “The idea is fashionable, wearable art.”
Thirteen designers are participating in Asheville’s 2016 Condom Couture, and each of their garments must employ at least 500 of the popular contraceptives. “They can use other fabrics and modes, but it has to be predominantly condoms,” Harris says. “It’s a pretty challenging medium to work with. It’s definitely a labor of love for a lot of people.”
Though this is Harris’ first year working on Asheville’s Condom Couture, the outfits created at a Charlotte-based iteration of the event “looked like truly couture pieces” to her surprise. In addition to their quirky fashion applications, condoms are the best birth control method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, she points out.
Studio Zahiya’s Lisa Zahiya will emcee for the evening in addition to coordinating an opening dance routine. And after a troupe of models struts onstage to the tunes of DJ Marley Carroll, the latex clothing line will go up for live auction.
Also speaking at the show is Planned Parenthood South Atlantic CEO Jenny Black. The group of 15 health centers under her watch spans four states and includes an office at 68 McDowell St. in Asheville, where free condoms are readily distributed (in quantities of far fewer than 500).
Visit newmountainavl.com for further information and tickets ($25). All ticket sales and sponsor revenues plus 85 percent of auction revenues will fund the local office’s efforts to reduce teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections and to expand health and educational services.