WHAT: Condom Couture Fashion Show
WHERE: The Venue, 21 N. Market St.
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
WHY: Condoms have been around for a long time. The earliest representation of their use is a 12,000 year-old cave painting in France, but it’s possible they were used for centuries before. And yet, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rates of teen pregnancy are higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries in part because condom use is inconsistent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that only 39 percent of teens will take health classes that teach how to correctly use a condom.
To an organization that works to promote reproductive heath and education, these statistics are alarming. Which is why Planned Parenthood decided it needed an event that would not only raise funds for the organization but also raise awareness and promote the use of condoms.
“Condoms are an accessible and inexpensive form of birth control that also help prevent the transmission of STDs,” says Bonnie Smith, project director for Planned Parenthood of Asheville, referring to sexually transmitted diseases. “They’re something that we promote a lot, and we needed an event that got this message out in a way that people would enjoy.”
Which is why Planned Parenthood turned to fashion. This year will mark the organization’s third annual Condom Couture, a fashion event featuring garments made out of condoms.
The event will feature 15 original looks — all from Asheville designers — live music and a dessert bar. Following the fashion show, the rubber raiments will be sold in a live auction to raise additional funds.
“It’s a great opportunity to grab an unusual outfit for a Halloween in Asheville,” Smith says.
Tickets are $40 or $35 in advance. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit pphs.org/cart or call 252-7928.
— Carrie Eidson