“Being safe is always in style,” reads every tag on a prom dress made of condoms, designed and created by fashion students at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. The students came up with a number of prom dresses as part of a safe-sex campaign by the Adolescent Health Project of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, and SERVE, a nonprofit ad agency. The dresses themselves are not for sale (and I can’t imagine they’d be terribly comfortable to wear anyway), but they are making a statement that’s important for young people to hear: condoms are pretty cool.
The condom-prom dresses are being displayed by two boutique dress stores in Omaha, Nebraska. They’re not for sale and people can’t try them on, but they are helping to promote sex education and safe sex awareness. The dresses are made of condoms dyed in bright colors, mimicking ruffles, tiers, and ruching. It’s not immediately apparent that the dresses are made of rubbers—so at first glance they look like fun, summery dress options. In addition to the phrase mentioned above, dress tags also tell shoppers, “Avoid sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.” How can you put a price on that?
Hopefully the dresses will help reduce the number of STI cases and unwanted pregnancies in the area. Get Checked Omaha, an organization dedicated to safe sex and STI prevention, reported more than 4,400 STD cases just in Douglas County, Nebraska. The more awareness and education that exist, the better—and the student’s dresses are certainly eye-catching.
These condom dresses are not the first of their kind, Huffington Post points out. Sao Paulo designer Adriana Bertini has been working with defective condoms since the 1990s; she’s also working to promote safe sex and sex education, especially for HIV/AIDS awareness. One of Bertini’s condom dresses was displayed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Melbourne, and that dress is beautiful!