condom couture runway fashion

Condom Couture: The Making

· unique fashion for a cause ·

February 17, 2016

I was like, “hey, what’s up” and she was like “hey, come to the shoot on Saturday.” “K.” Like I was going to miss the sneak peek of her new dresses (made out of condoms) before they hit the runway at Condom Couture, Feb. 20, 2016.

“It’s not what you wear but how you wear it.”

Said the girl making dresses out of condoms. Style is so much more than the clothes we wear (which is a major driver behind my blog). So naturally, I was intrigued when I was invited to Condom Couture–a unique runway fashion show to benefit Planned Parenthood. Luckily, I had a good “in” to the main event with a dear friend and local designer, Rachel Weisberg, to get the DL.

Rachel’s creative and edgy spirit shines through in the minimal and thoughtful detail of her designs. When she told me she was designing looks for Condom Couture, I knew she wasn’t going to let the condoms have their latex ways. “I was more inspired by the idea of really creating a runway look to be high-end fashion and not look like used condoms wrapped all over a model.”

rachel weisberg sketches

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Between Rachel’s signature indigo hand-dye trademark (yes, it’s amazing) and a friend’s metal work detail, she was inspired by the process to create a look with a sexy seventies meets edgy twenties vibe.

rachel weisberg condom couture

Rachel loves the opportunities designing creates to collaborate with other creative souls, so with a little help from a local jewelry designer, condom couture was born! Local photographer, Rodney Smith of Tempus Fugit Design, opened up his vintage studio in River Arts District to capture the essence of one of the two dresses that will hit the runway this weekend. (Model, Sarah Merrell; Makeup and hair by Lauren Rivas.)

rodney smith sarah merrell condom couturesarah merrell rachel weisberg condom couture

“Go big or go home.”

Rachel was “not enticed” initially by the idea of making dresses out of condoms. She recently collaborated with an (unbelievable) apothecary brand, Rootfoot, and she’s always inspired to work on her lifestyle collection, RACHEL WEISBERG, so she was hesitant to invest in a 1,000-condom commitment. “Once I realized how great of an opportunity this was to support Planned Parenthood, I decided to give it my all and send two looks down the runway.”

Photo credit: Rodney Smith, Tempus Fugit Design

Photo credit: Rodney Smith, Tempus Fugit Design

Rachel’s developed an even greater love-hate relationship with condoms but she knows how rewarding it will be to have like-minded people come together for a cause. “I would hope [people] feel empowered by our community, [and that] we came together to put on a bad ass fashion show and raise money for an organization that has impacted so many peoples lives.”

Asheville’s creative community, including designers, models, photographers and artists, will come together to promote safe sex and benefit Planned Parenthood South Atlantic at Condom Couture, Feb. 20, 2016, 7 p.m. at New Mountain AVL.