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Latex Couture

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Style meets activism? It is fashion like you have never seen before at the 2014 AIDS conference in Melbourne Australia, as Brazilian designer Adriana Bertini showcases a few pieces from original designs inspired and made entirely from condoms.

No, that was not a typo, the dresses and necklaces were made from dyed latex/rubber, the one scientists and medical practitioners call the surest way (apart from abstinence of course) to prevent unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) like HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.

I know your first instinct may be to squirm and make a face, however, show directors assure that the raw materials for these costumes were never used.

The center piece of the collection is a three-quarter length gown of light/dark orange drapery, cinched at the waist with a slightly plunging neck-line.

According to literature at Bertini’s display space, this dress was made from 1,100 condoms put together with the help of nylon fabric, organic pigment and glue. Each condom was cut, dyed, collaged, draped and then sown.

Show-cased at the global village, the free for entry exhibition space at the bi-annual international HIV-AIDS event, the display attracted lots of people who, no matter their initial thought, seemed visibly impressed and appreciative of the creativity and boldness of the designer.

While the creator of the line, who is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was not immediately on hand to answer questions, the general theme around the campaign for latex use is centered on safe sex practices and counteracting the stigma associated with condoms.

The fact is this is not an entirely original concept, several people over the years have attempted this venture. There have been some fashion shows with such creations modeled either as just another artistic expression or in commemoration of world AIDS day.

The question however is, would you wear this in public or to a party or would you simply pronounce ‘condom-nation’ on Bertini’s latex couture?

According to Bertini’s Wikipedia page, the Brazilian artist has a growing reputation creating design pieces “from quality-test rejected condoms.” It further notes that her work is inspired by the HIV-positive children she got to know while volunteering for an AIDS prevention group. “Adriana has spent the last ten years creating the sculptural works that aim to convey her message that condoms must be basic like a pair of jeans and so necessary like a great love,” it reads

Article Credit: Businessdayonline

Updated 5 Years ago

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Tags:     Fashion     Melbourne Australia     Brazilian Designer     STIs