Friday, November 8th marked the 40th Anniversary for the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center. It also marked the day that I did something I never could have guessed I would do: attend and help produce a Condom Couture Fashion Show.
Condom Couture was held at the Boulder Theater and was completely unique from any other fashion show that I have attended in that it featured designs entirely made out of condoms. Yes, I said it: condoms. All fashions were the unique creations of local artists, activists, fashion designers and fashionistas, designed to help promote safe sex and sex positivity.
I worked closely with Brandi Shigley, Justice Kwesi Kwarteng, and Carlos Estrada from the Global DJ Academy to finalize the music, prep the models and ultimately help produce one of the sexiest and most distinctive fashion shows I have ever been to.
The event began with a 40th Anniversary Video Presentation, followed by a live auction with Don Martin. The live auction items included a Cabo Getaway, a Breckenridge or Beaver Creek Condo Stay, a couple’s night out in Downtown Boulder, a private helicopter ride, a hot balloon ride and many more seriously awesome items! Shiff Dance Collective then performed a special and beautiful performance before the models would rock the runway.
I was working backstage for the event, but could feel the overwhelming excitement from behind the curtains as the fashionable attendees laughed, clapped and awed as the night went on.
Behind the scenes of a fashion show is just as bustling as you would imagine – outfits ripping, models cramming into small spaces to get their hair and makeup fixed, a “photoshoot” around every corner, cameras following your every move – seriously – it is the most exhilarating feelings and there is no match to the rush you get from it.
Moments before the fashion show, models lined up and perfected their poses for their moment behind the silhouette screen. Makeup artists added their finishing touches to the models makeup and hairstylists perfected the models elaborate hair. Once the fashion show cued to start, the models were ready to make their presence known on the runway.
And believe me: their presence was KNOWN.
The fashion show was broken down into 4 different genres’: the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. Some of the most popular tunes from each genre were chosen for the models to walk to and had the crowd excited and dancing to icons such as Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Fashion Denver’s very own, Brandi Shigley, was the emcee for the fashion show and I honestly couldn’t have picked a more qualified personality to have the honors and to get the attendees riled up.
Working backstage allowed me to get a closer look at how much time and effort went into the production of each unique design. It is truly remarkable how intricate and beautiful all of the fashions turned out using just condoms – and as I stood backstage, with the chaos going on around me, I wondered how it would be possible to choose only one “Best in Show” after seeing all the remarkable designs.
A “Clap-Off” from the audience indicated that Kitty Krell (Model and Designer) of Crimson Rose Couture and her “Sperm-aid” design was the fan favorite, and thus she was awarded a large $250 check. The check went to a worthy recipient; her design was flawlessly executed and thought out to the very last detail.
Brandi Shigley sang farewell to the lively audience and concluded the sexy soiree by inviting guests to continue the party over to Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place.
On that note, I finally caught my breath from the overwhelming excitement from backstage and gushed over how amazing the night turned out. I made my way over to Shine Restaurant to mingle with the gorgeous models, incredible designers, the Women’s Health staff, and my awesome production crew, and said cheers to a vastly successful night.
All proceeds go to supporting Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center – a nonprofit and safety net reproductive health clinic.
For more of my behind the scenes photos, click here.
For Merrick Chase’s full event photo album, click here.
Project Manager Angie Jeffords, ADJ Planning
Emcee Brandi Shigley, Fashion Denver
Auctioneer Done Martin
Hair & Makeup Twig Salon/BW Makeup
Stage Manager Tina Kvitek
Production Consultant Justice Kwesi Kwarteng, Justice Talent Agency, Stephanie Rowe, Fashion Denver
Backstage Crew Nanci Feeney, Janique Esrey, Susan Peterson, Livvy Feeney, Kendall Rolfe
Photographer Merrick Chase
Videographer Ky Lotte
DJ Carlos from Global DJ Academy
40th Anniversary Video Production Jessica Wunderlich, Shenna Fitagerald, Jenny Martin, Lisa Radelet
DESIGNER & MODEL
Amanda Jean Anderson of Amore Loves
Model: Danielle Hups
Model: Jessica Chase
Maia D’Urfe of Zenzero Designs
Model: Jenny Schiff
Vanessa Empire of Studio BERNINA
Model: Lynette Boxford
Michelle Hale of Designs by M
Model: Michelle Hale
Model: Leigh Harkin
Shani Hime of Stitch In Time Costumes
Model: Shani Hime
Karen Holloway of Infernal Contraptions Apparel
Model: April Teaze
Kitty Krell of Crimson Rose Couture
Model: Rachel Lubanowski
Model: Laura Reed
Katt Smith of Malice & Malicious
Model: Ashlynn Marques
Marie Smith of Ten 20
Model: Cassie Cilli
Model: Anastasia Davis
Team “Affection”: Clint Hefner, Courtney Solt and Brittany David
Model: Clint Hefner
Team “Beneath the Surface”: Yasmin Mazl, Zan Darling and Austin Schott
Model: Zan Darling
Team “Da Nile”: Jacklynne Usselman, Lauren Hickok and Jennifer Ober
Model: Lauren Hickok
Sarah Tracy/Women’s Health Volunteers
Model: Lauren Bader
Ann Whitehill & Jan Vanderlinden
Model: Jan Vanderlinden
Women’s Health Employee’s: Sundari Birdsall, Helen Evertt, Suzy Gardner, Brittany Burton
Model: Dainzu Mosqueda
Bonnie Carmichael of Rip CLub Sewing
Model: Melody Esler