The Fashion Statement: Little Rain Coats
Today's April Fools and so, logically, begins The Penis Festival, a traditional celebration of fertility in Japan where people pay tribute to all things phallic. Tonight, Chef Tadashi Ono at NYC's Matsuri restaurant is offering a one-night-only Penis Matsuri dinner after which guests will be given a complimentary Jeremy Scott for Proper Attire condoms.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with fashion. Plenty, according to Lady Gaga. "It's not complicated, just a fashion statement," said the pop star recently about her collaboration with the designer (pictured above). "Everybody wrap it up with Jeremy Scott for Proper Attire condoms," she added. The condoms come ribbed, sheer and dotted.
Scott is not the first designer to revamp little rain coats. In 2008, Marc Jacobs unveiled a line of MJ blue condoms with a little note that read "Remember, safety first! XXOO, Marc Jacobs."
Proper Attire condoms -- proceeds of their sales go to benefit Planned Parenthood Federation of America -- have taken the designer condom trend to a whole new level. Encouraging people to "insist on a dress code. It is required for entry," the company has commissioned designers like Alexander Wang and Brian Reyes to endorse jimmy hats in sheer white and sheer white bearing the slogan, "Ethereal, weightless, almost like wearing nothing at all." Keith Haring's condom packaging shows the artists' classic image of two figures holding up a heart. And NYC and L.A. boutique Opening Ceremony put its name behind an orange-and-paisley wrapper. Yigel Azrouël designed flame, olive and violet packaging as well as a line of "Required for entry," "Fit Him Right," and "Dress Him Up" T-shirts.
Designers aren't the only segment of the fashion industry getting involved in condoms. Beauty companies like MAC have taken gigantic strides toward the prevention of AIDS. "We are really looking forward seeing that lip color on condoms all over the world," Lady Gaga told WWD in February when she and Cyndi Lauper were tapped by MAC Aids Fund to publicize the Viva Glam shades (bubble gum pink shade and an orange/red).
Most of the condom campaigns are directed to women, urging them to carry condoms instead of thinking they are a male accessory. If a woman will carry a Marc Jacobs handbag, she may consider packing an MJ. If she's likely to wear a Viva Glam lipstick, she will also be educated about safe sex.