Rebecca Terrell, executive director for Choices Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, compares her organization's new event to Project Runway:
"It's a show where designers are given these challenges, right? Like maybe you have to buy all of your stuff at the dollar store. Or maybe everybody has to use a certain material. So everybody's working with a similar set of constraints. And it's those constraints that really get your wheels turning." The "certain material"/"constraint," in this instance? Condoms.
Choices' first "Condomonium" will feature original wearable creations by 18 Memphis artists and designers, including jewelry by Kong Wee Pang and fashions by Mitch Baker of Theatre Memphis, Bruce Bui of Ballet Memphis, and local independent designer Dominic Wolfe, to name only a few.
"We had a little preview party for the sponsors last week, just to give the designers an early deadline and make sure everything got finished. I was just blown away," Terrell says. "I was expecting something cool, but these were professionally constructed, beautiful garments. I was really astounded."
Choices, originally known as the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, has been active in the Memphis health-care community since the 1970s. Since rebranding two years ago, the organization has been looking for a signature event that will help to carry the organization's message about positive reproductive health.
"We may have themes in the future, but this first year we just wanted to turn the designers loose and see what they would do," Terrell says.
"Condomonium," Saturday, March 2nd, 7-10 p.m., at Playhouse on the Square. Pay your age with a $50 maximum. memphischoices.org.