What do dresses, condoms, AIDS and charity have in common? A talented 35-year-old Brazilian artist (once Greenpeace activist) named Adriana Bertini. In an attempt to raise AIDS awareness and inspired by HIV-positive children she met while volunteering at an AIDS prevention group (GAPA), she has designed -over the span of ten years- dresses, skirts and suits made entirely of quality test rejected condoms.
What's her message? "Condoms must be basic like a pair of jeans and so necessary like a great love".
How is this environmentally friendly? Well, other than raising AIDS awareness, which is a pretty big thing, the condoms that are used to make the clothing are rejected condoms, which would otherwise be thrown into the trash or incinerated. Incineration would produce a huge amount of sulfur and trash obviously ends up in the landfills. But thanks to her partnership with preservative companies and her love for life, Bertini is able to express her talent and make a healthy and much needed ecological impact, all at the same time.
The maximum amount of condoms Adriana Bertini has used on a gown thus far are around 80 thousand. That's a lot of condoms! What was the gown she made? It was a wedding dress. Can you picture the bride wearing this? Bertini has also made around 200 sculptures, 80 pictures and 160 figurines.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your fashion point of view, these bright colorful dresses and clothing items are not meant to be worn (except by the models), but to be seen. If you are interested, her artwork can be seen at the exhibition, "Dress Up Against AIDS: Condom Couture," now until March 11, 2007 at UCLA's Fowler Museum in LA. For more information visit the Fowler Museum website.
What Does The Future Hold?
Bertini doesn't plan to stop at clothing. She has 3 big ideas in the works. For starters she plans to begin a male collection of clothing, called "Medieval Art- Garments as body protection". She has already created a male bust series, sculptured with condoms.
She also wants to create a house, called "Venus' House" which, not surprisingly, would have furniture and people made out of condoms, but would also contain an educational archive on sex, its history and the data/statistics on sexually transmitted diseases. Her purpose: to endorses easier and more comfortable communication about sex within families and people as a whole.
Her third project, "Fashion Show Stars" is, in a way, a form of celebrity endorsement where she hopes to some day have famous people wear her artwork and say "I use it, don't you?" If you're famous and interested let her know. I'm sure she'd love it.
To see more of her creative green work, go to her website.
With that said and done, remember: when you protect the earth don't forget about yourself. You are, after all, a part of it.
Update: she now has a photo gallery on flicker of all her innovative ideas. Take a look at it at flickr.