In Review: Ready or Hot 2016

Planned Parenthood has been making headlines in the past year—and unfortunately, not for a good reason. Nine states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah, recently voted to defund Planned Parenthood. This stripping of funds and increased requirements of abortion clinics have resulted in an unprecedented number of abortion clinic closings across the U.S., and in five states—Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming—just one remains.

Needless to say, Planned Parenthood is more in need of support than ever. Fortunately, the organization’s annual Ready or Hot fashion show and fundraiser, held recently at the International Market Square in Minneapolis, brought out local Planned Parenthood supporters in droves. The well-heeled crowd bid on auction items and entered raffles to raise money for the organization, and witnessed a joy-filled, raucous fashion show, styled by local fashion maven Grant Whittaker. Taking inspiration from the current comic-book superhero craze, the show celebrated everyday superheroes, using members of the local Planned Parenthood community as models. Notable names included the Broder brothers (Charlie, Danny, and Thomas) and mother Molly; fashion designer Lindsey Hopkins; event producer and stylist Richard Moody; and Fashion Group International-Minneapolis. St. Paul director, Sandy Simmons.

The first segment, titled “Lady Justice,” had a distinctly ’90s rave, Lady Miss Kier (of Deee-Lite fame) vibe, full of bright colors, sequins, and metallics, followed by an “Agent Change”-themed segment that featured darker, industrial-goth styling—think a Berlin nightclub, circa 1995. Next were segments dubbed “Miss Activista” and “Captain Sexy,” their namesake superheroes represented by local burlesque star Queenie Von Curves and the Firm’s always-outrageous step aerobics instructor, Doug Melroe. Whittaker styled models in an eclectic assortment of fashions, sourced from high-end boutiques (D.NOLO, Ribnik Fur & Leather, Grethen House, Bluebird Boutique, and InVision Distinctive Eyewear), mid-priced local retailers (Showroom, Scarborough Fair Shop, Local Motion, MINQ, and Primrose Park), resale shops (Mona Williams, gh2), and even thrift stores (Ragstock), as well as local lines Joynoelle by Joy Teiken, Hat Make by Celina Kane, Mya Lambrecht Jewelry, and Gretchen Ventura Jewelry.

As always, the highlight of the show were the looks crafted by local fashion designers out condoms—a cheeky nod to Project Runway‘s popular unconventional challenge. This year’s looks included a colorful fascinator by Hat Make milliner Celina Kane, an ’80s-era-Madonna-inspired look by Whittaker, and a whimsical two-piece by Danielle Everine that incorporated balloon-like, air-filled condoms. The show also included a reprise of local designer Joy Teiken’s condom gown from the 2014 edition of the show, in which the designer utilized her fabric manipulation skills to make more than a thousand uncoiled condoms move as fluidly as silk petals. Safe sex has never been so stylish.

Here are some of my favorite looks and moments from the show:

condom dress by Joynoelle, photo by Tim Knox

condom looks by grant whittaker, L, and danielle everine, r. Photo by Tim Knox

condom look by Teen Council member Ruby McCallum, photo by Tim Knox

fascinator by hat make/celina kane, photo by Tim Knox

headpiece by hat make/celina kane, fur from Ribnik fur & Leather, photo by Tim Knox

dress by joynoelle/joy teiken, as modeled by lindsey hopkins; photo by Tim Knox