Are matching condoms the next must-have accessory for playful lingerie lovers?
A Paris-based lingerie designer has adapted one of her original prints for use on condoms, as part of a worldwide competition aimed at adding a little style (and humour) to everyone’s least-favorite birth control method.
Britta Uschkamp, who is best known for her popular scarf- and ribbon-based playsuits, used a 10-year-old print that proved too costly to produce as lingerie for her submission to the Tattoo Condom design contest sponsored by Graphic Armor.
With only one day to go in public voting for the $1,000 top prize, Britta’s entry is in a neck-and-neck battle for first place with a Russian entry. Online voting closes at 8 p.m. (New York time) on Thursday.
Britta’s floral print design is called ‘Fleurs-2-Bite’ and is meant as a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the the fleurs-de-lis, the traditional symbol of the French political and religious elite.
Her condom print uses an original illustration showing the parts of a flower, with obvious phallic associations that poke fun at the patriarchy.
“The concept of the print is a visual analysis of typically male flirting behaviours — e.g. gifting flowers and compliments as a pretext for nothing more complex than basic human desire,” Britta told Lingerie Talk. “Behind every flower, when you look closely, you can see the symbol of male power.”
She first developed the print a decade ago while studying at the Institute Français de la Mode, and created some sample lingerie pieces in silk muslin georgette. Producing the multi-colored print (below) on such a fine fabric proved too costly, however, and she put it aside with thoughts of one day turning it into embroidery or a lace pattern.
“The condom contest was simply great timing,” she said, “as it is a clin d’oeil (trans: ‘wink’) to the feminist concept of the print, and offers me an opportunity to finally market this design.”
Contest sponsor Graphic Armor was co-founded by “condom pioneer” Adam Glickman, who started the first U.S. condom store, Condomania, 23 years ago. Its website allows users to create custom FDA-approved latex condoms using their own designs, slogans or tattoos or by downloading images and prints from the store’s galleries.
“We’re not just offering a new product, we’re offering a new mindset, a new way of looking at an old product to change attitudes and behavior,” Glickman said in a press release about the contest, which attracted entries from more than 30 countries. “If we can entice someone to put on a condom because it has a clever or cool design, we can impact real social change.”
The winning entry in the contest will receive 200 condoms in addition to the cash prize, and Graphic Armor will make the winning design available for sale internationally.
Britta said that if she wins she’ll make the Fleurs-2-Bite condoms available to customers, and will donate samples to relevant organizations such as New York’s Museum of Sex. She also plans on doing a “celebratory run” through central Paris with her jogging club — no doubt carrying a bouquet of inflated condoms.
Here’s a brief video Britta posted to encourage people to vote for her entry. If you like what she’s done, vote here before 8 p.m. Thursday (Eastern time).
Below are some recent underwater images featuring Britta Uschkamp designs, shot by Polly Dawson.