Last night’s release party for a capsule collection of Isaac Mizrahi-designed condoms for Proper Attire was kind of mysterious: cocktails were to be served on Planned Parenthood’s behalf (reason enough to partake in some irony) in celebration of a man who’s irreverent take on sexuality led to a touchy-feel-up session with Scarlett Johansson at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards. All things considered, we figured it’d be a good night.
There were condoms, and plenty of them. They were individually packaged in boxes covered in gingham, polka-dots, and what was a decidedly feminist twist—a floral pattern that recalled Georgia O’Keeffe’s peach skin florals. It was, obviously, far left of center, even far left of whatever you consider to be the condom norm. So as guests sipped champagne sprinkled with anatomical raspberries (it’s all situational) and munched on Balthazaar petit fours that were decorated with condom-matching prints, we chatted with Mizrahi about his latest designs.
ELLE: How did this whole collaboration come about?
IM: I’m not quite sure how it came about initially, but when I was told about the opportunity I immediately was interested, it’s one of my pet concerns in the world, it’s about women more than anything—women’s rights.
ELLE: So how does it make you feel when you listen to presidential hopefuls speak out against contraceptives?
IM: It makes me crazy! I wonder why it’s such a polarized political issue, Planned Parenthood actually started out as a cause of the right. To think that if a president gets elected all of the progress that we’ve worked towards since the beginning of time in America could be reversed so quickly.
ELLE: Back to something lighter—these designs that you’ve created are really ironic, I mean a gingham condom wrapper?
IM: (Laughs) I love the irony of that, I like that it’s kind of the most wholesome thing, like kind of Oklahoma-exclamation point!
ELLE: What’s the biggest message that you want to send with this collaboration?
IM: Somehow a penis is a penis and it needs to be put in a condom, whether it’s a gay penis or a heterosexual penis or whatever, even—if there is such a thing— as a lesbian penis. I think everyone ought to take the step of putting on a condom.