“Have fun, be safe” at Latex and Lace

“What are you looking for from the contestants tonight?” emcee Alex Paterson asked one of the judges at the start of the evening.

The deadpan response foreshadowed the tone of the rest of the competition: “Stamina.”

The SUB Ballrooms were packed on Thursday, Feb. 11 in advance of the much-anticipated 7th  annual Latex and Lace Fashion Show. The yearly event, now a staple of MSU culture, is sponsored by the Office of Health Advancement and is one of the wildest exhibitions of creativity — in the name of a good cause — seen at the university each year. To raise awareness about safe sex, clubs and organizations from every corner of campus create items of clothing made almost entirely from condoms. Those outfits are then modeled on the runway by a collection of brave, eager and innuendo-loving models.

Star Wars was a recurring theme throughout the evening. The show opened with a head-to-toe, rubberized replication of Darth Vader, who was quickly followed by his son, “Lube Skywalker,” aka “The Thigh-walker.” Later on, the show gifted audiences with condom-coated versions of “The Force Awakens” fan-favorites, Finn and Poe, who — much to the delight of Finn and Poe-shippers everywhere — made out with each other at the end of the runway.

“Well, you have a lot of Poe-tential,” Paterson said as Poe exited the runway, one in a long line of puns from the emcee.

However, the audience did not know how good the Star Wars theme could get until they were blessed with Latex and Lace’s take on Jabba the Hut — brought to life by a collection of inflated condoms with a person lost inside somewhere — dragging a unique Slave Leia by a chain. The muscular, male, scantily-clad Slave Leia was a definite fan favorite, as evidenced by the chorus of whistles and cat calls he received during his unveiling. One audience member exclaimed, quite loudly, “Holy crap! That guy’s ass muscles are bigger than my arm muscles!”

Other inventive, pop-culture-themed costumes included Dora the Sex-plorer, which saw the beloved cartoon character and her iconic backpack now rendered with rubbers, and the Anime Club’s rendition of Speed Racer. A bubbly, Safe-Sex Fairy also made an appearance, throwing condoms to the audience and to the judges.

The “Academy Award,” sponsored by the Academy of Cosmetology, which donated services to the show for the evening, honored best overall creativity. It was bestowed upon the two Girl Scout-themed costumes in the competition, whose models went by the names “Mindy & Maggie Tag-along” and boasted a collection of condoms in the place of merit badges.

“The Girl Scouts — they looked like their cookies were sweet,” one judge said. “Was that suggestive enough?”

Other awards included the “Most Complex” award, which deservedly went to the Katy Perry-themed outfit, whose model bore a gigantic peacock spread of condoms across the runway. There was also the Most Safe and Sexy Award, which went to the design that most reflected the purpose of the Latex & Lace Fashion Show. It was awarded to the “Sexy Cop.” The People’s Choice Award was decided by the audience, and it was ultimately given to the Lube Skywalker and Darth Vader, who were competing as a pair.