‘Fashion-for-Food’: Dressing up a meal fashionably!
‘Fashion-for-Food’: Dressing up a meal fashionably!
Food has inspired fashion and attracted many eyeballs over the years…who can forget the repeating banana patterns that made Prada’s Spring/Summer 2011 presentation so enchanting, or when the New York retailer and downtown fashion anchor Opening Ceremony had an architectural chocolate fountain — liquid chocolate pouring down a pristine white wall — for their Fall 2014 presentation!
At the Fashion Week S/S’16, the food became one of the fashion industry’s natural extensions, with Prada serving ice-lollies to the crowd before the show to underline the playfulness of the collection. Again, in Balmain’s ad campaign 2015 models were seen munching burgers in ‘style’. The merging of food and fashion has resulted in a mutual life-styling. Off late, however, we are witnessing a role reversed pattern, in which fashion is the inspiration behind the plate.
The Merci store, located inside a mansion in the Marias District in Paris, is as much famed for stocking a range of designers as for the three different cafés in it, and London’s Hover district is a ‘must-retail’ place not just for its extensive Comme de Garcons products, but also for the Rose bakery upstairs located inside.
Food retailing is coming of age and growing to be a ‘chic industry’, inspired by fashion. FFT tracks some of the interesting concept eateries, themed around fashion-for-food.
The heavyweights in fashion like Prada, Chanel, Dior, and Roberto Cavalli are known for their Haute Couture… But Haute Cuisine? Off the runways, these fashion-makers seem to put their fashion ideologies and philosophy into making the food industry chic and stylish. They are offering a whole new culinary world, with their own designer eateries — from fine dining restaurants to the relax-at-cafes’ — to attract their style-conscious clientele.
Cavalli Café: The designer café by Roberto Cavalli is located in Florence, Kuwait, Beirut, St Tropez and there’s one in Delhi too. The décor follows the cream and gold theme, with accents including crystal lamps and animal print chairs. The food is standard Italian, and some of the wines are from the label’s own winery.
Gucci Café: The luxury brand has three cafes’, one located on the ground floor of the Gucci Museo in Florence, another on the fourth floor of the world’s only Gucci building in Tokyo’s Ginza area and a third in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan. While the café at the museo focuses on organic, healthy food; the one in Ginza stocks monogrammed chocolates that aren’t available anywhere else.
Emporio Armani Café: The newest Armani Café has opened inside Istanbul’s new Emporio Armani store. Like the others in Milan, Paris, Dubai (close to the luxury store at Dubai Mall) and Tokyo, the café boasts contemporary décor in white, red and wood accents. The menu includes light bites, coffees and aperitifs that will revive the weary shopper.
Café Dior: It is a rooftop cafe at the tall and shiny new house of Dior in Seoul opened in May 2015. Operating under the French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, it provides an elegant space to relax after shopping and the perfect place to discover the unique world of tastes, sensations and pleasures of the Maison Pierre Hermé Paris.
Chanel’s Café: In partnership with international mega chef Alain Ducasse, Chanel’s Café opened Beige in 2004 atop its ten-storey, LED-fronted Ginza store. The popular desert is the Carré Chanel, a Ducasse/Chanel collaboration involving chocolate praline, gold leaf and candied hazelnuts in crystalline sugar capsules.
Prada’s Pasticceria: As part of a bigger trend, which sees fashion companies investing in upmarket snacks, Prada, the Italian luxury label, purchased a famed Milanese pastry called Pasticceria Marchesi. Pasticceria comprises two dazzling tea rooms, filled with traditional pastries, pralines, cakes and salty treats. Pasticceria Marchesi’s interior resembles Prada’s Wes Anderson-designed Bar Luce. Bar Luce, the space that takes references from famous Milanese landmarks and cafes dotted around the city, particularly those dating back to the 1950s and 60s.
Cavalli Restaurant & Lounge: The Cavalli’s Restaurant & Lounge is an open-air restaurant and lounge with plush outdoor areas, decked with famous patent animal — print Cavalli cushions. You can spend a pleasant evening in the company of family and friends, listening to good music and tasting the delicious dishes prepared with passion and love.
Vanitas, Palazzo Versace: The restaurant offers diners two jaw-dropping sites; one is a sparkling lagoon and the other is a 13-metre canvas that is an ode to designer Gianni Versace’s life. The modern Australian cuisine, offered as both a tasting menu and a la carte, is served atop brightly-coloured, Versace-embellished plates.
Gold, Milan: Owned by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Gold is a chic place to eat in Italy’s fashion capital. Spread over three floors and housing a gourmet restaurant, bistro and food shop, Gold has been given a makeover — renaissance squares, terracotta jars and wood accents set the mood. The food is traditional Sicilian.
Along with opening of designer cafés, many fashion-food enthusiasts have unveiled their baking skills. It is hard to believe when a fashion model like Karlie Kloss chooses to embolden her name with baking cookies made in collaboration with Chef Christina Tosi. Couture designer Alexis Mabille has a sweet tooth, and in an interesting collaboration with iconic pastry-maker Ladurée he created a bow-tie confection in 2008. International designer brands Fendi, Hermes and Joyce had also teamed up to create luxury festival Moon cakes, monogrammed with their logos. Lola’s cupcakes are often themed on fashion’s major icons as she uses edible images on the cupcakes. Marni have teamed up with the legendary Laduree to create golden chocolate delights, and also designed the limited edition boxes for the same. The Berkeley, the 5-star luxury hotel’s London designer afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world. The menu is transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion.
3 Creative Food-to-fashion Projects:
Talking of how fashion in food is merged for creative projects, an exhibit by Paddy Mergui at San Francisco’s Museum of Craft & Design was put up in brand associations by imagining big names in luxury on everyday groceries such as Tiffany’s yogurt, Versace eggs, Infant Powder by Chanel, Coffee by Cartier, Salami By Louis Vuitton, Fruit by Nike, and Olive oil by UCB and many others, it was set as an experiment by blurring the ethical boundaries of design within consumer culture.
The fashion designer J W Anderson has lent his creative nous to Diet Coke for the makeover of the famous bottle, inspired by his Autumn/Winter 2015 collection. Previously, international designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, has collaborated with Coca-Cola for the bottle design. Alber Elbaz, creative director of Lanvin, collaborated with a pastry maker Ladurée to create a stylish new box of macaroons. The “whimsical” design featured sketched faces of women and a red grosgrain ribbon. The book launch by Far Fetch, the online fashion website for international boutique, as an unique extension of the brand last year called Farfetch Curates: food, was the first book in a trilogy, showcasing its boutique owners’ and expert curators’ recommendations on what food to eat next.
If fashion-influencers like Karl Lagerfeld, known for his knack in fashion and art-related projects, is going all out to direct an ad-campaign for ice-cream brand Magnum, it perhaps goes to explain how far-reaching the influence of fashion on food really is. Despite being two hugely diverse industries, they have found a way to co-exist and ‘feed’ off each other