More than ever, food is becoming as fashionable as fashion itself. With TV cooking shows flaunting mass appeal, Heston Blumenthal's kooky molecular gastronomy principles taking centre stage and semi unknown chefs attracting cult followings.
In this context, it makes sense to combine the two worlds of food and fashion, both literally and figuratively. And it’s happening.
Sydney-based designer Dot Drabarek, of Dorota, describes her second collection – which was inspired by the desserts, artisan cakes and little treats found in a pasticceria while on holiday in Italy – as “wearable dessert”.
“I thought a collection that looked like you could eat it would be nice," she says of the edible shades of ricotta, lemon, peach and creamed strawberry that go hand in hand with delicate embroidery inspired by the coffee swirls in a perfectly brewed cafe latte.
The cover of the inaugural issue of New York-based magazine TWELV, meanwhile, featured an Alexander McQueen dress that was constructed using 50,000 gummy bears and took three weeks to complete. Coca-Cola also jumped on the bandwagon to leverage the Diet Coca-Cola brand via their collaborations with fashion houses of the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Commes des Garcons, all of whom lined up to create limited edition bottle designs.
Closer to home, Westfield Sydney launched Edible Fashion, a pop-up installation where both Australian designers and chefs curated specially made garments that looked good enough to eat, including a calico dress constructed from risoni pasta crust, glazed with neon green paint and silver floral detail by Ginger & Smart and Alessandro Pavoni of Spiedo Restaurant and Bar.
Italian photographer Fulvio Bonavia recently published A Matter of Taste, a book which celebrates high-end accessories and garments made of food. Creating each piece by hand, Bonavia’s images leave us salivating over the likes of a blackberry covered Chanel 2.55 and chocolate covered cufflinks. Bonavia has also collaborated with Garage magazine to produce a Prada dress made of sliced oranges (with a trimming of fur) and a Louis Vuitton corset dress covered in walnuts.
Similarly, Swedish-based photographer Linus Morales has pioneered the provocative FabFood project, which plays on the stark juxtaposition between high-end fashion labels and everyday food staples. The still life series shows a Chanel logo shaped out of frankfurter sausages, Gucci-stamped meat and even Fendi fish fingers.
Indeed, fast food has never been more chic, with global creative agency Access designing a range of premium packaging concepts to be integrated into Fashion Weeks worldwide. Their McFancy restaurant targets the fashion event attendees and offers fast food with a twist – including burgers packaged neatly in Burberry tape and French fries held within Hermes cartons.
The marriage of food and fashion has never been more appetising, and it keeps us hungry for more.