Food: the new fashion frontier
Mortadella mountains, 3D chocolate fortresses, an edible radish garden and architectural bread formations, welcome to the new fashion frontier where food is the new cool and an intrinsic part of the experience. (And you thought you’d never see the day where salami and skinny jeans came together.)
It was British supermodel Kate Moss who notoriously claimed nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, a comment at odds with the current turn of events in the hyped-up fashion industry.
It was British supermodel Kate Moss who notoriously claimed nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, a comment at odds with the current turn of events in the hyped-up fashion industry. There’s Moschino’s catwalk ode to the golden arches, Prada’s sell-out banana leaf motif, Balenciaga’s ‘World Food Programme’ collection, Stella McCartney’s zesty citrus prints and Bibi van der Velden’s monkey and banana jewellery. Earlier this year, Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana completely turned the tables, teaming up with appliance brand Smeg to produce a range of kitchen appliances adorned with their elaborate Sicilian-inspired motif resulting in a toaster with the same swag as a handbag.
Luxury London fashion retailer MATCHESFASHION.COM recently launched their bricks and mortar concept store 5 Carlos Place (pictured above) in Mayfair in central London, a 4-storey terrace complete with themed personal shopping rooms and a penthouse cafe space for intimate gigs and dining events. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Kate, Naomi or even Anna Wintour they invited to cut the ribbon. Instead, London-based Australian chef Skye Gyngell (pictured below) was the flavour du jour, hosting an elegant late-summer long-table dinner set among the racks of expensive garments. Talk about turning the tables.
“There has always been a connection with food and fashion,” says Natalie Kingham, Buying & Fashion Director at MATCHESFASHION.COM. “At 5 Carlos Place, we are partnering with a global chef each month to host an intimate supper club, the first of which was acclaimed Australian chef Skye Gyngell,” says Kingham.
True to form, Gyngell’s high-fashion feast was an effortlessly chic menu of biodynamic, seasonal produce. Hand-illustrated menus sat on the table among a tangle of candles and foraged foliage that included geranium and whispy St Anne’s Lace, and read like a round-up of new-season must-haves: heirloom vegetables with cucumber yoghurt; warm tomato salad with straciatella and fig leaf oil; wild sea bass with corn puree, golden girolle mushrooms and crunchy amaranth; honey custard tart adorned with local raspberries; and a show-stopping white chocolate and rosemary nougat served room temperature so it yielded like sweet clay between your fingers.
The next to cook among the new-season collections were the three friends behind Nest, the hip East London eatery that revives British classics; followed by the Karl Lagerfeld of food – Ruth Rogers, the Michelin-starred chef behind London’s revered River Café (the place where Jamie Oliver launched his career and the home of the famed chocolate nemesis cake).
Perhaps it’s the new-collection hype around snagging a table (Noma) or even a dumpling (Tim Ho Wan) at a zeitgeist eatery that reminds fashion’s taste-makers of home, or it could be conspicuous consumption, powered by social media, where a dining choice is as much of an identity statement as your outfit. One look at MATCHESFASHION.COM Instagram feed illustrates this surprising, harmonious collision. Among the designer shoes and dresses, you can spot a flaky croissant sitting by a model’s impossible long leggy limb, and even a video of Gyngell showing how to dress your salad next to the latest Gucci handbag.