Monday, 17 December 2012

FASHION: From Catwalk To Plate To Cocktail Bar

In its various incarnations, the love affair between food and fashion is booming. There aren’t many who wouldn’t agree that a beautiful dish is style on a plate. This is perhaps why collaborations between chefs and designers have become more and more commonplace in recent years.  The artistry and craftsmanship inherent to the culinary world lend themselves to the design and aesthetic values of fashion houses, both big and small. Helmut Newton, trailblazing as always, was perhaps the first to pioneer the modern transcendence between the two disciplines. With his signature sense of louche, Newton’s foray into luxuriant surfaces naturally led him to the world of food.  In a 1974 shoot for American Vogue, Hewton snapped Jerry Hall squeezing a fistful of raw meat against her face. The later series ‘Chicken and Jewellery’ depicts crude, sexualised food-play as a hand bedecked with a blinding diamond bracelet and ring rips apart a greasy cooked chicken. In these beautiful photographs, fashion, kink and food are all at play with one another.


A cure for a black eye, Helmut Newton



Chicken and Jewellery, Helmut Newton

In recent years international chefs have been commissioned by fashion houses to construct menus which reflect the values of a fashion brand’s aesthetic. The iconic Italian fashion house Trussardi took this idea one step further by opening its own restaurant: Trussardi alla Scala is the gastronomic extension of the Trussardi brand. The director and chef Andrea Burton, was employed to create a style that imitates the brand's fashion formula by partnering culinary tradition with an avant-garde, technical approach. 

The result has been internationally acclaimed, and has made the Milanese restaurant one of the most desirable addresses in Italy. In fact, the Trussardi alla Scala initiative has been so inspiring that Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs have both followed suit with projects to explore their creativity in the culinary field. In this way, Trussardi were the first to realise that fashion can transcend the runway and the pages of glossy magazines: the new style is style on a plate. Commenting on the collaboration, Trussardi sums up the fashion brand’s holistic aspirations nicely: 'Through excellence it is possible to produce culture in any field - from fashion to design, from art to food.'


Trussardi Alla Scala, Milan

In a recent Nowness Feature, friend of Colebrooke Row and chef extraordinaire, Nuno Mendes explains the raison d’etre behind his collaboration with designer Julia Muggenburg in their shoot for The Gourmand Journal. When asked how to take culinary approach to a style shoot Mendes responds:

'I wanted to both mimic and contrast with Julia's incredible wardrobe and jewellery. For me it is a delicate and beautiful thing - it is dainty, and I wanted to showcase food in the same way. Like food, it is a garnish that we apply to the body in the same way that we use ingredients to decorate dishes and so we wanted to continue with this same idea - we garnish to extend its value.' 

To read the full interview, visit http://www.nowness.com/day/2012/12/9/2654/the-delicacy-of-the-hand



Mendes & Muggenburg shoot for The Gourmand


Newton, Trussardi and Mendes all seem to share the same understanding when it comes to cuisine and design, so if food and fashion are such comfortable bed-mates, why is it that the drinks world is taking so long to get in on the fun? Considering the aesthetic inherent in drinking culture and the diverse inspirations that cocktails are born of, it seems strange that fashion hasn't had more influence on the cocktail world. At Colebrooke Row, we've spent some time over the past couple of years trying to bridge the gap. With Tony's history of working in the fashion world, it seemed natural to collaborate with fashion houses, particularly for the launch parties of new ranges. A good example of this is Ralph Lauren's launch of their vintage denim range in Spring 2011. In keeping with the brand's style, ethos and personality, we created a bottled cocktail 'Tiger Milk', labelled with beautiful original artwork. Later commissions by Roland Mouret continued the burgeoning partnership between the drinks and fashion worlds, one which we hope to see blossom in 2013...


Bottled Tiger Milk Cocktail



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