Feasting on Fashion
When the alarm rings and people across the world wake up, two things are on most of their minds: what will I wear today and what will I eat for breakfast. For many, making food and fashion choices are perfunctory moments of their morning routine, choices that are easily forgotten as well (try to remember what you had for breakfast three days ago - not so easy is it?). However, perhaps the fact that we start the day with clothing and breakfast choices is more than coincidence. Perhaps beginning our day in the mindsets of food and fashion indicates their significance to our lives and to each other. Each morning, we essentially decide who we are going to be and what we eat and wear are vehicles for that kind of self-expression. Rachel Zoe once said, “style is saying who you are without having to speak”. Food has a similar capacity to become an extension of emotions and personalities without direct expression. Besides, it is impolite to talk with a mouth full of food!
An interesting point of intersection between the realms of food and fashion is the ability for both worlds to garner such vast followings. Like no other, the groups that follow the fashion and cuisine industries do so passionately and diligently. Whether you call them foodies or connoisseurs, fashionistas or fashion mongers, the food and fashion industries attract huge audiences that appreciate, in both cases- although more literally in cuisine- taste. When it comes to taste in food and fashion, it seems some have it, others don't, and everyone wants it. These audiences are not only marked by their appreciation of their respective markets, but rather their near obsession with obtaining or experiencing the newest trends. For foodies and fashion followers, their worlds revolve around what’s new in the industry. When we look at it this way, the endless lines for outrageous Black Tap milkshakes in New York City don't seem so far off from the mere minutes that YSL’s Swarovski crystal boots sold out after making a debut on the runway. It has long been said that fashion is about the now, the new, and the next. Food follows a similar pattern. Every year there are multitudes of new in-dishes that we then speculate about their potential to transcend the label of trend. Will avocado toast become recognized as a staple in American cuisine? The chances are as slim as backless loafers earning the much sought after label of timeless.
In the age of social media, food and fashion blogs, YouTube channels, and Instagram accounts are on the rise as more and more people desire to share their voice on these subjects. Many of them are catching onto the notion that food and fashion are not so different as they may seem and plenty are using social media to express these opinions. Take for instance Tal Spiegel’s Instagram account, Desserted in Paris. The posts are simple: a bird's eye shot of a delectable Parisian pastry looking down to Spiegel’s shoes that perfectly match the pastry he holds. Despite the simple composition, the posts are iconic in that they truly display how fashion and food jointly express who we are from day to day. From the shoes we wear to the pastry we eat, food and fashion tell a story of who we are. Illustrator Gretchen Röehrs has also found her niche at the crossroads of food and fashion, sketching figures around food to make it appear as if the model is wearing an oyster dress or strutting around in pants make from a bandana peel. Röehrs illustrations exemplify the notion that food is fashion and fashion is food. Her drawings blur the line between the respective realms, conveying that food and fashion don’t necessarily occupy their own spheres in the universe.
Despite all the support and following that the culinary and fashion worlds garner, they often both come under fire for being trivial, as well as for promoting self-indulgence and materialism. The way some see it, we rely on these mediums to be ourselves. It doesn’t seem to help that fashion and food are caught up in the tricky system of capitalism. Bringing money into the equation seems to imply that more money means more access to these tools. However, these criticisms ultimately fall short, as they neglect to acknowledge cuisine and fashion as art forms. They know no money or market, although they are traded that way. At their most basic principles they are forms of art so integrated into our lives that they mirror our emotions and personalities, not supply them. Recipes, clothing, food, and fashion could never be trivial because we adopt them to become extensions of ourselves. Thus, calling them trivial is then calling ourselves, our personality, and our emotions trivial. Food and fashion heighten all of our senses, enabling us to live stylishly both inside and out.