Ok, I’ll “bite” – I was instantly intriqued when I thought about combining two of my favorite things in one exhibition – Museum at FIT’s “Food & Fashion.” Tuesday night I attended the opening party for the exhibition (September 13 to November 26) in hopes of satisfying my craving to sink my teeth into something sweet, salty and perhaps meaty.
“Food & Fashion”(co-curated by Melissa Mara Alvarez and Elizabeth Way) examines two basic necessities (eating and getting dressed) over the past 250 years and how one has often influenced the other aesthetically, socially, and politically.
The exhibition breaks it down into six categories while displaying various garments — from a Moschino Hershey bar wrapper gown, to a nod to the West African food culture in Haiti yam printed Stella Jean dress, to a Rei Kawakubo frock with a reproduction of Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo featuring a face made of fruits and vegetables. A total of 80 items with some relationship to food are included in the exhibition.
There are plenty of tasty accessories as well from pillbox hats resembling cakes, to Judith Leiber minaudieres resembling donuts and ice cream sundaes, to custom cake “wedges” from the “Shoe Bakery” by Chris Campbell. There were also actual edible passed hors d’oeuvres (tuna tartare, potato croquettes, beef brisket corselets) that looked interesting yet less decadent but I didn’t partake.
As far as how attendees at the soiree interpreted the theme, unsurprisingly fruit – specifically cherries seemed to “take the cake.” I spied a cherry printed dress or two, a cardigan with embroidered cherries but if I have to “cherry pick” a favorite it would be Keli Goff’s headpiece giving new meaning to “the cherry on top.” I had forgotten that I owned the Louis Vuitton x Murakami Speedy bag in cherry print until I saw Adrien Gardner Lesser carrying a clasp style bag from the same 2003 vintage.
Other fruit represented included Lauren Levison’s Prada banana dress (Josephine Baker influence?), as well as several other fruit prints. Special shout out to Designer Marisol Deluna’s handmade (by her!) dress, bag and jewelry featuring a veritable cornucopia of jeweled fruit salad. A red and white tablecloth jumper dress and a knife and fork scarf were also sighted so where’s the picnic?
Breakfast was served atop the heads of Eleanor Garner and Maia Goitia in the form of waffles and sunny side up eggs respectively.
Jeannette Kastenberg wore one of her marvelous creations — a sequin candy themed dress and Patricia Mears, Deputy Director of MFIT, in a vintage Ralph Rucci red lifesaver necklace. Rucci’s friend and fashion icon around town Robert di Mauro mentioned that he could see Ralph’s father’s influence as a butcher in the delicate cuts made in the haute couture designer’s fabrics. Speaking of which…wouldn’t Lady Gaga’s meat dress have made a statement here?
The event was held during an interesting confluence –the night after Yom Kippur which ironically is for fasting, the advent of Paris Fashion Week, as well as the fourth day of dismal NYC weather perhaps producing a slow and less familiar turnout.
As the evening wore on some high profile fashion faces appeared including Maryann Grisz of Fashion Group International, Ken Downing of Halston, Jeff Trexler of Fashion Law Institute, and Designer Cynthia Rowley with her daughter designer Kit Keenan. Why do I keep picturing Rowley’s bonded activewear fabric in a sushi print?
I must’ve missed Sharon Coplan Hurowitz and Lizzie Asher in the crush at the end – wearing their Moschino lewks of the iconic McDonald’s logo dress and Happy Meal purse and cherry topped pink frosted cupcake dress respectively.
Here’s some “food for thought” –how will the abundant proliferation of people riding the diabetes/appetite suppressant/weight loss miracle drug Ozempic/Wegovy affect the food/fashion gravy train? Maybe the Chromat “Cheetos” holding lace-up pant will be the meal of the day instead of a gratuitous snack?
Great article on this amazing woman!
Fabulous article! So well written, and telling of a quality life in fashion that transcends time!
Your All-American, tastefully coordinated look is an expression of your own creativity; not dependent on a designer’s input.
Dear Linda, Thank you so much!!!!
Marilyn ALWAYS GETS IT- AND THENSOME… thanks Marilyn for another great capture.
Beautiful selection Marilyn. It was a great escape!