“Fashion feeds the mind. Food nourishes the body” is the opening statement to the L’eleganza del cibo, Tales about Food and Fashion exhibition located at the Mercati di Traiano in Rome, Italy. The showing, curated by Stephano Dominella and Bonizza Giordani Aragno, displays 160 designs of dresses, accessories, and shoes from top fashion brands dating back to the 1950’s onward. In honor of the 2015 Milan Expo (themed as “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life“), this showcase celebrates nutrition, as well as made in Italy tailoring and craftsmanship. The presented items follow the four elements: water, air, earth, and fire, with the common ground being nature and food. These garments and accessories are exhibited amid the ancient classical Roman art and architecture of the Imperial Forum.
Among the most interesting pieces are the necklace and earrings by Gianni de Beneddictis of a fork twisting a handful of spaghetti, and the “bread dress” by Gattinoni Couture which features a bustier of real ears of corn and trousers embroidered with panels of crackers and pretzels. Also on display is Ken Scott’s “the fashion gardener”1970 Spring/Summer collection showcasing printed dresses of asparagus, peas and artichokes. Moschino’s 1991 creations uses the food industry as a way to express social issues of farming and agriculture. Aside from garments, handbags like the cherry printed Louis Vuitton tote, carrot embroidered Rodinne Rondelle basket purse, and Chez Dèdè’s banana printed bag are all influenced by the food industry. The exhibition is enriched by a “Wearable Foods” collection of eight portraits and paintings by Korean artist Yeonju Sung showing how food can beautifully flow and interact with dress forms.
“Should anyone have nurtured any doubts about the elegance of food, we can only hope to have helped dispel them” is the closing statement of the exhibition, expressing how much nature, fashion, and food are all closely related. As food is a current trend in this season’s fashion, this exhibition shows how it has been in close relation for decades. L’eleganza del cibo, Tales about Food and Fashion is on display until November 1st, 2015 in Rome, Italy and afterwards it will be moved to New York where it will be inaugurated by Michelle Obama. If you can’t make it to Italy, be sure to check it out in New York!