ICYMI, Schiaparelli’s most recent couture collection was inspired by all things food. For me, this marks a moment to be recognized, because it confirms my theory that food has replaced fashion as the pinnacle of luxury in the culture sphere. While that might sound like a crazy statement, hear me out: One of the great pleasures of luxury is that it is one-of-a-kind. With a luxury product, you know what you are getting is unique, artisanal, made with human touch, attention, and care. And while fashion used to be able to boast craftsmanship of that quality, it has ballooned into such a mammoth industry that I do not think that is the case anymore.
The clothes we see on runways are mass-produced in factories and then copied ad infinitum in fast-fashion stores. Of course, there are fast-food behemoths, but their influence is declining. Locavorism and farmers' markets have exploded, and artisanal food products are rising in popularity (and raking in serious dough). Even teenagers now spend more on food than they do on clothes.
If that’s not enough for you, consider why food has taken on such a prominent role in pop-culture. In my opinion, it has to do with the uniqueness of a meal — it’s a moment that will not and cannot be repeated in time. Anyone can get that cool leather jacket of the moment (or its knockoff), but that Cronut? Well, you just had to be there. The fact that one of Italy’s most historic fashion houses used food as inspiration for its couture (importantly, not ready-to-wear) collection only further supports my theory. Granted, Schiaparelli has a history of food references in its clothes, but this collection was about more than a wink to the past. Bertrand Guyon, the artistic director of Schiaparelli, told Vogue that the collection came to him after the Paris attacks, because he craved a return to “things that are essential.”
Food is a certainly a comfort and an experience that we all — as in, everyone on the planet — shares. What makes this collection special is not just that it is all wearable (not all couture is), it’s the moment that it marks — high fashion raising food to the level of high art. Ahead, five pieces from the collection that make my little foodie-fashion-girl heart sing.