A Berlin museum is coupling haute couture with haute cuisine, spotlighting models draped in octopus tunics, seaweed miniskirts and chocolate dresses.
The creations by Michelin-starred Austrian chef Roland Trettl, captured in around 50 sumptuous stills by his compatriot photographer Helge Kirchberger, blur the lines of sensual pleasure in a feast for the eyes and the palate.
The Fashion Food exhibition at the Communication Museum in the German capital to Jan. 29 dissects “taste” and flamboyant fashion statements, as well as notions of consumerism and sustainability in a rich society.
“The images are not salacious or pornographic but they are erotic and provocative and raise questions,” museum director Lieselotte Kugler said, following an exhibition opening with two live models.
While US pop provocateur Lady Gaga raised eyebrows at an awards show last year with a dress made entirely of raw beef, many of the confections here could add up to a balanced diet.
One work entitled “Russian Lardo” features a trouser suit sewn from lean bacon, a delicate black scarf made of squid ink pasta and a resplendent headdress woven from frisee lettuce, red chillies and Daikon cress. Another shows a male model in a salmon tank top and lettuce-leaf trousers.
“Most of the food was not simply thrown away,” Kugler said of the photo shoots. “The octopus is cooked three to four hours until it’s tender and the pasta can be boiled. Then everyone has a feast.”
Trettl and Kirchberger have pursued an on-again, off-again collaboration for about four years but the exhibition marks the first major presentation of their work to a broader audience.
They have published a book featuring many of the photographs in the show, complete with recipes and a foreword by the original high-fashion rebel, Vivienne Westwood.