Last night LCF presented Fash/On/Food, a panel discussion looking at the parallels between the fashion and food industries, exploring creative, sustainable and ethical themes.
Words Abigail Gurney-Read, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism
Images Katy Ruth Davies, FdA Fashion Styling and Photography
The fact that fashion infiltrates many areas of society, is one that is widely acknowledged. However, when it comes to the seemingly-opposing world of food, the relationship is far more ambiguous. Therefore, LCF’s “FASH on FOOD” event last night, provided the much-needed clarity to any former confusion.
Following delicious, guilt-free hors d’oeuvres provided by SNOG frozen yoghurt, the discussion began; showcasing a smörgåsbord of experts and chaired by the delectable Sheila Dillon, presenter of “The Food Programme” on BBC Radio 4. Panelists included…
- Professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of College at London College of Fashion
- Sam Bompas, co-founder of Bompas & Parr
- Juliet Shield, renowned Restaurant Consultant
- Florence Knight, head-chef at Polpetto
- Fred Manson, Urban Renewal Specialist and general food-enthusiast
… and despite each individual’s opinion being distinct from the next, as the debate progressed, two opposing stances on the spectrum presented themselves as particularly prevalent.
The first, was the mutual potential for hedonism and extravagance in each industry, “food and fashion; pleasure is at the heart of both of them” (Sheila Dillon) therefore we, as consumers of both, “should not be ashamed of that pleasure” (Sam Bompas). The second was sustainability; a topic that naturally, due to her orchestrating role in the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, is at the forefront of Professor Frances Corner’s agenda, “we live in a culture which is about wanting to get stuff as cheaply as possible… ultimately, the resources are finite”. But can the two really be combined?
The answer that seemed to emanate from the conversation was, yes, “In times of recession you get creativity,” (Juliet Shield) “I see such a link… creatively… there’s so much in the textures” (Florence Knight). Whilst pleasure should always be the ultimate goal, for designers and chefs alike, sustainability should be at the forefront of the process; the ability to incorporate the two effectively, is where creativity and excellence are found.
As the usage of social media broadens, the Consumer is becoming increasingly interested in, and aware of, where their commodities come from; whilst “both fashion and food are about the individual” (Fred Manson), the moral emphasis of that individual has shifted. But has this shift towards the sustainable, provoked an age of food without frivolity and allure? In other words -
“Has food lost its sex appeal?” (the final question, from your’s truly)
The resounding reply, “definitely not.”