The elegance of food. Tales about food and fashion

Hosted in Rome, “The elegance of food. Tales about food and fashion” was a one-of-a-kind exhibition that celebrated the perfect marriage between nutrition, the key theme of EXPO 2015 in Milan, and Made in Italy creativity .The exhibition ran until the 1 November 2015 at the Mercati di Traiano Museum in Rome, an archaeological site of rare beauty, renowned for its history and architectural elegance, chosen to enlighten visitors about the crossover between the cultures of fashion and nutrition, two of the most widely appreciated and famed aspects of Italy’s heritage. The exhibition, curated by Stefano Dominella and Bonizza Giordani Aragno, explored the most relevant and widely accepted aspects of fashion, from fabrics, to embroidery and accessories. The leitmotif was food with a particular emphasis on nature. Fashion dresses, beautifies, exalts and protects the body. Food passes through it, nourishing and replenishing it. Thus, ostensibly, their end goals appear to be incompatible. Fashion feeds the body. Food nourishes the mind. Various sections, devoted to projects inspired by the correlation between food and nutrition, fashion and eco-sustainability and fashion and energy, were set up in the rooms of the museum. Food and nature’s ingredients were the key theme of the exhibition at which the fashion trends of yesterday, today and tomorrow will take centre stage. Dresses, accessories, photographic images and videos, holograms, video mappings and visual art were used to create a contemporary creative display where Made-in-Italy, superior craftsmanship and, as a result, the tradition of all things ‘beautiful and well made’ served as proof of how and to what extent fashion has drawn inspiration from food. Dresses/works of art but also accessories created with unusual materials, boasting shapes and designs inspired by innovative, original and ironic research. If one plays a ‘game’ by substituting the word fashion with food, one begins to understand how and why these two pillars of creativity and Italian culture inevitably meet, resulting in a significant strengthening of their bond. Among the 160 creations on exhibit, including accessories and outfits, worthy of particular note were Giorgio Armani, who has exceptionally joined the initiative, and Etro, who coined the phrase, “We are what we eat” (thus the beautiful prints of the Maison are highlighted by pasta and raw seafood). Young designer Tiziano Guardini chose real licorice roots to create his eco-sustainable “Natural Couture” dress.

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