As a person who works heavily in the creative industry, I always enjoy seeing how different artists push through norms and out of the box that their art may be put in, whether it’s photography, design, painting, or other mediums of expressing yourself. I’m fascinated by things that stray from the normal—I always hear about people talking about how things don’t go together or how you can’t put certain things together because they don’t belong. I’ve always wondered how to make things work. How can you make two things that don’t necessarily belong fit together? Food and fashion are two of those things. While they are both clearly art forms in their own right, why is it that they can’t be grouped together in the same classification? One may be feast for the stomach while the other is a feast for the eyes, but at the end of the day, they are both structured with the same rules, which is why I think it’s time that we finally put these two categories together. Food and fashion inspire each other in more ways than you think.
Ever since I started blogging, fashion has always been my main focus. I enjoy looking at editorials and lookbooks to see how designers put together their collections and how stylists will style different pieces into everyday outfits. My fascination with clothing led to my own personal documentation of my own style. I like mixing and matching pieces, both high end and street level, to create casual outfits that are straight forward and wearable. The best thing about mixing and matching is the opportunity to put together different textures and colors to make an outfit more interesting and give it a little more edge. However, moderation is key—if you use too many prints or colors or textures in one outfit, it can get a little confusing and possibly a bit more flamboyant that you would like it to be. Experimentation is also key though: you have to try out what works for you and your body in order to know what will fit. What is in style may not always be something that works for you, and that is perfectly okay. Something that fits and hugs your body right and is something that you like to wear will always be in fashion. If you feel comfortable in it, you’ve probably found your calling for fashion.
Food is something that we take for granted. Everybody needs to eat, and when we’re hungry, we all figure out what exactly we will use to nourish our bodies. However, if you look a little closer, food is an artwork in itself. The way a plate is prepared, whether at a fancy high end restaurant or at a hole in the wall joint, is a piece of art. Ingredients naturally have colors and textures to them, and depending on how you treat or cook it, these colors and textures will change. They will also change when you mix different ingredients together. This in itself is easily comparable to fashion: mixing and matching will yield different outfit results, as does mixing and matching in cooking will give you an entirely different dish. Different ingredients all serve a purpose in food: it needs to add more flavor, give a dish more color, give an ingredient more texture, bring out the color in another ingredient. Together, this makes colorful, flavorful dishes that can be enjoyed and discussed. Food has always been a major part of what I’ve been interested in. I love to bake and I love to cook, and living in a city like Hong Kong, I’m lucky enough to be able to eat my way around the area and never get bored. After having many great meals around the city, I started to think more carefully about how these two things could be combined.
When analyzed from the surface, food is presented carefully in a way that artists carefully put together their paintings or their drawings. The dish needs to taste good and needs to use fresh ingredients in order to have the full effect. Fashion is the same: it needs to look good with clothing made of quality materials in order to have a complete, stylish look. Colors, prints, and textures should be used in moderation as should certain seasonings, garnishes and ingredients in cooking. I’ve found similarities between both especially when I’m doing them myself. I love cooking for myself and for my friends and family, and I’m constantly searching for new recipes to make things and replace ingredients in other recipes. I try to keep everything as healthy as possible and use fresh ingredients from the store. This thought process can be added to your fashion routine. Not everyone can afford the luxury brand, high street clothing, so we must improvise on these pieces and find other things that we can work with from more economical brands. To ensure that our closet is full of wearable and stylish basics, it’s also important to buy clothing made with quality materials to make sure that they last. Finding a balance is also a key idea for both fashion and food: you need to make sure that there isn’t one thing about the outfit or dish that is too overpowering.
In a place like Hong Kong where food and fashion are both taken very seriously separately, sometimes I think it’s important to step back and take a look at it from an outside perspective. Food done well and fashion done well is enough for anybody to appreciate. It doesn’t always have to be fine dining and luxury goods to be considered food or art or fashion. By bridging the gap between food and fashion, and by taking it as a fusion of art, maybe it can be taken less seriously and be taken for what it is. Humans are drawn to things that are different and interesting: food and fashion by themselves is just that. However, combined, food and fashion is a different kind of art form that can please more than one human sense. It’s time we stopped limiting ourselves to one thing, and see if it’s possible to find pleasure in many things.