Until now we had told about wedding cake as a luxurious design object or an haute couture dress. Is it right? Probably yes. Not only cakes are trends’ inspirations: today food (in his general meaning) often meets fashion industry. The reason is not clear, but I think that a possible cause of this phenomenon could be the “confusion” between “design” in his English meaning and “design” as we know it.
“Design” means devise and plan an object that will be produce scale-up. So, it is the activity of a designer who manufactures something, doesn’t matter what. The Italian language adopted this word giving it a different meaning: the exterior form of something exclusive. We connect “design” to the idea of a luxury, expensive and elitist object. We think about it like a quality product of refined aesthetic personality.
Why? Probably because the “industrial design” in general was born together with the leader companies in the world, and this was the start of the first distinctive tracts and personalizations and the subsequent parallelism between the “anonymous” and the “signed”, the “cheap” and the “expensive”.
If we want to accuse someone, we have to charge the made in Italy with its pronounced quality’s research and good aesthetic taste which transformed the term “design” giving it a more sophisticated meaning and keeping it out of the common people’s reach.
When we think about something exclusive, expensive, innovative, signed and elitist we immediately think about fashion. Fashion is the product of creativity and talent. Design (as we see it) too. In our conceptions only something born through the care and the creativity of an artist can be considered a design’s object. It is a support to the industries’ competitiveness and also a response to the society’s request of “sense”: a research of a symbolic meaning and an artistic value, not only an utility.
Obviously this is possible when we talk about an object, but when we talk about food we have not to forget its utility: food is still made to be eaten. So, the meeting between fashion and food is quite disputed: is it possible or not? From time immemorial Italy is popular for its excellence in fashion and gastronomy, why don’t connect them?
Fashion is something transitional and linked to the moment trends: a cake or a course, as we have just seen, can be subject to tendencies. Fashion is something refined and it is edited taking care of all the details: food too. Fashion is connected to the name of a designer: now we can say the same thing about food!
The aesthetic dimension is increasingly relevant in our age and the good taste and fresh food aren’t enough to satisfy people’s desires. They want cakes like sculptures and they prefer a colored and designed cupcake to a common muffin. The more scenic is food, the more people is happy to eat it. This is more relevant during important occasions in which people can stand out showing to the others designed food to flaunt their good taste and their wealth.
When you eat a refined and “designed” wedding cake or something else, you are not eating food, you are eating an art’s work, so be careful!