What is high fashion’s obsession with cheap eats?

 What is high fashion’s obsession with cheap eats?


Fall’s latest fashion trends — from a crumbled bundle of chips “it bag” to a pasta field crossbody clutch — seem like they’d all belong in your mouth fairly than on a Fashion Week runway.  

In June, artist and designer Nik Bentel introduced the return of his viral Barilla-inspired crossbody bag, which first made rounds on Twitter in August of final yr. The revamped design is akin to a field of De Cecco’s penne pasta (there isn’t any model identify on the brand new bag, not like its predecessor) that is adorned with a dainty purse deal with and a chic gold chain. Much like his 2021 launch, solely 100 of Bentel’s latest “Pasta Bag” had been obtainable on the market for a restricted time solely.   

When requested about his bag’s design, Bentel informed Food & Wine, “I attempt to make each object distinctive, however I believe this one is barely completely different due to the web pleasure. I felt like I wanted to do one other one, however I additionally suppose the aesthetic is completely completely different.”

He continued, “A couple of small pasta corporations reached out to me, asking to collaborate on a pasta bag. However I believe I wanted one thing that was a bit extra ubiquitous. There is a sure aesthetic that pasta corporations go for by way of promoting their pasta. They use sure colours, sure gradients, sure fonts, and sure phrases, so I attempted to include as a lot as potential into this.”

Bentel’s “Pasta Bag” can simply be mistaken for an odd field of pasta — the previous flaunts vibrant hues of blue and yellow, a vitamin label on the aspect together with the pasta’s weight, listed each in kilos and grams. There’s additionally a quick description of the “pasta” and a number of pictures of penne plastered on the entrance.

Alongside Bentel, Balenciaga dipped its toes into meals trend this previous October. The worldwide trend home, in partnership with Frito-Lay, debuted its $1,500 clutch that resembles a crumpled, discarded bag of Lay’s potato chips. Referred to as the “L.O.L. Clutch,” the bag is on the market in 4 distinct “flavors”: Basic, Flamin’ Scorching, Limón, and Salt & Vinegar. And whereas the “flavors” aren’t explicitly talked about on the bag, it isn’t onerous to guess merely from the luggage’ designs, which mimic the OG chip packets.

The latest releases illustrate — in a fairly on-the-nose approach — high fashion’s long-standing obsession with low cost eats. Since 2014, junk meals have been a outstanding supply of inspiration in a slew of high fashion items. Take for instance Jeremy Scott’s McDonald’s-inspired Moschino collection, by which runway fashions dressed like McDonald’s workers and carried Golden Arches-decked purses on plastic meals trays. Or Charlotte Olympia’s and Kate Spade’s Chinese language takeout box-inspired purses. Or Anya Hindmarch’s cereal and soda-themed equipment.

The intersection, albeit weird at first look, is definitely fairly apt contemplating that quick meals and excessive trend aren’t far off from each other. As journalist Zing Tsjeng explained, “Quick meals is a speedy sugar excessive, mixing feel-good nostalgia with trashy cheerfulness. It is just like the expertise of trend itself: we have all had that immediate hit of enjoyment after we purchase one thing we all know we should not however cannot resist anyway. Put it one other approach — there is a cause quinoa and brown rice have not impressed a trend assortment.”

That sentiment nonetheless holds true right this moment, particularly amid an ongoing pandemic when junk meals consumption and cravings are at an all time high. Per a Jan. 2022 report published by MDPI, chips, cookies, ice cream and sugar-sweetened drinks, like common soda, fruit drinks and juices, have all been in style decisions of meals in latest months. So, it isn’t shocking that they’re now making their resurgence in artwork and trend. 

Bentel informed Food & Wine final yr that his famed Barilla pasta bag was created shortly after he loved “his a hundredth bowl of penne pasta” throughout the early few months of quarantine. It was then that he questioned how he may repurpose the pasta field and, ultimately, he settled on making it a purse.


“The bag is an irreverent tackle the previous yr of staying inside,” Bentel explained. “Utilizing the mundane objects we had mendacity round throughout the pandemic, and turning them into one thing somewhat extra thrilling for our post-pandemic world. The objective of the bag is to encourage somewhat little bit of thought and reflection on having the ability to create one thing thrilling from the mundane.”

As for the “L.O.L. Clutch,” Balenciaga’s inventive director Demna was impressed to create the bag as a result of he “loves chips in general” and “has carried a bag of Lay’s potato chips as an adjunct earlier than.” Earlier this yr, Demna was noticed clutching an empty bag of Lay’s Unique Wavy Potato Chips on the graduate present of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Superb Arts. The Georgian designer reportedly “held on to his flat Lay’s bag all through the day, from his entrance row seat on the pupil trend present to the festivities afterwards…,” per Paper Mag.

Excessive trend, right this moment, stays each attainable — and wearable — to solely a choose few. However excessive trend meshed with low cost eats adjustments the dynamic completely, permitting luxe put on to be extra private and acquainted to the general public. Positive, carrying a $1,500 Lay’s clutch is excessive. However a minimum of it appears like a bag of Lay’s potato chips, an merchandise that is available at your nearest comfort retailer.

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An extension of excessive trend’s obsession with low cost eats can also be seen within the swanky bodega photoshoots not too long ago popularized by actor Sydney Sweeney. Earlier this yr, Sweeney donned a customized Miu Miu two-piece with matching Miu Miu hand gloves at a close-by store on Hollywood Boulevard. The photoshoot, led by superstar photographer Amber Asaly, occurred proper after Sweeney’s pink carpet showcase at the premiere of “Euphoria” season two.

“The result’s a set of delightfully enjoyable and comically contrasting photographs. Sweeney appears like a basic ingénue, wrapping herself in a fur stole exterior of the Hollywood Wax Museum,” W Magazine’s Carolyn Twersky wrote. “[I]t is the contradiction between Sweeney, in her customized French look and bombshell magnificence, up towards the on a regular basis monotony of a Hollywood memento store that makes the pictures so pleasant. The actress appears very relaxed within the setting, even though she under no circumstances matches in.”

Sweeney took half in an identical shoot following final yr’s Golden Globes, when she posed in entrance of a close-by 7-Eleven, wearing a poofy pink Ralph & Russo costume and sipping on a Huge Gulp.

“There’s something so pleasing about seeing a gown-adorned Sweeney in probably the most pedestrian of locations. In all probability as a result of who would not have the urge to stuff their face with junk meals after an evening of compacting into formal garments and making small discuss?” Twersky added.

Maybe that is the enchantment of all of it — each excessive trend and low cost eats are enjoyable and quirky, making them an ideal match for each other. And even when most customers aren’t capable of afford such humdrum-turned-luxurious items, a minimum of they’re going to be enthralled by them.

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