Food and fashion coming together in any instance is always welcome around here. I'm in the process of thinking up a way of getting a Come Dine With Me featuring London fashion peeps YouTube series together purely because of a momentary brainwave on the way to a dinner party at designer duo Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer's house. Whilst that half-baked idea may or may not come to fruition, I have a very real food and fashion combo to talk up that I was vaguely involved in.
Melbourne-based jewellery designer Lucy Folk has long been marrying up her love of food with her craft. Her jewellery is essentially an upgrade from the farfalle pasta necklaces we made when we were give, as she has cast anything from pretzels to tortilla chips in gold and silver and electroplated her temptingly edible pieces to add pops of colour. She's also been building up fuller ranges with popular friendship bracelets adorned with metal taco shells and powdercoated chains that have been doing well for Lucy. Needless to say, having been familiar with Folk's jewellery for a while, whenever I see her ranges, there's always an overwhelming need to pile on her bracelets and necklaces in multiples.
The beautiful and lovely Yukimi Nagano of the band Little Dragon also shares Lucy's love of food and so the two came together to create a "Bento" range, where pumpkin and sesame and delicate grains of rice get cast in metal. The two also collaborated on a film directed by Antoine Wagner (who directed the band Phoenix's vid Listztomania) where I was lucky to get a wee cameo role. Yukimi plays the game show host, three contestants have to chomp through a load of colourful bento boxes and I'm one of the helpers bringing the boxes out. You might also recognise Tolula Adeyemi and Leah Wood who also pop up as Yukimi's little helpers. Cameo role aside, the resulting video is wonderfully slick and fortunately isn't just another throwaway, airy-fairy fashion film, thanks to the concept and Yukimi's presence. On set, Yukimi wore S/S 11 Simone Rocha dress to pick out the green hues in Lucy's Bento jewellery. I was fascinated by the actual bento boxes themselves, filled with specially dyed rice and cut-up jelly cubes and doubly impressed that the contestants were so enthusiastic about shoving their faces right into them.
To celebrate the release of the film last week, Lucy and Yukimi got together at colette in Paris, who is selling most of the Bento collection, to take part in a colette cooklette event. I wasn't aware that colette regularly host cooking demonstration and classes down in their water bar but was super glad that my first colette cooklette happened to involve Lucy and Yukimi. Led by the acclaimed Paris-based Japanese patisserie Aki Boulangerie, I along with Yukimi, Lucy and a few other French fashion-y- foodies were put through our patisserie paces. We weren't able to cook the entire menu of matcha cream eclair, black sesame pudding and strawberry genoise sponge but we got to do a few tricky things such as making the perfect cr√®me pat, filling eclairs and covering them with fondant, piping out cream into flair-filled rows and doing a spot of fancy fruit carving. I half expected Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood to pop up and comment on my piping skills or the tightness of my swiss roll. All the while we were gorging on the leftovers that didn't make it into the specially made bento boxes (Yukimi even matched her nails with the resin boxes). After all the spoon/board/finger licking, Lucy helped everyone customise their own Lucy Folk friendship bracelet as a souvenir. It was the perfect event to commemorate this particular collaboration. And I now know how to turn an apple quarter into an elaborate pointy fan formation. That will come in handy when I create my Come Dine With Me dinner table centre pieces.