10 posts tagged "Elettra Wiedemann"
The fashion set hasn’t always made room on its plate for food. (Champagne, cigarettes, and a little caviar are all an exception to the rule, if they can be counted as that.) But the tides have changed and food and fashion have never been more entwined. Credit people like Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport (formerly of GQ) or models like Karlie Kloss and her cookie collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar for blending the two worlds together. But the focus isn’t just eating and cooking great dishes, it’s about being conscious of where and how the food was produced.
Cue model Elettra Wiedemann, who just added her own contribution to the culinary scene with her newly launched site, Impatient Foodie. The site is targeted toward people who “want to make responsible food choices but feel overwhelmed sometimes,” Wiedemann, who studied the connection between public health and sustainability at the London School of Economics, tells Style.com. That doesn’t mean she’s created a site loaded with juice recipes—every Thursday, for example, she posts cocktail recipes in the Thirsty Thursday section. We caught up with Wiedemann to hear more about being both a model and a foodie, fashion’s relationship with food, and her new site. Here’s what she had to say.
What is the new definition of a “foodie,” in your opinion?
For me, a foodie is someone who loves to eat food but also wants to be thoughtful about where their food comes from.
In the past, being a foodie and a model hasn’t been a very common pairing. How has your career as a model impacted your relationship with food?
As far as modeling and food, when I was a kid I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it, and didn’t think about health, nutrition, or size at all. Then I started modeling and I had to teach myself how to eat in a new way—namely, lighter and healthier. But I also loved experimenting in the kitchen and re-creating my favorite childhood meals with healthier ingredients. I can credit modeling with refining my palate in a lot of ways.
Fashion has always had a fickle relationship with food. How do you think that is changing right now?
In my experience, fashion is not just about clothes and accessories, but also about artisanship and stories. That is also true of food and where I see American food culture moving today. I think now there is a turn toward connecting to our food and where it comes from for the sake of our own health and the health of our families and communities. For me, excellent, fresh food that can be traced to its producer is the most luxurious and special thing. Also, food magazines have clearly been influenced by fashion magazines in their aesthetic and lifestyle angle.
Yes, food culture has definitely become more ingrained in fashion culture in recent years. Do you think food and fashion is a trend, or is it just a way of life at this point?
I think there are some food trends, but like I said before, once you try excellent food it’s very hard to turn back. I really want to make responsible food choices, but I also have a hectic professional life. We are all hooked on convenience, and in my opinion, that is what seasonal food purveyors need to start addressing. This is incredibly difficult because so much about local, seasonal, responsibly sourced food is totally incongruous with the industrial scale food model that dominates today.
What has been your greatest cooking catastrophe?
There are so many, it’s hard to know where to begin. Unlike other food sites, I share my fails on Impatient Foodie. For example, if you look on the site right now, I talk about how making homemade mozzarella totally sucks and is not “so easy,” like other food sites brag. It’s so not easy. It’s complicated and requires a lot of time and you need to buy things like a nonreactive pan. Forget it—just go buy some at the store or the farmers’ market.
What can we expect from your site in the near future?
We have a Friends section on the site where I share recipes and dishes from my fashion and film friends. My question for them is always, “What are you cooking after a long day at the office or on set?” I’ve gotten back some fantastic dishes so far. My IMO pieces will be my take on various food issues of the day, and I try to connect it to recipes. For example, I’m researching tuna right now and, because it’s so endangered, trying to create dishes that would substitute tuna for another fish. I know we all love tuna, but we have almost completely decimated the population. I think to say to “never eat tuna again” will not work, but how about just eating it once a month and figuring out other alternatives?
“It’s an opportunity to blow everyone’s minds,” grinned Costume Institute curator Harold Koda at the new (and very much so, as the paint was still drying) Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art yesterday morning. Koda was referring not just to the physical space, but the forthcoming inaugural exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion. “He is generally acknowledged to be one of a handful of designers to have changed the métier of design,” said Koda of the innovative couturier. “Christian Dior has credited James with inspiring his New Look. And Balenciaga said, ‘James is not America’s best couturier; he is simply the world’s best.’ When you have the two perhaps most important male designers of the mid-20th century endorsing you, you can understand that it’s something of a lack that the general public is not aware of this man’s work.”
Yesterday’s press conference provided a small window into what to expect in May’s exhibition. There was a curated collection of James’ original pieces on display: The deep red, seamlessly movable silk taffeta Tree dress he created for Marietta Peabody Tree (Penelope’s mother) in 1955 and the renowned Four-Leaf Clover ball gown, made for Austine Hearst and worn with a live-gardenia-covered jacket in 1953, were two. The jacket was re-created with the tech-ready help of architecture firm DRS. Elettra Wiedemann slipped into the 10-pound, strapless, curve-highlighting creation to give the attendees a sense of its ballroom twirl.
“[James was the] originator of the spiral-cut taxi dress. Advocator of the strapless. Inventor of the figure-eight shirt and puffer jacket. A waist that expanded after a meal. The no-cup bra,” asserted Koda, later telling Style.com, “[He] was really radical. He was an early proponent at a point where he made something that was difficult to understand very desirable. He treated the creation of clothing as an art. Even some of the greatest designers have said, ‘Oh, this is not an art. It’s a craft.’ Vionnet said, ‘I’m a dressmaker.’ Balenciaga, who used conventional tailoring and pushed it to the extreme, was still reliant on history. James wasn’t like that at all.”
The exhibition will open May 8 and run through August 10. It’s a move away from recent mass read, overtly pop culture, sexy Costume Institute shows—punk, the model, the supermodel, etc. A lesson in the underappreciated, indeed.
Last year, Christie’s brought in $1.36 million with its annual Bid to Save the Earth live auction in New York, where attendees bid on airplane rides with Harrison Ford and a day with Bill Clinton. The auction house has equally exciting items and experiences lined up for this year’s April 11 gala (Anna and Graydon Carter, Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault, and Susan and David Rockefeller are among the co-chairs), but ahead of the big event, Christie’s launches an online auction this morning, powered by Charitybuzz. Tea with model Elettra Wiedemann, a limited-edition reissued vintage Fendi Baguette handbag, and an afternoon of shopping with Simon Doonan (along with $2,500 to spend at Barneys) are all in the loot, but Style.com has its eye on the six bespoke Stella McCartney bags going up for auction today. McCartney, a dedicated green activist, teamed up with five artists to create one-of-a-kind bags for the auction. Style.com has the exclusive first look at the bags, featuring art by the likes of Mr. Brainwash (pictured, above), Bunta Inoue (pictured, below), and Peter Tunney, here. The bags will be for sale this morning through April 19 on Charitybuzz.com.