Fashion and cake may seem an unusual paring (I mean how often do you see catwalk models biting into a big chunk of chocolate cake backstage?) however they actually have quite a lot in common: both guilty pleasures, indulgent purchases, visually
Fashion and cake may seem an unusual paring (I mean how often do you see catwalk models biting into a big chunk of chocolate cake backstage?) however, they actually have quite a lot in common: both guilty pleasures, indulgent purchases, visually stimulating and beautifully crafted. This probably explains why we have all fallen for Citrus Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Orange Lemon Icing aka Stella Cake as found on Appolinas blog by Gwyneth Tang.
After seeing Stella McCartney’s S/S11 collection, Washington DC-based attorney Apollina thought the vivid citrus print was “good enough to eat”, and so put this into practice. Combining a couple of different recipes in order to get “a ton of fresh orange and lemon flavours in every bite” Apollina re-imagined Stella’s designs into a fashionably delicious cake, which took two days to make: one for baking and preparation and one for assembly. “I call her Stella,” Appolina notes above her recipe, which can be viewed in full here.
Leading the way in the fashion cake bake off, to celebrate AnOther Magazine’s 10th anniversary last February we commissioned 10 of the world’s major fashion houses to design their ultimate fantasy cake, realised by 10 of the most innovative chefs and food artists. The final creations, which were on display in Selfridges’ Wonder Room Concept Store, ranged from the conceptual (Calvin Klein’s modernist structure made out 1000 pink marshmallows covered in silver leaf) to the censored (Givenchy’s cake featured nude figures made out of icing engaging in sexual acts) and the crazy (Lanvin’s cake was made out of half a tonne of Tate & Lyle Fairtrade sugar and performance artists Theo Adams jumped out of it at the launch party). The Berkeley Hotel has since followed suit creating a fashion-themed afternoon tea called Prêt-à-Portea: transforming key trends from Tom Ford, Chloé, Miu Miu and Jil Sander catwalks into biscuits and treats.
Here we talk to Tang about her favourite cake and which designer collection she would re-interpret into food...
What made you choose to Love this cake?
It is so much fun isn't it? Refreshing colours and probably tasty too.
From Prada’s bananas to D&G’s cherries and Stella McCartney’s citrus creations – what has been your favourite fashion and fruit collection, and why?
I'd have to pick Prada’s banana collection and out of the above three I only eat bananas! My favourite piece of the Prada S/S11 collection was the trumpet skirt, which had illustrated yellow bananas across it on a black background. When I was small I actually tried to put bananas around the elasticated waistline of my shorts to create a skirt-effect – I failed though, real bananas were too heavy. I’d like to think I was fashion-forward.
If you were to create your own cake or food dish based on a collection – what would you make?
I am an awful cook. It's quite hard to associate many colours used on clothes to end up on your dish and being edible apart from the really obvious ones like Prada bananas. I imagine Dries van Noten's A/W09 intriguing colour combinations would make very pleasant desserts though.
What has been your favourite food or drink served at a fashion event or show?
All the bubbly, salmon rolls, caviar, tofu in sauce taste absolutely great. But I prefer sitting down properly for a meal, even for a cup of tea.
What has been the most inventive thing you have ever cooked?
You've asked the wrong person, I once put salt in coffee...
What is your favourite cake to eat and where from?
I grew up in Hong Kong and for my eight birthday my Dad bought me the best birthday cake from a local bakery. It was nothing fancy, maybe even a bit tacky – their boxes were covered in a pink rose print. The cake was as normal as you can imagine: a usual sponge cake covered in cream with some fruits around on top and in the middle was chocolate writing of “Happy Birthday” in Chinese. It didn't taste extraordinary at all, in fact I probably didn't finish my slice. But I was very happy.
Text by Lucia Davies