Pret a Manger: Chocolate Fashion Show
Contributed by Natalie Taylor
Ten designers have to create couture worthy fashion featuring chocolate. Sounds like an episode of Project Runway to me. In this scenario, however, the couture is created by some of Canada's most established designers as well as notable up and comers, the chocolate is sponsored by Cadbury and the catwalk is located in the regal surroundings of the Carlu. Welcome to the alliteration profound 2007 Cadbury Chocolate Couture Collection Fashion Show.
Not only is this a fashionista's dream (you can actually eat your clothes...and they taste good!) but an excellent branding strategy. Loaded on endorphin inducing chocolate sushi, coca infused couscous, and the perennial party favorite chocolate fountain, I was ready to critique some unique creations.
Now in its third year, the influences for this collection ranged from retrospective of eras past, Parisian exquisiteness and chocolate rebellion with a twist of Vegas va va voom. The show started off with the pomp and circumstance of Pat McDonagh's interpretation of a Marie Antionette worthy gown.
This catapulted in many other original yet modern creations: Phoebe Gao's cropped swing coat decorated with dazzling chocolate hand-beading; the demure travel dress accentuated by milk chocolate stripes and buttons by the geniuses behind Damzels in this Dress, Kelly Freeman and Rory Lindo; Franco Mirabelli's swingy trapeze mini complete with chocolate leather ribbons which would envy Zena the warrior princess; and Sunny Choi's sweet, chic leopard-print suit, an amalgam of milk and dark chocolate complete with sheer brown tights and a caramel poodle. The suit was modeled by Canada's Next Top Model winner Rebecca Hardy, unrecognizable in her wide brimmed hat and my assumption that she's hoping that no-one will try to lick her chocolate tights.
It was refreshing to see creations made for the male, most notably Farley Chatto's Sid Vicious channeled Sid Delicous ensemble of kilt and painted Sex Pistols T-shirt, only outdone by his model's mocha Mohawk. Sarah Nicol followed suit with her "Devilish in Leather" outfit evoking the ultimate chocolate fantasy. The mouth watering show ended in opulence featuring a Vegas show girl confidently draped in lavish ropes of chocolate beads and a stunning feather headdress, costumed by Izzy Camilleri.
This show truly showed the dedication Canadian designers have towards innovation and quality. No catfights. No supermodels bidding "Auf Wiedersehen" or "you just don't measure up, but an intent satisfaction and a craving for more.
All photos are by Dave Tran
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