Friday, December 12, 2008

Chocolate Fashion & Philosophy

Yes, after yet another digression(s), I am returning to the Chocolate Show. There was a chocolate fashion show the night before I got there - how I would have loved to see that! But several of the costumes were on display at the show. The theme was a superhero one, perhaps inspired by the superhero costume exhibit at the Met. I also saw that - very cool. I think Wonder Woman and Cat Woman ROCK and it was pretty sweet to see their costumes at the Met. (Ah - I really do have a pretty cool life.)

Don't know the details on this one, but it's pretty hot:

Here's a warrior princess by Valrhona:

And finally, check out this one by Dina Sadik and Vanessa Greeley:

Yes, that is the Chrysler Building on the headdress (and a Angelia Jolie look-alike in the background). Dina was actually there and I got to talk with her. She was VERY sweet and so excited about the project. Definitely a non-snob. And if you visit her website: you'll see she has as much reason to be snobby as anyone! Her work is gorgeous - I wish her online shopping cart was set up - I would totally order from her.

Let me give you a couple of facts about the costume she and her friend Vanessa Greeley designed from an article at:

The outfit includes a satin cape studded with more than 100 chocolate rings, a three-layer chocolate corset modeled after the chocolate bra, and a chocolate belt with flashing electronics interwoven that sits above gray spandex pants and a pair of calf-high chocolate boots.

The headpiece made of Callebaut Belgian chocolate and Valrhona French chocolate weighs close to 10 pounds. It's the outfit's pièce de résistance, crowned with chocolate spires, spikes and spears and weighted on either side by Manhattan-themed regalia like taxicabs and a pretty sweet replica of the Chrysler Building.

When I took the picture of the outfit, Dina came up and asked if I liked it. She was so nice and so approachable (unlike many of the other chocolatiers), that I was thrilled to talk with her. She told me she and her friend had made the piece and gave me her card.

What made me think of this brief interaction was how different it is when you actually meet the person behind a product or idea - how interacting with them gives you a new appreciation for their efforts - or not (if they are rude and snobby, I feel worse about their products). The Internet makes it easy to be mean, as we saw in the NYT review. The critic probably didn't know any of the people involved in making those chocolates. If she did, maybe she would have chosen her words more carefully. I'm not saying she should say she likes things she doesn't, but there's a difference between saying you didn't care for something and that it should be fed to dogs.

I think of that horrible woman who drove one of her daughter's teenage classmates to suicide by pretending to be another teen and being cruel to her. I read another article where a grown man killed himself because of all the horrible postings criticizing his recent disastrous ad campaign. The people who posted were all anonymous. It is even easier to be cruel and torment others when you can remain hidden - not connected to your vile words. And even more recently all those people watched a young man commit suicide over his web cam, some even egging him on.

If we all had to look into the other person's eyes when we typed our words, I'd like to think we would never be so cruel. What we would see there would be the same things we see in our own eyes - the fear of rejection, the hope for acceptance, the desire to be liked. Almost all of us now have access to the Internet, all of us hold the pen that is mightier than the sword. How will we use it? We are all so fragile - sticks and stones do break our bones, but words can break our hearts.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Thanks for the post.
It is so true that the tongue "is set on fire by hell itself," and now that we have this Internet tool, we use the written word to hurl the same types of horrible things at each other.
Thanks for talking about this and making us aware of how what we say profoundly affects others -- either for good or evil.

And on a lighter note, do you think Angelina Jolie really has the body of a mannequin after those babies? Even if she doesn't, those costumes are so darn awesome.
Doesn't quite make me hungry for chocolate ... in fact I get the same sort of angst of a middle aged-woman discovering a Victoria's Secret catalogue in the mailbox as I look at them ... but wow, how detailed, what works of art!
So fun. Thanks for sharing.