Fashion and Food Design

Whether you are designing dresses and accessories or desserts and food, the creative process is at work. While my grandmother was an inspiration for my passion to cook and bake, my grandfather was one who fostered creativeness and inventiveness for the artistry of presentation of the sweets and savories.

It is he who taught me to find creative variations and solutions to everything I did and this I applied to my chocolate recipes. His influence instilled in me the importance of artistically accessorizing the chocolate compositions for presentation in order to make the layout and photographic process for the cookbook easier for my talented design team at KayWaal Creative.

While composing my recipe and still life composition of chocolate cupcakes with mocha buttercream for this week’s entry for the cookbook, I kept thinking of my grandfather who designed and made pocketbooks at the Fashion Design House of Nettie Rosenstein for a major part of the nineteenth century. After her retirement he continued on working for Sol Klein who took over Nettie’s design house and focused on accessories.

Nettie Rosenstein was the originator of the little black dress that would go from daywear to eveningwear. She had her fashion house in Manhattan and she designed fabulous gowns, dresses, jewelry, and accessories for prominent people. She was considered to be one of the premier American designers.

Pictured above a purse that my grandfather designed and made me from a scrap of leftover cutting of the green brocade for a clutch bag made for Queen Elizabeth. My sister Pamela has a pink purse that matched the Nettie Rosenstein clutch bag that he made Mamie Eisenhower. He would collaborate with Nettie and actually carry out the work, he loved to craft many of the items himself. Every pocketbook, clutch bag or purse he made, whether material or leather, was often stitched by hand by himself and his team.

Also above is a picture of a cylindrically shaped coin purse he designed and hand-stitched from a tiny piece of material. He hand stitched a bit of soft leather surrounding a tiny zipper he fashioned to fit the pieces. No scrap went to waste with Pambi as we called him, as brought home leftover cuttings from the design floor. He made us beautiful little treasures so we too could feel like queens and first ladies.

Sometimes when they were under deadlines for department store order my grandfather would help the staff and even brought the work home. I remember him placing the leather over a block of lead and then tapping tiny holes into it with needle-like instruments. He would be able to apply the tiniest stitches imaginable so they would go unnoticed in the piece. He would work in the frame with special glue and reinforced it again with the little stitches in matching colors.

I can now see the creative process blossom at an astonishing level in my nephew Colin Vitale. Colin is a student at Parson’s The New School for Design. His future and fame as a great designer in the world of fashion is unquestionable and The Chocolate Goddess is so proud to see him develop his extraordinary talent. Like other exceptional designers his fashions and art works know how to capture an audience for he creates glamour, mood, and attention with even the smallest and most unique material scraps just like his great-grandfather. Like Colin always says he “takes his fantasies and turns them into wearable pieces of art”.

Everyone has a creative side that they can use to make the world a more beautiful place. Tap into yours today and BE Goddess!