Food as a Luxury?

“A new fashion spread in I Love You magazine’s Diet issue explores the idea of food as a luxury object. Pheasant and octopus are framed and lit like expensive handbags. A model regards an enormous ham with envy, like she’s sizing up a rival at a party. It’s a provocative editorial, and I reached out to the photographer, Elle Muliarchyk, to talk more about it.

Muliarchyk is from Belarus, but her parents were in academia and the diplomatic service, so her childhood was spent largely in Vietnam and in various countries of Eastern and Western Europe. She remembers being exposed to many different kinds of food and cultural ideas around food and eating…

“But, at sixteen years old, “diet” acquired a different meaning to me. I came to the US and became a model. I ate celery sticks, almost exclusively, for the next eight years while discovering Atkins, Okinawa, Raw, Glycemic Index, Blood Type and Microbiotic diets. For the first time in my life I saw people treating diet as a fashion trend and status symbol.”

The spread shows the South Sudanese model Ataui Deng interacting with, venerating, and glorifying food — but never consuming it. It depicts the suckling pigs and roast ducks with which Deng surrounds herself like luxury objects, or works of contemporary art. (Muliarchyk mentioned Damien Hirst’s formaldehyde’d tiger shark.) It’s a provocative spread because a lot of people who work in and around fashion do treat food as an accessory, something they perhaps want to be seen with at a party but not actually eat.”

Read more and see pictures of the fashion spread:

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One Response to Food as a Luxury?

  1. The Real Cie says:

    Food should not be a “luxury.” Food is a necessity of life. I don’t like the message that this photo spread sends.

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