New Haven, United States — Did your mother ever tell you not to play with your food? Maybe it’s not as bad as she thought it was. Meet Gretchen Roehrs. Playing with food has become her creative outlet. Sure chefs get artistic with food, but not like Roehrs. This inventive fashion illustrator combines food, art and fashion in a unique combination that’s simply eye-catching.
Roehrs’s story starts in Columbia, Missouri, USA at Stephens College where she studied fashion design and product development. Her illustrations started with embellishing proportions and lengthening figures for a cartoon-like effect. Three years ago, she moved from Missouri to California where she’s been working as a user experience designer.
Fashion illustration with food is something new that she fell into this past spring. It started as a joke rather than a serious project. Roehrs had a friend who moved from California to the East Coast, and missed the fresh California produce. She would send pictures of the food she was eating to tease him, and slowly this morphed into food with drawings around it.
In an exclusive interview, Roehrs gave the FG Magazine a little insight into food, fashion and her inspirations. Here’s what she had to say.
Gretchen Roehrs Interview
How do food and fashion fit together?
What’s so unique about the two is that they are both things we interact with every day—we all eat and get dressed every day.
Combining both fashion and food into one concept is refreshingly familiar.
What inspires you?
It sounds cheesy, but everything around me is an inspiration for art. Either I’m inspired by its inherent beauty or challenged to make something purely functional and beautiful.
Who is your most important role model?
Irving Penn was such an iconic artist and his food series is a huge influence on my work. He never accepted the ordinary as is, he always sought to subvert it.
Who are your favourite fashion designers?
Jason Wu continues to surprise me with such evolved and feminine styles. He really knows how to make a woman feel both powerful and sensual.
Dare to be Different
The next time you’re stuck on a problem or you’re bored, dare to think about it a little differently. Roehrs actually went to school for architecture before she ended up in fashion and product design, and this is what she thinks about fashion:
To me, fashion is like building tiny, moveable homes for bodies.
Your unique take on the world can be innovative, inventive and artistic no matter what industry you’re in. Besides, being different is much more fun!