Gretchen Roehrs combines food and fashion to create illustrations with creativity and innovation. Her drawings offer a fresh look at ingredients, showcase the wonderful colors found at local markets, and are another beautiful way we can strengthen our connection with the food we eat.
How did you start using food as part of your fashion illustrations, and how does food influence your designs?
It all started as a bit of a joke, honestly! I was goofing around at lunch with baskets of farmers market produce and began doodling around little pea pods and berries. Food reminds me how important the origin of ingredients is, and also being ethically responsible for the materials used in design.
What foods do you most like working with?
I think it’s a bit subversive to take food scraps like banana peels and pea shells to make something beautiful. It’s inspired me to start using the scraps in my own cooking, too!
Are there any foods that have surprised you when they became part of your design?
The banana peel was the first one that really felt like something I’d not seen before, but once I did it the movement of the peel was obvious.
How does your work speak to the larger questions of connecting to food and finding beautiful ingredients full of color and flavor?
Well, living in California doesn’t hurt—the food culture is infectious and there is such a focus on ingredients. You see local chefs at the markets bright and early trying to get the best produce for their kitchens, and it’s inspiring to try cooking seasonally instead of relying on chain markets to ship you tomatoes in January.
What else can you say about intersection of fashion and food?
There are tremendous parallels between food and fashion cultures, aesthetically and trend-wise, but I’m really in love with the powerful women who have made a name for themselves in both fields. It makes me excited to be a part of the movement.