Essay

Feast or Fashion

Horacio Silva

To celebrate his Coty Award win in 1983, Willi Smith tapped Miralda, the Spanish food artist known for installations such as Edible Landscape, Sangria, and Moveable Feast, to cook up something special in the designer’s showroom.

On the menu at Miralda’s Dressing Tables, as the event was billed: three stations shaped to represent a jumpsuit, pants, and a shirt (Smith’s outfit combination of choice), with three different dressings—mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise.

Generously seasoned with concept, each table had a special color code for drinks that were placed on small mirrors: red drink for chicken with mustard, green drink for asparagus and mayonnaise, blue drink for shrimp with ketchup. A bit hard to swallow by today’s tastes, but the participatory food performance predates the private event-as-food-for-thought efforts of artist Jennifer Rubell by at least two decades. According to the Daily News Record, invitees initially “stared suspiciously at the tables wondering what to do.” After realizing the date and signed “mini-couture” boxes they were given contained shrimp, chicken, and asparagus, guests ate it up with a spoon.

Horacio Silva

Horacio Silva is the head of content and special projects for Metrograph and is a renowned writer and editor for the world’s most prestigious publications and brands.


Grayscale photograph of two women sitting in front of small boxes on the floor assembling boxes and applying labels; behind the women, three other people work at a table in the background

Miralda installing Dressing Tables. Photographed by Marta Sentís, 1983


Paper with illustrations of a T-shirt, a tray with cups, and written measurements

Miralda, Design for Dressing Tables, 1983


Paper with illustrated red and yellow tables in the shape of pants, a shirt, and jumpsuit

Miralda, Design for Dressing Tables, 1983


Paper with black-and-white photograph of WilliWear showroom with small sketches of garments drawn over-top and notes for Dressing Tables afterparty

Miralda, Design for Dressing Tables, 1983


Three polaroid photos of a red WilliWear shirt, pants, and jumpsuit

Miralda, Inspiration for Dressing Tables, 1983


Willi Smith, Laurie Mallet, and Antoni Miralda stand over half painted table in the shape of pants

Miralda, Laurie Mallet, and Willi Smith installing Dressing Tables. Photographed by Marta Sentís, 1983