• Switzerland's news in English
 
moving_to_switz_header

Models don choc frocks for tasty Zurich fashion show

Published: 30 Mar 2012 15:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Mar 2012 17:40 GMT+02:00

For the opening soirée of the first Salon du Chocolat in Zurich, renowned chocolatiers and pastry chefs applied their skills to fabric in a new twist on haute couture, writes Meritxell Mir.

With a jaw-dropping fashion show, they proved on Thursday evening that chocolate is not just to be savoured, it is also to be flaunted.

French chocolatier Jean-Claude Jeanson and designer Stéphane Martello, alias Mister Crochet, spent 120 hours creating the most spectacular choco-dress to appear on the Zurich catwalk.

As is typical of his style, Martello sought inspiration in nature to create a flamboyant bird’s nest gown from 200 metres of wire covered with tissue. A sort of magician’s hat writ large, the roomy nest concealed three live white pigeons.

As if this weren’t enough to dazzle the fashion aficionados in attendance, Jeanson topped off the creation with the sweetest of floral ornamentations.

Leaves, daisies and roses crafted from chocolate conferred on the dress a romantic touch and sense of lightness that belied the fact the model was wearing a seven-kilogram outfit.

The flowers, though still fragile, were made more resistant by mixing the chocolate with glucose, Jeanson tells The Local.

While the fashion show had an operatic theme, most creators allowed themselves some creative licence.

Geneva-based chocolatier Philippe Pascoët worked together with Swiss designer Elisa Sue to create a Baroque style gown. The pair attached a dark chocolate bustier, decorated with a big white chocolate heart, to a long golden train that “symbolised the foil paper that wraps the bars,” Pascoët tells The Local.

But how could the models even move without breaking their chocolate shells? Jeanson says the trick is the glucose.

“[When warm], the mix becomes malleable, but once it’s dry, it becomes quite rigid,” Pascoët adds.

Choc-master Philippe Bel, based in Lyon, mixed confectionary and chocolate for another bustier innovation. The result was a sensual brassiere made with a combination of dark and milk chocolate and marshmallows. For Bel, the roundness, softness and sweetness of these elements allowed him to “represent the attributes of femininity.”

“I just want to provoke the urge in people to come and savour the marshmallows and the chocolate directly from the model,” he says.

The dozen dresses will be on show at the fair until it closes its doors on Sunday evening.

Anyone with a sweet tooth probably had a hard time resisting Bel’s temptation, even though the Salon is full of other opportunities to sample the classics from Villars, Ladërach or Cailler, as well as new additions and trends from the world of the chocolate.

At the fair, chocolatiers are set to present uncommon blends that merge chocolate with saffron, coriander or thyme as they try to upstage innovators like Boissier.

Not yet present in Switzerland, the Paris-based confectioner offers visitors a chance to try its unique choco-petals. Flavoured with lavender, violet, jasmine, rose and verbena, these colourful little chocolates leave your mouth feeling fresh as a daisy.

Equally astounding is the collection from Belgian Just Chocolate, which offers a variety of pure cocoa pieces with a hint of flavours like mushroom, olive or tobacco.

Tasting them, it does indeed seem these ingredients are contained within, although the manufacturer tells The Local that this is in fact just a tasty illusion. This unorthodox chocolate maker recommends sampling its delights with coffee, wine or the finest Belgian beer.

Although new to the Swiss audience, the cocoa-enriched fashion show has been travelling the world for years as part of the Salon du Chocolat, the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate.

First opening its doors in Paris in 1995, it has since brought chocolate joy to cities such as Moscow, Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Madrid and Cairo.

In many ways it seems odd that it took so long for the show to make it to Switzerland, a country that holds the world record for chocolate consumption with an annual average of 12.4 kilograms per person.

“We thought of coming to Geneva ten years ago, but we only managed to get 20 exhibitors,” explains Adeline Vancauwelaert, international director of the fair.

“Back then the economic situation was probably OK, but now the competition is getting harder,” she says.

With so many new countries becoming major chocolate consumers, especially in Asia, the major manufacturers and smaller artisans have to get ready for rising demand, she says.

There are 60 participants in Zurich, a number still far from the 560 that Paris gets every year on average.

“It’s a small number, but when we launched in other cities, we usually had between 40 and 80, so we’re right in the middle,” says Vancauwelaert.

Over the weekend, the first Salon du Chocolat in Switzerland will bring an educational approach to the business of chocolate with conferences, demos with pastry chefs, and plenty of tasting opportunities.

And there’s a bonus for the kids: at Chocoland, they will learn what’s behind their favourite treats as they get to make their own chocolate bars.

Can you resist the temptation?

More information: Salon du chocolat










Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swissport to be sold in multi-billion franc deal
Photo: AFP/Nicolas Maeterlinck

Swissport to be sold in multi-billion franc deal

Private equity company PAI Partners announced Thursday it is selling Zurich-based airport ground handling and cargo company Swissport International to China's HNA Group for 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion, 2.54 billion euros). READ  

Missing Swiss cats spark record helpline calls
Missing cats concerned 85 percent of calls. Photo: Dennis Jarvis

Missing Swiss cats spark record helpline calls

Switzerland’s recent heatwave resulted in a record number of cats going walkabout in the months of June and July, according to Swiss animal call centre STMZ. READ  

Swiss researcher creates yarn from abattoir waste
The yarn was spun from a gelatine-based thread. Photo: ETH Zurich

Swiss researcher creates yarn from abattoir waste

A PHD student at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich has devised a fibre with similar properties to merino wool from gelatine gathered from slaughterhouse waste. READ  

10 amazing places to be on Swiss National Day
Head to Zermatt for a sunset dinner overlooking the Matterhorn. Photo: Marc Weiler

10 amazing places to be on Swiss National Day

From mountain-top barbecues to sunrise breakfasts and cliff walks, follow The Local’s suggestions for making the most of Swiss national day on Saturday. READ  

Swiss watches stolen in second museum break-in
The town of Le Locle is a watchmaking centre. Photo: Neuchatel Tourism

Swiss watches stolen in second museum break-in

Burglars have stolen a number of valuable items from the watch museum in Le Locle, in the canton of Neuchâtel, just two months after a similar incident in nearby La Chaux-de-Fonds. READ  

Drunk Swiss man tied up on flight to Bangkok
The Thai Airways flight continued to Bangkok. Photo: Faisal Akram

Drunk Swiss man tied up on flight to Bangkok

Passengers on a flight from Zurich to Bangkok were forced to tie up a drunk Swiss man who caused a fracas during the journey. READ  

Solar Impulse
Millions needed by Solar Impulse after grounding
The solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii. Photo: Eugene Tanner/AFP

Millions needed by Solar Impulse after grounding

The team behind the sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 plane, piloted by two Swiss men, said on Tuesday that it needed an additional 20 million euros ($22 million) to complete a historic round-the-world flight after battery damage grounded it for months. READ  

Le Locle epidemic due to E.Coli in water supply
Residents are advised to avoid drinking the water in Le Locle. Photo: Neuchatel Tourism

Le Locle epidemic due to E.Coli in water supply

Authorities in Swiss watchmaking town Le Locle, where a mystery stomach bug has laid low up to 1,000 residents, have confirmed the presence of E.Coli bacteria in the water supply. READ  

Swiss equestrians ride again after drugs appeal
Steve Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets compete in La Baule in May. Photo: Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP

Swiss equestrians ride again after drugs appeal

Swiss rider Steve Guerdat, the individual show jumping gold medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, is free to compete again after the international equestrian federation (FEI) announced on Monday they would lift a provisional ban. READ  

EXPAT GUIDE | Presented by Greenback
Taxes in Switzerland: the easy way
Photo: MoneyImages/Flickr

Taxes in Switzerland: the easy way

Tax season is daunting enough at home – let alone in a foreign country. That’s why expats David and Carrie McKeegan started Greenback, the tax company designed specifically for American expats. The Local talked to the couple about how to handle taxes in Switzerland. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
The Expat Guide: Moving to Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
National
Swiss army airlifts water to thirsty cows
International
Canary Islands: diver killed in collision with Swiss windsurfer
National
VIDEO: Seagull steals camera for amazing bird's eye selfie
Switzerland celebrates first ascent of Matterhorn
Politics
Immigrant recruits may not be loyal: Army chief
Solar Impulse 2 round-the-world flight halted for repairs
Society
Teenager gets high on vegetarian meal at Zurich club
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
Geneva's revolutionary marketing education
National
Greece seeks tax revenues from assets 'hidden' in Swiss banks
Culture
Paris police arrest Swiss artist for naked Eiffel Tower selfies
National
Scientists uncover largest Swiss dinosaur skeleton ever found
National
National weather office extends danger alerts as heatwave takes hold
National
Most severe heatwave in Switzerland since 2003 on the way
Travel
Bogglingly expensive Geneva club sandwiches remain 'priciest in world'
Politics
Anti-immigration nationalist party remains most popular: poll
National
Greek finance minister slams Swiss over lack of tax evasion info
Business & Money
Insects proposed for sale in Swiss supermarkets next year
National
'Oh God — I'm coming': noisy lovers' complaint goes public
National
Canton of Ticino threatens closing Italy border to asylum seekers
National
Just in case: Swiss National Bank prepares for Grexit 'crisis'
National
Russian crisis fuelled by sanctions threaten 40,000 Swiss jobs: study
National
Art Basel: Art for art's sake — or to make an investment?
National
New survey ranks Zurich Europe's priciest city for expatriates
National
Quarter of residents in Switzerland 'have multiple homes'
Features
Veggie lovers and 'flexitarians' challenge Swiss meat-eating habits
National
Forest officials struggle to save Switzerland's dying ash trees
Education
Historian finds ancient Egyptian papyrus texts in Basel uni library
National
Seven large Swiss employers back 'flexible work' charter
National
Basel police rescue of ducks forces closure of A2 motorway
National
Mother and daughter die as rain storms lash central Switzerland
Sport
'Stan the man' Wawrinka: French Open triumph 'completely crazy'
Culture
Expat's Zurich 'then and now' video shows how little the city has changed
National
Phoney Geneva police officers rob tourists and UN staff
Sport
Blatter's abrupt resignation seen as a 'stunning capitulation'
Features
Cleanup crews head to ski resorts to keep Swiss mountains tidy
Culture
Interlaken museum showcases works by Picasso using Caran d'Ache pencils
National
Low interest rates give tenants right to seek rent reductions in Switzerland
Sport
Switzerland's Blatter fends off critics to win fifth term as Fifa president
National
Agricultural researchers discover why Swiss cheese has holes
Culture
Swiss filmmaker returns home to shoot 'gender-fluid' film in Ticino
Features
Severed rope recalls Matterhorn's first ascent 150 years ago
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,238
jobs available