Twenty Questions with Gretchen Roehrs
1. Paid gig: Believe it or not, I work in tech designing apps and websites. Despite my formal training in fashion design, I discovered that creating apps is a lot easier than designing garments, and the pay is, like, quadruple. No free shoes, though. #sellout
2. Most popular post ever: The rainbow lineup of strutting vegetables and produce struck a chord when I posted it on the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. People love love!
3. Connect the dots: What’s the synergy between fashion and food? There are so many things food and fashion share. The most striking one is that these are two ways people have the chance to be creative every day and try something new and exciting. You could cook a soufflé instead of your standard dinner, or you could wear that cocktail dress with a sweater over it to work. It takes a certain amount of courageousness and effort to do both of those things, but aren’t those the meals and outfits you remember? Trends, seasons and industry darlings are the focus of our infatuation with both food and fashion. Everyone can take a small piece of the trend and make it their own, which makes food and fashion a lot more accessible than other parts of the art and luxury world.
4. Rumor is that you eat fashion model Karlie Kloss’s Perfect 10 Cookies for breakfast. Guilty or not guilty? Very guilty, but I’m a bit miffed that I haven’t morphed to Karlie’s dimensions because of my rigorous routine.
5. New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Seventeen. We miss anyone? Cherry Bombe wrote some kind words about me, which was ultra-cool considering I backed their
Kickstarter the day I saw the pitch for a food magazine by/for women.
6. Tools of the trade: Pen (or brush?) of choice, and we’re assuming your knives are pretty sharp? At any given time I have handfuls of Japanese brush pens in my pockets and bags, staining any and everything. Pentel makes a great one. My knife is also Japanese; that was a lovely gift from an ex of mine who found it at a knife shop in the Mission.
7. Tick tock: Does it take you longer to slice and dice than it does to draw? I have no formal knife skills, and after a mishap with a mandoline slicer, I go extra slow with the sharp bits these days.
8. Alexander McQueen’s infamous “Oyster Dress” is an obvious inspiration; who else influences your point of view? Irving Penn revolutionized the way we see food, I think. His portraits of frozen blocks of peas and severed chicken heads are among my favorite works of art.
9. Designers hanging in your closet? Mansur Gavriel makes accessories that are closer to fine candies than any practical bag or shoe ought to be, so naturally I can’t stop collecting them.
10. From the runway to your sketch pad, check. From your sketch pad to the runway someday? Well, after studying fashion for many years and making my sketches into garments for the runway, I can safely say that my talents lie elsewhere.
11. Instagram feeds that you always check first?
@michelgaubert (This guy never takes fashion too seriously)
@reneredzepinoma (Hi, Noma—I’m waiting for my invite to be your artist in residence!)
@brokenladders (One of my favorite living painters)
@therawbook (Just look)
12. Phone it in: iOS or Android? I became an Apple fangirl since I first used KidPix on my mom’s Macintosh. iPhone4Ever.
13. Lady Gaga wore the meat dress but we guess you’re not inspired by pork chops? No meat-themed designs yet? I’m dying to do a lobster dress, like that Schiaparelli one.
14. Stepping out: Your top three dining destinations in town? Cala, Benu, Yamo (“Food” is not a four-letter word!)
15. Bundled up in berries: What would your ladies wear out on a cold foggy night? I feel like a fluffy meringue might be very insulating.
16. Speaking of ladies, are fruits and vegetables more feminine than masculine or are there some guys getting dressed in the wings? Hate to say it, but I just like looking at and drawing women more. For one event I had to draw Ignacio Mattos of Estela and consequently I’m pretty sure I’m blacklisted from there. It wasn’t pretty.
17. Tell us about your book deal! Rizzoli is crazy and decided that a whole book of food and fashion is a good idea! Couldn’t say no. This also puts me one step closer to Kim Kardashian—they published her two books of selfies.
18. We’re coming over for dinner. What are you making? Handmade pasta is my one trick. It’s dinner and a show!
19. Your captions are always spot on. Were you a copywriter in a former life? That’s such a huge compliment, as the only reason I draw to make people laugh is because all my verbal jokes fall flat. I interned at Vogue, where there were often shouts of headline ping-pong happening throughout the office. Those gals are some of the wittiest people out there—so I learned from the best.
20. Your ladies are long and leggy. Can you do short and stumpy—or, in other words, what would Trump wear? If I were to draw Trump, it would just be a crumpled Big Mac wrapper dusted in Cheeto crumbs, maybe even with flies circling it. What a despicable human.