Fangirl of Viktor & Rolf. Always and forever. Pick out a random Viktor & Rolf piece from a sack and I assure you it will emerge without so much as a fold like a graceful swan and I will have the biggest goosebumps. Artistry, visual wit, drama, and many more superlative adjectives describe their 24 year history– I simply find their consistent brilliance baffling.
So, when I had to pick another piece to continue my Spiral vs Ruffle illustrations, I knew where I'd be looking. That's not to say I was looking for a particularly hard challenge, but when inspiration strikes and it seems like nothing can stop you, of course, you completely underestimate the incredibly intricate construct of a Viktor & Rolf.
Yes. Did I say it was hard? I tried to mimic the beautiful tulle ruffles using a spiraliser, exact colour matching notwithstanding. These are usually experiments for fun, but I felt particularly guilty of only a mediocre attempt at my hero designers' piece.
Then came the fun part. The raw materials looking vibrant, colourful and exciting, I had to create a fitting recipe to bring them all together.
I came across a reference to a matcha butter that particularly tickled my curiosity, and so I decided to experiment with it. The vegetable spirals seemed to lend themselves to a messy, carefree salad, but then again, V&R is anything but. So instead, how about a playful, but considered mix and match of all these elements into little bread bites? Here's the recipe:
1 Baguette, toasted
For the seaweed butter:
2 tablespoons crushed seaweed
1/4 teaspoon matcha powder
1 stick salted butter, preferably cultured, at room temperature
Flaky sea salt
For the ginger miso dressing:
2½ tablespoons white miso
1½ tablespoons hot or warm water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
½ teaspoon tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
Pink radish slices
Black Sesame seeds
White sesame seeds
1. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients to prepare the ginger miso dressing. Set aside.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the seaweed to a rough powder. Transfer to a bowl, add the matcha and butter and season with salt. Mix well until combined and set aside.
3. Now, quickly drizzle the ginger miso dressing over the spiralised cucumbers and toss lightly to coat.
4. Time to assemble! Spread a tablespoon or two of seaweed butter over each piece of toast and top with your choice of ginger miso spirals, radish slices, edible flowers and sprouts. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and enjoy!
Moving on from there, and really moving away from the spiral shape, I played with the photograph of the recipe this time. I experimented with a physical weave of it, scanned it back in and went a bit crazy with the colours. I liked the weird camo look the image acquired, so I stopped there.
I have to admit I find the transition to the pattern to be most challenging part, sometimes visually but mostly conceptually, and I have wondered what purpose these patterns would serve in the end. BUT- something happened last month. I realised the pattern I created for the last experiment was just so apt to finish up our Bollywood-inspired supper club invite. And it worked! So, despite the constant doubts I have while creating, I have to remind myself to be patient, work created is work created, whether or not it's used today. And I'd love to hear what you think, please comment away.