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Gretchen Röehrs has good taste. The San Francisco based artist is still “playing with food” as her Instagram description admits, creating ink illustrations of figures delightfully dressed in outfits made from Californian fresh produce. With over 79k followers on Instagram, you’ve probably come across her vivacious work already.
Röehrs studied fashion design and product development at college and spent time in New York as the art assistant at Vogue until 2012. Since then, Röehrs presence as an artist has grown. In June this year, she featured at the Galerie Joseph in Paris (next door to Musée d’Orsay) and has graced the pages of Seventeen, Cherry Bombe and the Food Section of the New York Times, where her illustrations involved breakfast foods such as ripe avocado, caramelised waffles and fresh fruit.
In 2015, she recreated runway looks for Harpers Bazaar with Givenchy comprised of crisp kale, Jason Wu in folds of soft peach skin (complete with peach pit clutch!) and a Sonia Rykiel’s resort piece with lemon slices. Spring Summer or Autumn Winter, Röehrs designs are always in season.
Röehrs has collaborated and created illustrations for Marc Jacobs Beauty with Bergdofs, Chantal Guillon macarons and Bite Beauty, a perfect partnership considering their lip products are made from food-grade ingredients.
Röehrs started sending these illustrations to her friend on the East Coast, teasing him with the produce he was missing out on. Other than markets and Chinatown, Röehrs is also inspired by contemporary artists like Richard Haines and Donald Robertson. Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and Madame Grès are designers she admires, considering the artistry of their garments.
Although Röehrs’ pieces feature organic material like oysters, berries and wild flower petals one of latest pieces used sugar, cigarettes and a partially eaten McDonald’s cheeseburger to represent “bad trends” for Lane Crawford, an Asian luxury department store.
Röehrs’ illustrations are fresh and simple. Colour, texture and the clever contortion of fresh produce are the recipe to her success, with recognition and collaborations growing.
For a little taste, check out her Instagram @groehrs.
AUTHOR: Alana Mulderry