Mixing Street Food With Style

By: Dylan Rodgers

Somewhere in an alternate universe, a person can be engrossed in the wonderful simplicity of street food as they "Ooo," and "Aaah," through delectable morsels at runway models strutting the latest in fashion designs.  From the outside, this would seem to be a major cultural clash.  The "higher" and "lower" classes struggle enough in perception of each other without having to comingle in a common space.  Believe it or not, the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe pulled off an eloquent and sophisticated mixture of the entire class spectrum.

At the Grand Opening last night in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, patrons ate classic Ethiopian, Swedish, and Mexican dishes served in paper bowls, some from actual portable street vending carts.  I personally enjoyed the Doro Wat, an Ethiopian dish stewed, curry chicken, Ayib (yogurt curds), and Injera flat bread.  While my taste-buds joyously exploded, I watched excitedly as model after model walked into view and stood like living mannequins upon the steps of the restaurant.  Flashbulbs popped off right and left to capture detailed portraits of Prajje Jean Baptist's designs.

New to the world of fashion, I decided to roam around the restaurant and inquire about different individual's experiences.  Three men dressed in colorfully loud, 90's retro garb by the names of James Bullock, Eli Torres, and Loren Amos unanimously agreed to the success of the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe concept.  "Successful artists are the ones that stand-out," Eli said.  "The food and the fashion tastefully complimented one other."

Maya Haile, model and wife of Marcus Samuelsson, who has had first-hand experience in one of Prajje's designs, loved the show.  "The diversity in models (old, young, black, white) is great," she mentioned.  "The presentation show of ready-to-wear clothes allows you to really see the details in the design.  The presentation show [instead of runway show] makes the design more like art."

This sentiment was shared by fashion connoisseur Shawna Edgerson, who felt that "the presentation show provides and overall cohesiveness to the work" that she mentioned can be lacking in runway shows.

All in all the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe grand opening was masterfully conceptualized and successfully pulled off.  It is the perfect mix of taste, art, simplicity, and complexity to provide the ultimate experience of comfortable, satisfying, fashion, entertainment.  Seeing as how the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe will be open until the 15th, there is plenty of time to experience the wonderful dichotomy of comfort food and high-end fashion.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya