Cocoa couture: Models in chocolate dresses strut the runway in Dubai Mall

The show was part of the Salon du Chocolat exhibition, which runs until Saturday

A Marie Antoinette-inspired dress made of chocolate at the Salon du Chocolat exhibition in Dubai. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National
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Chocolate and fashion met in an eccentric runway show at Le Gourmet, Galeries Lafayette in Dubai Mall on Thursday.

The show is part of the Salon du Chocolat et de la Patisserie, a Parisian chocolate exhibition that runs in the UAE until Saturday.

The confectionery-created looks were inspired by noteworthy female personalities through the years, from Marie Antoinette to Rihanna. Chefs and fashion students from Esmod Dubai collaborated to achieve chocolate couture, taking style notes from their assigned famous person.

For instance, the Frida Kahlo look featured the floor-length Tehuana dress the Mexican painter is known for, but made out of white chocolate. The Madonna-inspired creation looked to the singer's edgy fashion sense, featuring a sculptural piece complete with the pop star's Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra.

The three-day event is dedicated to all things chocolate, where professional tasters, chocolatiers, aficionados, cookbook authors, pastry chefs and brands come together to celebrate the most imaginative sweet creations.

Aside from the fashion show, the event features chocolate-making demonstrations, pastry shows and competitions. There is also a zone tailored to children.

Several celebrated chefs in the field are leading the segments, including Julien Jacob, the executive pastry chef of Jumeirah Al Naseem; Jeremy Le Moillex, the chef chocolatier at Canonica; and Karim Bourgi, who was named Mena's Best Pastry Chef by the World's 50 Best organisation this year.

Other chefs on-site are female Emirati pastry chef Sahar Al Awadhi of Burj Al Arab fame; Dimitri Esposito, executive pastry chef at Jumeirah Al Qasr; and Abdellah Tougda, part of the Aalst team of chefs and chocolatiers.

These chefs are whipping up different types of sweet treats, from peanut lollipop brownies to chocolate puff waffles with coriander praline and clementine confit.

Workshops aside, visitors can also sample and buy chocolates from the many exhibitors on site, with more than 50 brands taking part this year.

Another highlight of the event is the Best Chocolate Showpiece contest, taking place on the last day, where chocolatiers will go head-to-head to create ornate chocolate displays.

Established in Paris in 1994, Salon du Chocolat has become a favourite with chocolate enthusiasts, with exhibitions taking place everywhere from New York to Tokyo, and London to Hong Kong.

In the Middle East, after the success of Salon du Chocolat Beirut, Dubai was the second city to host the event last year.

Updated: May 18, 2023, 2:22 PM