The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 5, No 1 (2017)

Humour, food and fashion: The use of humour and food in fashion shows

Arie Sover,Orna Ben-Meir


This article is the first study that researches the combination of three components: humour, food and fashion. It is based on an analysis of three unique fashion shows whose designer is the American Jeremy Scott; two under his brand, and the third as an art director for the Italian brand Moschino. The three shows connect these three components, while presenting the culmination of a food-humour theme in contemporary fashion, which had started with Moschino’s brand founder, Franco Moschino, in the nineties. Combining food and fashion is relevant in contemporary culture as it compares consumption of fast food to that of fast fashion. The link between laughter and food is ancient. A few days after birth, there are buds of a smile on a baby’s face, expressing its satisfaction with food. Smiles and even laughter often occur throughout a person’s life in the context of delicious food. The uniqueness of the above-mentioned fashion shows is not humour in itself, but rather its combination with food and fashion, the two seemingly different. The combination of these three components creates a cognitive challenge for the fashion spectators. We thus argue that this threesome constitutes an important, creative breakthrough in fashion. One of humour’s important functions is to challenge social, cultural and aesthetic norms. As thus it has been infiltrated into fashion shows since the 1980s, as a norm-breaker, but also as a marketing strategy. This article discusses the cultural function of food and humour in fashion shows, from a cultural semiotic methodology.


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