Chocolatiers and fashion designers have collaborated to bring dresses made of chocolate to a Brussels catwalk.
One creation, by designer Giovanni Biasiolo and chocolate maker Jean-Christophe Hubert, used 8kg of chocolate – not far off the 6kg the average Belgian eats in a year – while another, by Peruvian Ricardo Davila, featured a staff and headdress, also made of chocolate.
The dresses are part of a showcase by more than 70 artisans of trends in the country’s chocolate industry, which is worth €4 billion a year and employs 9% of the population.
Belgium’s chocolate history dates back to 1635, when the country was under occupation by Spain, which had recently brought chocolate to Europe from Central America.
Today the industry is not only a major component of the Belgian economy – production amounts to 662,000 tonnes per year, of which 578,000 tonnes are exported, with 330 chocolate companies in the country and more than 2,000 shops – but also an integral part of the national identity.
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