In the 1940s, a stunning display graced the runways of Paris when Christian Dior debuted their “New Look” collection with full skirts and nipped-in waists, reviving the tired post-war fashion world. Dressmakers had been at work for centuries but it wasn’t until Charles Frederick Worth established a house of couture in Paris in the late 1850s that a dressmaker now could be called a fashion designer and couture houses, like Dior, elevated fashion from more than just the clothes we wear.
Le Chamber Syndicale de la Haute Couture was established to make sure that a couture label could only be earned by following specific guidelines that would qualify a house. Designs had to be made to order for a private client with multiple fittings, the house must have a staff of at least 20 and every season the designer must have a new collection of at least 35 looks. Many designers could not sustain this level of creation or adhere to the strict guidelines and have since fallen by the wayside. The number of couture houses in 1946 numbered 106 (which dipped to only 19 by 1976) and the world of couture has never seen as strong a showing as the post-war heyday.
This is why we call our cakes “Confectionary Couture,” as we are re-inventing what classifies as haute couture in the modern world. Because we use the principles of Le Chamber Syndicale as a guide, all of our clients receive a one-of-a-kind creation tailored to their specifications. No two Ron Ben-Israel Cakes are alike. With every new wedding season, we design a new collection of cakes that reflect the current trends in fashion as well as set new trends in the industry. Ron Ben-Israel has been credited with creating the famous “topsy-turvy” cake design, coining the phrase, “sugar flowers” and pioneering the introduction of sugar hydrangeas into his designs after seeing countless florists utilizing the bulbous blooms.
Ron Ben-Israel has made it a point to strip everything away that was superfluous and to bring cake design back to its true element of indulgence and sophistication. A visionary in baker’s whites, Ron shares the same love of inspired innovation with the heads of great fashion houses like Versace, de la Renta and Saint Laurent.
If it sounds like we are tooting our own sugar paste horns about our haute cakes, we are. It takes many years of practiced study to create individual sugar masterpieces and many more years to continue improving upon them. Confectionary Couture is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for the unoriginal. As this article is being written, the notes of an Edith Piaf song is wafting in from the design room making the studio feel like it is in 1940s Paris where artists are emerging from their battle-worn cocoons and letting their imaginations soar once again. And our artists are doing the same by pushing the boundaries of Confectionary Couture with elegance, grace, whimsy and sugar paste.
Photo by Hannah Soule for RBI Cakes