Mixing Cocktails and Couture at The Dorchester (from left): a Casasola Martini, The Emilia, Marilyn, and Berry Lace.
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Mixing Cocktails and Couture

Meryle Evans - September 5th, 2013

The "cocktail" dress has inspired designers since the 1920s, and now there are designer-inspired cocktails to match couturier creations. Favored by fashionistas around the world, The Dorchester Collection awards an annual prize for gifted, up-and-coming designers; this year, they have paired the four short-listed finalists with Dorchester mixologists and bar directors to develop a limited edition cocktail menu, exemplifying the spirit of the designers' work.

Brazilian Barbara Casasola, whose ready-to-wear collection is centered on romantic minimalism and pared-back, understated luxury, worked with Daniele Confalonieri of Milan's Hotel Principe di Savoia to concoct the Casasola Martini: vodka infused with raspberry, Chambord, pineapple juice, raspberry puree, and a splash of Champagne.

London-based Huishan Zhang, whose signature fabric is lace, collaborated with William Oliveri of Le Meurice in Paris to create Berry Lace: a spin on a Mojito with rosé Champagne, strawberries, brown sugar, lime juice, and mint leaves.

True to place, Robert Rouleau of The Beverly Hills Hotel's Bar Ninteen 12 worked with Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman on Marilyn—a Champagne-based cocktail with peach puree and fraise syrup, garnished with a swing of lemon rind—as the actress' glamour, sensuousness, and fragility inspire the designers' line, Fyodor Golan.

Back home, London-based designer Emilia Wickstead paired up with Giuliano Morandin of The Dorchester to play off two of her favorite cocktails—the Moscow Mule and passion fruit Martini—to draw on the essence of 1930s elegance, glamour, and momentous time for Dior couture (a major influencer for the designer). The Emilia is a gin-based drink, made with Canton ginger liquor, passion fruit, lemon juice, and a topping of Champagne.

Clearly, the fashion set likes their Champagne.

The four cocktails will be available at their respective Dorchester property from September 5, when Spring 2014 collections hit the runways of New York City, until the last stilleto stomps in Paris on October 2.

The winner of the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, selected by a panel of celebrated peers, will be announced on October 29 and will receive £25,000 ($33,000), mentoring from the judges, and a two night stay at a Dorchester Collection property.