Designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunekett of internationally renowned Australian label Romance Was Born commissioned Western Australian Artist Tanya Schultz to be their inspiration for their 2013 Collection ‘Mushroom Magic’. Schultz most famous for her Instillation with fellow artist Nicole Andrijevic (exhibited in Goma) of brightly colour sugar, sand, clay and found objects known as ‘Pip and Pop’. This is a great example of when Fashion and Art interlock. For centuries now art has been the foundation of inspiration for many designers from the likes of fashion designer Elsa Scheparelli inspired by artist Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol for Versace. Both fashion and art construct imaginary worlds and use language of style to stimulate beliefs, perception and ideas.
Schultz’s ‘Pip and Pop, We love you magic land ‘ instillation is an incubator for all things whimsical and cosmic, oozing with colour and texture providing endless inspiration for designers of Romance was Born. Recently the iconic brand had been labeled as “rejecting” fashion week 2014, instead opting to show their collection within an exhibition format with Rebecca Baumann. Designers Plunkett and Sales have chosen a different route cleverly aligning their practice with world of contemporary art. I should also note the use of the runway as a platform for the display of Pip and Pop’s fairytale like instillation, again making reference to the gallery space of an exhibition, challenging the norms and conventions of the fashion world as just expensive clothes only accessible to a minority of consumers. RWB use of pastiche, combining different styles from different periods this is evident through the collections (Mushroom Magic) kaftan shapes, use of flares, soft skills and bows all of which resonate with the fun and psychedelic trends of the 60’s and 70’s.
“I don’t think we’re really that comfortable working in the fashion industry,” says Sales at the launch of their exhibitionReflected Glory at Carriageworks. “It’s not that we’re anti fashion it’s just not who we really are as designers. I think for us to get creative fulfilment there has to be more than making ready to wear collections”
And perhaps the an exhibition format suits the brands ideas and aesthetics as a fashion forward art practice, who’s designs very much constitute the work of an artist, creating art through a medium known as fashion?
1) Story, J, Harvey N 2014, Romance was born Rejects fashion week, 10 April viewed 18 August 2014, http://www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/Video/Romance-Was-Born-rejects-Fashion-Week-to-create-kaleidoscopic-exhibition-with-Rebecca-Baumann-140408/default.htm
2) Berry, J, 2014. Fashion, Aesthetics and Art: An Overview. Week 2: Fashion, Aesthetics and Art: An Overview, page 21, accessed 15 August 2014,https://bblearn.griffith.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-1010409-dt-content-rid-2625160_1/courses/2432QCA_3145_SB/Course%20Content/Week%202%20Fashion%2C%20Aesthetics%
3) 5 Fashion collections that were inspired by art, weblog, 14 June 2012, viewed 18 August 2014, http://www.fashionising.com/trends/b–fashion-inspired-by-art-25133.html
4) Mushroom Magic collection, viewed 16 August 2014, http://romancewasborn.com/collections/mushroom-magic
5) k 2013, Romance was Born + Pip and Pop, web blog, 9 April 2013, viewed 16 August 2014 http://belljardesign.com.au/2013/04/romance-was-born-pip-pop/