A few years ago I was introduced to the Australian fashion label Romance Was Born and as their name predicts, I fell in love immediately. The ‘Doilies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells’ collection (SS 2009) was what really got my heart racing and encouraged my mind to dream up crafty creations that I’d never considered before. As a long time lover of knitting/crochet and anything that involves a colourful handmade textile, that collection made me more intrigued, inspired and awed than I ever thought a fashion label could – which is really saying something.
The label was created in 2005 by the creative duo Anna Plunket and Luke Sales, who have designed numerous collections ever since. Their style has definitely evolved over the years as they consistently create pieces that exceed expectations. Although the collections explore a diverse range of concepts, they somehow still retain a signature style that so obviously belongs to Romance Was Born. I believe that a great part of this style belongs in their artistic approach to design and the incredible detail and energy that brings it all together on the catwalk. The garments are so fun and they always describe some sort of narrative throughout the production. It’s as if they aren’t just putting on a fashion show, but creating an elaborate scene and atmosphere; a performance art piece.
Artistic collaborations seem to be an essential part of creative design process and development for Plunket and Sales which continues to challenge the already blurred boundaries between art and fashion. ’Renaissance Dinosaur’ (SS 2010) and ‘Mushroom Magic’ (2013) are two of their many collections that were collaborations with other artists. My favourite collection of theirs will probably forever be ‘Doillies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells’ – purely for its crafty, kitsch attitude – but these two come quite close. Sculptor Kate Rohde worked on Renaissance Dinosaur with them and Mushroom Magic came about with Tanya Schultz (the artist behind Pip and Pop). The garments in both collections perfectly compliment the original artworks of the artists, without either copying or overshadowing their individual styles. Not only do Romance Was Born create their own works of art, but they bring the art to life which is just so fitting considering the label’s name.
Dolan, Kath. 2014. “Sculptor Kate Rohde in collaboration with Romance Was Born.” The Sydney Morning Herald, 10th October 2014. Accessed 20th August, 2016 http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/sculptor-kate-rohde-in-collaboration-with-romance-was-born-20141001-10oyyy.html
Karen Woodbury Gallery. “Kate Rohde.” 2016. Accessed 21st August, 2016 http://kwgallery.com/artists/kate-rohde
Magrath, Andrea. 2016. “Living Art!Romance Was Born kicks off day four of Fashion Week with a colourful – and beautifully bonkers – collection.” Daily Mail Australia, 18th May 2016. Accessed 20th August, 2016. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3595933/Romance-Born-kicks-day-four-Australian-Fashion-Week-2016-colourful-beautifully-bonkers-collection.html#ixzz4Hy9NoTAk
McCall, Tyler. 2016. “Romance Was Born is the Most Exciting Fashion Brand You’ve Never Heard Of.” Fashionista. Accessed 19th August, 2016. fashionista.com/2016/05/romance-was-born
Pip and Pop. “Supernatural Tasks and Magic Objects.” 2013. Accessed 21st August, 2016 http://www.pipandpop.com.au/#!supernatural-tasks/c167b
Romance Was Born. Accessed 19th August, 2016 www.romancewasborn.com