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Romance Was Born has been lauded as one of the brightest, most visionary labels set to shape Australia’s fashion future. Australian design duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales created the label Romance Was Born 5 years ago after becoming friends studying fashion together at East Sydney Technical College.
Upon graduation the pair were selected to attend the International Talent Support awards in Italy where they famously turned down an internship with John Galliano. Their RAFW show for Spring Summer 2009-10, ‘Doilies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells’, elicited audible gasps, awe, and even tears from the front-row set.
Romance Was Born created an ode to grannies in an underwater wonderland at The Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf Restaurant where mermen waded with models in nana-esque attire and hair-rollers, adorned with shells, pearls and crocheted creations. Their technical ability and intricate attention to detail have enabled them to develop a truly unique brand with an unmistakable aesthetic.
Like creative bowerbirds they assemble a fashion mosaic drawing together elements of all that is beautiful to create their stunning embellished style. Each collection has its inception in a vivid vision and a theme that evolves into a full-scale production, with interwoven plots and subplots.
From poetic, to theatrical, to futuristic, Romance Was Born collections mix wearable garments with whimsical flights of fancy, couture with dresseddown t-shirting, ready to wear with one-offs in collections that represent the most unlikely of romances. Fresh inspiration abounds from collaborations with a network of Australian artists and their community of treasured creatives, including Archibald winner Del Kathryn Barton from 2005-2008 to create their signature prints and most recently for Spring Summer 2009-10 with Perth artist Patrick Doherty and indigenous artist Esme Timbery.
These collaborations allow Romance Was Born creative license to explore their artisan capabilities beyond the world of fashion, and the results are breathtaking. Their witty, imaginative style and handcrafted aesthetic have found them a stellar following, with Cate Blanchett naming Romance Was Born as one of her favourite labels, and rock royalty Deborah Harry, Cindi Lauper, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bat for Lashes and M.I.A.
among those to sport their one-off ensembles on international stages. Their tailoring skill and couture techniques won them this year’s L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Designer Award presented by Woolmark.
As winners of this prestigious award, Romance Was Born have achieved industry recognition and this support sent them to Pitti Filati Fashion Fair in Florence where they accessed the Australian Wool Innovation’s worldwide network of expert weavers and manufacturers. Currently Plunkett and Sales are designing Winter 2009-10 and planning their next project with The Sydney Theatre Company to create costumes for an upcoming production.
International shores beckon as expansion plans are set in motion with distribution into Japan and a show planned for London Fashion Week in 2010.
Locally, Romance Was Born flagship boutiques in Australia and Tokyo are on the horizon. Inspired and truly evocative of pure ‘more is more’ emotion, Romance Was Born continue to share their constantly evolving body of work that goes beyond fashion into a world fuelled by their creative pursuits.