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AFW: Romance Was Born Just Gave Us Beautiful Nothing On The Runway

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

The title for Romance Was Born’s latest collection was curiously called The Nothing. Well, in the immortal words of Muriel Heslop, what came down that runway at Carriageworks during Australian Fashion Week was definitely not nothing.

In comparison to last year’s anarchy-driven show filled with patchwork knit and political rage, The Nothing takes us back to where it all began. Almost. Yes, it had all the frills and folly, the literal romance, that have become the Romance Was Born signature. But a new edge has crept in. Track-and-field jackets became the top from which hung the most delicate of layered chiffon. Intricate embroidery was paired with coloured denim.

AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

Speaking to Grazia ahead of the show, co-designers and founders Anna Plunkett and Lukes Sales explained that The Nothing offered a peek into the way they’ve matured in their design journey. “I think the collection more than anything continues to manifest Romance Was Born as Australia’s number one ‘art brand’. It is another example and extension of who the brand is at its very core. At the same time the collection offers something slightly different, which comes with maturing as human beings.”

AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

The collection, a collaboration with artist Zaachariaha Fielding, was a vibrant tribute to his joyful and storied paintings that blend heritage and visionary futurescapes. Taking place within a tri-lunar landscape designed by Chantel Covey-Lane with live visuals by Tyoow, the concept was inspired by Plunkett’s favourite childhood films, The NeverEnding Story, Blade Runner, and The Lost Boys.

AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

The parallels between the cinematic universes contained with these movies and The Nothing (literally named for the invisible antagonist in The NeverEnding Story) is how they sit at the fringes of reality. Between the familiar and the surreal. Something that Plunkett and Sales have proven themselves to be masters at is the ability to balance fantasy with just enough pragmatism in the details.

Proportions are delightfully distorted with fragile tulles, wispy chiffon, and satins clashing boldly with robust woven and embroidered textures. Move closer and another universe reveals itself in supernova sequins and beaded details that twinkle like distant stars, showcasing the stellar handiwork of their long-term artisans.

AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
AFW, Australian Fashion Week, Romance Was Born
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 15: A model walks the runway during the Romance Was Born show during Australian Fashion Week Presented By Pandora 2024 at Carriageworks on May 15, 2024 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

 

 

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