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Romance Was Born Wows With Australian Fashion Week Return | ELLE

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After skipping last year’s fashion week, Australian designer label Romance Was Born has returned to the runway, bringing a cosmic experience of style. 

For a show titled ‘The Nothing’, design duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales certainly delivered a spectacular show. 

Set amongst enormous lunar sculptures that enveloped the centre of the industrial hall at Sydney’s Carriageworks, the otherworldly setting immediately drew show-goers into the designers’ universe.

The Nothing collection by Romance Was Born. Image: Getty

Naturally, some very bright stars came out for the most anticipated runway of the week, including Heartbreak High star Ayesha Madon, singers Ngaiire and Thelma Plum, models Montana Cox and Sam Harris, and newsreader Jessica Rowe.

The collection itself was created in collaboration with artist Zaachariaha Fielding, who lent his artwork to several of the designs. 

“We love Zaachariaha‘s energetic and visceral paintings that honour the visual language of his ancient culture. His iconography reflects his own unique energy and way of being, which exudes generosity of spirit and a love and curiosity for his country,” the designers said.

Romance Was Born designers, Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett
Romance Was Born designers, Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett. Image: Getty

Zaachariaha’s abundance of creativity and joy was the antidote to the other theme running through Romance’s latest: the idea of a cultural wasteland. 

“This year we have looked at the idea of “the nothing”. It is a story line from The Never Ending Story,” the duo told ELLE Australia

“[The Nothing] brought on by people’s lack of imagination and creativity, it’s an interesting metaphor we resonate with.”

moons on the runway for romance was born at australian fashion week

Below, more from our exclusive interview with Romance Was Born. 

How does it feel to be back at Fashion Week in 2024?

We are really grateful every time we get to do a show. It is something very important to the brand as it is how we best showcase the brand creatively, allowing us to explore and produce the Romance Was Born World that offers a truly unique and memorable experience to our guests. 

What inspired this collection?

This year we have looked at the idea of “the nothing”. It is a storyline from The Never Ending Story. “The nothing” is as it says – nothing. And it  slowly starts to destroy the world of fantasia leaving behind… .nothing 

It is brought on by people’s lack of imagination and creativity, it’s an interesting metaphor we resonate with. 

What are some of the key features, themes and details of the collection?

We have worked with artist Zaachariaha Fielding, the themes of nostalgia, cosmic energy, togetherness and community. We have explored these in metaphysical ways.

What went into ideating the show? How would you describe the world that you’ve built for the runway?

No specific time or place. 

Which is your favourite look or piece from the collection? What makes you proudest about it?

There is a piece that came to life after we draped fabric on a mannequin one night, after playing around with fabric, but when we saw it the next day pinned to the dummy, we had it sewn up. The end result is a beautiful long “kaftan” style made of silk chiffon, featuring two of Zaachariaha’s artworks, and a beautiful devoray silk polka dot…. There is something really divine about the way it looks and comes to life on the body. It looks like a butterfly when it’s worn…it is really special 

Can you tell us about your creative process in ideating and creating this collection?

We commenced working on the collection about three months ago, but we started talking about the collection many months before, levelling out ideas and different themes, stylistically things we loved and thought might work in relation to the artist Zaachariaha Fielding who we are collaborating with this year for the collection….but once we start its all systems go…

Were there any collaborators, contributors or muses you’d like to shout out?

We have been greatly influenced by Zaachariaha’s positivity and his approach to his work. He is so cool and understanding and keen to connect, create and share a vision. He is a very special human being.

Romance Was Born has such an important legacy. How do you think this has both endured and changed in 2024?

It honestly only feels like the beginning for us in so many ways. 

What do you hope to see more of in the Australian Fashion Industry going forward?

We would love to see more people buying and supporting Australian designers and thinking responsibly about how they shop. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford designer clothing and we totally understand that of course… .But so many people can and don’t. We think they would feel so much better if they did. 

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