romance was born’s 2014 highlights

Anna and Luke’s Year in Review.

by i-D Team
15 December 2014, 6:10am

Photography Suleyman Karaaslan

With each new Romance Was Born collection there's a sense that fashion history is being made. Designing masterminds Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales consistently push boundaries with their work and for years - initially from a small, potentially haunted second-floor Oxford Street studio and now from a larger, more convenient and definitely less spooky showroom - they've released collections full of covetable pieces exploring strong theme concepts and design. They regularly collaborate with artists to create the perfectly psychedelic prints that typify each season and right now they're in the studio with fashion doyenne, Linda Jackson, working on a series which revives her iconic gum leaf design. The label's ever-evolving incorporation and reinterpretation of Australian culture and iconography derives from a place of genuine fascination and it's for this reason it never tends to veer into kitsch.

In a country notoriously challenging in regards to sustaining a label, Romance have continued to give without compromise and consequently their devout fans are plenty: they're worn by Cate Blanchett, mentored by Jenny Kee and were recently invited to create the Kid's Room at the National Gallery of Victoria which involved months trawling through the gallery's secret archives for inspiration. The culmination of this project will see them close the Melbourne Fashion Festival in the gallery's great hall and as anyone who has ever witnessed one of their detail-laden parades will testify, this is a big deal for the festival.

With the year almost at end and nostalgic reviews of the past twelve months a highlight, we sat down with Anna and Luke to share the moments that mattered in 2014.

Anna's highlights:

1. Rabbitohs winning the NRL Premiership! First time in 43 years! Go the bunnies!!

2. Our NGV exhibition opening at the NGV meeting Jean Paul Gaultier and talking him through our show.

3. The JPG show…so awesome!

4. Working with Rebecca Baumann on our Carriageworks exhibition for Fashion Week.

5. Going to the Chanel Couture show in Paris in July.

Luke's highlights:

1. We worked with May Gibbs' archive for our winter collection. Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie is very special to me and this was such an honour.

2. We opened our first curated gallery show at NGV International. It was 2 years in the making and we are so proud of it and subsequently published our first book.

3. I have successfully kept a Maiden Hair fern alive for 12 months.

4. We are already working on a collaboration for our spring and summer 15 collections that I have been dreaming about since fashion school.

5. My boyfriend moved in with me!


Text Briony Wright
Photography Suleyman Karaaslan

Cate Blanchett
Jean Paul Gaultier
Romance Was Born
Anna Plunkett
jenny kee
linda jackson
luke sales