Saturday, September 15, 2012

Romance Was Born: 'The Miraculous Mundane' Pre-Collection 2012

The biggest, brashest and boldest collection to spill into and out of the television screens covering Australian Fashion Week all those weeks ago was easily Romance was Born, brought to us by designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett. Just as an aside, of course the two have their own wicked sense of style and curious, quirky fun they bring to the brand but since watching the label develop over a number of years they're managed to refine their techniques of digital printing and no longer carry that personal touch of beads and under water crochet; the colour is still their but represented in modern, body clinging dresses and pleats. Their runway model presentation featured dazzling red heads in the style of pop star David Bowie on female models and as a contrast the Miraculous Mundane has stark red lips and swirling green hair raked in voluminous hair gel. It sure is miraculous in terms of the Australian fashion industry, but not for mundane wall-flowers that can't breathe new life into shocking swirling linear patterns and eye-popping colours.

As usual there's chic capri-like pants in spectacular tailoring and colours that make me 'oh' and 'ah' in awe over the collection and this Romance Was Born capsule doesn't shy away from their proud tradition. Fashion bloggers everywhere will be familiar with the platform being elevated to new heights as well as the small crisis of standing out amongst of a sea of others critiquing and styling outfits of their own; Romance Was Born pieces are perfect to wear with the old and new, but the one catch as always is that heavy price tag that they bear. I'm actually really excited and invigorated by this new launch as well as their most recent collections; so much so I'm willing to risk life, limb and seven hundred dollars on sealing the deal on a silk printed bomber jacket. Yikes! The lengths I won't go to do get my grubby hands on good fashion...

Spring in Melbourne has treated us lately to a week of good weather and the tropical clashing colours of pink, green and orange has me salivating over the tongue tingling sensation of melon flavoured gelati as well as the sweet tang of peach tea. For those tempted by the sweet vintage tones of original DIY tie-dye jobs in the 1960s, up cycling a dress in this vain might be the project you've been looking to wet your lips with; I particularly love that sharp transition between soft, velvet lime green on the front of the skirt that seems so sharp against the block colour of hot pink. On top of all that, it's a formidable opponent against red lips!

It's always hard to pick potential pieces to purchase amongst a variety of favourites in a collection as bright and sparkly as Romance Was Born in Summer and Spring, but I just can't say no to a dark black cape-like drape to finish off a mean and abstractly designed dress from such a prominent Australian designer. As much as I do pride myself on dressing with colourful peacock finesse and colour, there will always be that dark and gritty side of me that longs to be in touch with all black. Also despite being a small feminist of sorts, a dress with a black back and bat wing leathery offers a safe refuge when feeling most vulnerable. Those vinyl stiletto black boots also make for the perfect companion to this dressing of swirling strawberry pink and lime green strewn together.

Plukett and Sales have managed to consistently weave the thread of their creativity throughout all their collections over a number of years, but the global market is seeing less of the bead and sequin spangled outfits that more closely resembled haute couture of under sea creatures and more of the well tailored power suits and silken garments a greater audience can receive. It's like the technicolour dream coat had a love child with the perfect women's skirt suit ensemble to create a shimmering pastel rainbow of chameleon delight! It's stunning and I'm in love- that skirt would make the perfect companion to Summer festivals down under were it not so expensive and precious to bring amongst the sweat and music-fuelled panic of a mosh pit.

Choices are made all the more tricky when there's such a sumptuous array of visual candies to choose from when it comes to clothing ranges. Lately I've been obsessed with mutli-coloured sweaters made with love in every stitch along with star patterned dresses and 'All Knitwear' cardigans of jack-o-lantern faces and soccer ball patterned sleeves. The lovely technicolour nature of this blouse of straight edged sleeves and rippled under the arms is surprisingly tasty considering the neon colours are broken apart with crisp clean white. Here it's shown off with surgical white pleated pants and a lime green belt, but I personally would have liked to see the look pushed a bit further with more obnoxiously bright and eye-catching patterns (just my personal preference at the moment).

Judy Jetson probably wore something like this to her space aged prom- and if she didn't then you know she really could have made a better decision with this futuristic and shiny gown.

Zena warrior princess has been re-imagined and invigorated with a whole new colour palette as well as wicked hair cut and war paint- those are the impressions I immediately think of seeing the strategically placed swirls about the female model's bust and the wide inverted u-shape about the hips. It's sort of a celebration of the female figure in its own way and reminds me of 'magic eye' images in which you stare fixedly at one spot hopping to turn one image into another. It's a psychedelic and wild trip for a younger generation to enjoy and collections like this ignite the flame of hope I keep for the design future of Australia. Kudos to Romance was Born, you path the way and set the standard for wild fashion in Australia and there are many who hope to join you on this journey in the fashion industry. Leading by example, they may just make it too.

Mermaid styled skirts that taper at the back in glorious bold colours just got a blast from the past a le the 1980s; I don't think I've seen aqua blue and hot pink used with such reckless abandon in years since I grew too old to love nu wave styled clothing but with that paint spatter print silk blouse and chic corset tied vinyl boots the look is very well received. It sort of seems to push the boundaries of modern fashion and imitate style that seems more like art- but I'll be keen to try dress-making patterns for myself in a style and colour combination that is so easily recreated at home using a handy sewing machine at one's disposal. If only I had a sewing machine and was clever enough to have wads of luxurious material squirreled away when creativity strikes like an erratic lightning bolt...

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