Saturday, July 30, 2016

Romance Was Born Resort 2017

Proving fashion week in Australia is far from dull, the dynamic duo Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett of Romance Was Born presented their Resort 2017 collection at the historic Carthona estate on Sydney Harbour. Entitled 'Whispering Angel' the collection was a cataclysmic celebration of stage presence, feathers and silk prints culminating in heavily embellished sheer floor length dresses. Luke and Anna have really pushed the envelope in terms of over the top glamour and brought Liberace to the runway. Having studied geology as my major in college I was practically bouncing off the walls after catching sight of a floor length Malachite silk print dress. The cocktail gowns and dresses were definitely the highlight of the presentation, merely amplified by the richness of the prestigious venue among fine art, wooden staircases, and stunning Gothic decor. Tightly coiled curls, teased hair and pouting lips added to the extravagance of the presentation, with the occasional skull cap and pill box hat amplifying the call to yesteryear and old school Hollywood glamour. Or rather the heat, noise and madness of the Las Vegas strip.

Admittedly the majority of Australian contemporary fashion designers have made a habit of playing it safe, occasionally tweaking a silhouette or circulating through different digital prints. For those who love clean design, it's a utopian society but as someone who consciously seeks our colour and texture I generally find the whole affair to be a bore. However, Romance Was Born have continually challenged the status quo and this season delivered opulence by way of rhinestone encrusted dresses, feather festooned cocoon jackets and the ruffles aplenty. The caveat is that from afar Romance Was Born doesn't appear wearable, but I can assure you as someone who has a number or archive pieces cloistered in her closet nothing could be further from the truth. They are not only wearable but the detail on the embellished dresses is truly spectacular. More importantly, Luke and Anna understand how to translate the aesthetic of their runway presentations to ready to wear and make them available at different price points. The market is currently saturated with fast fashion which is unfortunately rather bland, whereas this Australian designer create pieces which are pure fantasy and make a serious statement.

Attending a Romance Was Born presentation is an immersive experience, with last season's runway show showered in a mist of Eucalyptus oil while the sounds of the Australian bush filled the air. Without attending this show in person I have no idea what tunes played but I did notice the cocktails poised in the hands of some of the models as they graced the wooden stairways of this prestigious house in a nod to Liberace's lavish lifestyle. The dichotomy between drink glasses and satiny elbow length gloves, as well as fur lined slippers in collaboration with Beau Coops added masculine touches to an otherwise ultra feminine collection. Although there have been previous collaborations with Beau Coops, none seem as fitting as Resort 2017 where famed entertainer Liberace was re-imagined as a woman. Fittingly, the central tenet of Beau Coops as a brand is the reconciliation of a Beau or stylish man with the philosophy of namesake designer Carrie Cooper who is still, largely inspired by her former East London home. The chief result is a unisex label embodying what Cooper refers to as 'boyfriend chic'.

Photos 1-4 via and photos 5-7 via Daily Mail and photos 8- 28 shot by Francesc Ten via

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Wearing: Asos pom pom jacket, Meadham Kirchhoff X Topshop dress and Dr Martens boots.

I never expected to be rugged up in a fluffy jacket, wearing tights and boots in the Australian outback but we've had unseasonably wet weather lately. This forced the closure of our dinosaur museum for a week, which even made it into the local news (albeit riddled with small white lies). Rained in and with nowhere to go, I reluctantly cleaned my room and reorganized my wardrobe the end result being many happy accidents in the form of over the top outfits. The ecological silver lining is that the record breaking rain will do a world of good for the farmers, and soon the paddocks will be green with new growth. Warmer weather presents a new set of challenges, no longer will I be able to wear everything in my closet all at once and there is nary a summer dress or slinky top in sight. When things do start to warm up I can only hope I have enough saved up to treat myself to some pieces bought at a bargain.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kenzo x H&M collection

H&M have just dropped their first photos from their collaboration with powerhouse Kenzo. For so long I've championed dressing weird, but have never mastered weird and sexy. Featuring talent such as Amy Sall, Juliana Huxtable, Isamaya Ffrench and Oko Embombo, the collection is a celebration of tiger print, bodysuits and stiletto boots.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Clio Peppiatt Fall 2016

I've invariably fallen behind on reporting on the events and presentations of fashion month for a number of different reasons. The one that springs to mind is the turmoil of my love life, which has now settled into a steady rhythm of good morning text messages and phone calls in the evening. Yes, it's nice to be drunk in love but it's resulted in the neglect of this blog and a rather scatter brained Adele. I thought I had covered every runway presentation by British womenswear designer Clio Peppiatt but boy was I wrong. There hasn't been any mention of the eponymous Fall 2016 collection, other than a reposted image on my Instagram of the collection that stole my heart and took inspiration from Wes Anderson's most recent film, The Grand Budapest Hotel as well as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Fortunately for patrons and press there was nary an axe wielding sociopath in sight, and in its place an amenable and dapper bell hop serving Lily Vanilli cupcakes topped with plump cherries dusted in glitter.   

The collection was immersed in Peppiatt's signature hand drawn motifs as well as plexiglass accessories in collaboration with the inimitable Tatty Devine. Plexi accessories included miniature suitcases complete with faux travel stickers, plexi tags for motel rooms which don't exist and heart-shaped brooches. The pastel tones of jewellery and handbags alike balanced out some of the darker and more gruesome iconography of the collection, including pink scorpions in a bed of flowers and the giant, roaring polar bear adorning a V neck slip dress. Collaboration between Clio Peppiatt and Tatty Devine also resulted in Peppiatt's favourite piece from the collection, a dress embellished in 3D motel-style keys. Tatty Devine also contributed to the makeshift furniture, including a bespoke beauty vanity and check-in desk complete with key rack and faux marble counter. 

One would think that such intricate set design may detract from the glamour of the clothes but on the contrary, they merely enhanced the mood of the evening. Models sat perched on a pastel blue couch wearing everything from eye masks to fishnet ankle socks and slip-on peep toe bunny slippers from the fabulous Streetzie. Cinderella can keep her glass slippers, I have my eyes firmly set on 1950s inspired boudoir heels complete with toy-like rabbit and kitten heads complete with plastic eyes. God knows where I would wear them in this small town but I'm determined to become a next-level Audrey Hepburn. The collaborations didn't end there. Milliner Francesco Ballestrazzi created the embellished berets and heart-shaped pill box hat worn by the lobby girl which included tiny LED lights. That one outfit alone has encouraged me to wear hoop earrings (which I hate), wear hats and discover brass buttoned coats while thrifting. But the collection as a whole makes me yearn to daydream and swan around the house wearing black coats lined with faux fur. Possibly with shirts and dresses emblazoned with deadly animals.  


Clio Peppiatt AW16 On|Off from On|Off TV on Vimeo

Photos 1-4 & 6 shot by Joanna Kiely via Polyester Zine, Photos 5, 7-9 shot by Alia Thomas for Noctis Mag.Photos 10-12 via Getty, photos 13-19 shot by Chloe Newman for Wonderland Magazine and photos 20-22 via Lily Vanilli.