Romance Was Born showed on the Sunday before Rosemount Australian Fashion Week officially kicks off (tomorrow – Monday May 2) and became the unofficial RAFW opener with their dramatic retelling of The Never Ending Story. It was the perfect inspiration for Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales who called their Spring/Summer 2011-12 collection ‘The Oracle’.
In the fantasy world of Romance Was Born, every model is a character, every look is a costume. Their spring/summer 2011-12 collection spared no expense to ensure that their translation of The Never Ending Story into a fashion collection was nothing but inspired. With actress and long time RWB fan Cate Blanchett sitting in the front row and the Sydney Youth Orchestra providing the welcoming music, we knew we were going to be in for a dramatic fashion show (or theatre production, as RWB’s runway presentations always seem to be).
All the characters in the popular 1984 film (based on the novel by the same name), every character was brought to life as Plunkett and Sales created a mature collection that still held true to their fantasy obsession teamed with a love of digital prints, embellishment, and sometimes outrageous prop-like costume. But if you look beyond the dramatic head pieces and the bejewelled body suits that only a model could pull of and actually examine the individual pieces, there is a an air of sophistication and maturity in their collection as the designing duo continue to grow with their brand.
We loved the beautiful shift and tshirt dresses that were covered in embellishments or layered with pretty lace underskirts. Colours were a major feature as some of the more wearable dresses and jumpsuits featured prints by Australian contemporary artists Nell.
If presented in the regular way – without the dramatic looks in a breathtaking setting – it would still have been an amazing runway presentation. But the icing on the cake came when the models lined up for the finale and the dulcet tones of the Australian Youth Choir sung the theme song to The Never Ending Story. It was the icing and the cherry on the proverbial cake that is the Romance Was Born Spring/Summer 2011-12 show.
The bar has been set. Who will rise to the challenge this week at RAFW?
The hair and makeup
Before the show began we ducked backstage to watch the painstakingly long time it took to create some of the hair styles with ghd‘s hair director Alan White working together with Luke and Anna to bring their vision to life. Rachel Rutt was sitting in her chair for up to two hours, knitting furiously as she had her hair pulled in every direction. Alice Burdeau had a frame attached to her head, while other models had their hair braided and pulled back with all kinds of head pieces and hair extensions attached to create each individual hairstyle.
In the MAC Cosmetics makeup room we saw Natasha Servino and Nicole Thompson lead their team tirelessly in an effort to create the three beauty looks for the show (Gold, Chrome and Glitter), complete with a few pairs of false eyelashes and diamante studs per model. Throw in luxury skin care by SK-II and Sally Hansen manicurists attached pre-painted false nails to models hands, it was a bustling backstage that was a little less hectic (if there is such a thing) with the dressing room closed off to everyone but dressers, models and the design team.