Since last May’s foray at Sydney Fashion Week Romance Was Born’s co-founders Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett have spent the last few seasons focusing on building their digital retail operation. Now, with Australia’s toughest tangle with COVID hopefully behind them, they’re returning to the wholesale carousel with this collection. Popping a tray of Anzac biscuits into the oven—almost obligatory on this rightfully revered national holiday—Sales phoned in to talk about the clothes.
For fall 2022 they teamed up with Melbourne artist Lara Merrett, an abstract colorist whose saturated surfaces translated powerfully from canvas to cloth. Sales said he and Plunkett had started by contemplating the art and then building the silhouette from whatever association hit them. These ranged from sci-fi to subsea. Despite the associative span of that inspirational source material the pieces remained distinctly Romance Was Born-ish in their winsome waftiness and mega-feminine silhouettes.
The grit in this typically tasty oyster was provided by a couple of looks featuring pieces rarely seen here; a tailored coat, some pants, and a tee—all of them entirely unruffled. Sales noted that their direct to consumer activities have revealed a not insignificant constituency of male buyers. He and Plunkett have been working to give their collections unisex appeal. Just as he teased that their next show around a fortnight hence will feature a collaboration with one of Australia’s best-loved illustrators—ping!—it was time to take those biccies out of the oven.