Flowers In The Attic
The Gothic melodrama of Flowers in the Attic, 18th century scrapbook albums and brides of betrayal, here comes the high drama of Romance Was Born.
Romance Was Born present a collection that revels in their eternal love of handicrafts. This season, the idea to explore crafting arose from their interpretation of the haunting, Flowers in The Attic. The 1979 novel by Virginia Andrews forms a gothic backdrop for their creativity. The story asks them to consider; “surviving a terrible situation, by seeing the beauty and potential in ordinary things” and just “how to fill the endless idle hours trapped in an attic with nothing to do?” The horror of this tale is typified by the children being left forgotten in the attic as their mother becomes a bride again and remarries.
They were struck by the poignant symbolism of the children creating a beautiful garden in the attic made entirely of found scraps of coloured paper. This innocent image led Romance Was Born to research the popularity of Scrapbooking in the Victorian era, where they came across some wonderful examples held at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. These beautiful “scrap” albums serve as precious timepieces filled with charming 18th century decoration and show a popular preoccupation with escapism through sentimental themes such as butterflies, garlands of flowers and fashionable ladies starring in idyllic scenes, like one’s dream wedding. These romantic motifs provide the source for the wonderfully ornate floral prints.
Flowers in the Attic will drop in two stories; Attic Garden and Gothic Garland. The optimistic Attic Garden opens with the magnificent Foxworth Hall Ballgown and is epic in proportion, featuring generous fulsome sleeves and a floor sweeping gathered skirt. This pillowy softness continues with the Patchwork Cape offering oodles of snuggly comfort, lilac frills and eye-catching quilted detail. The Faded Memory Mesh undergarments quietly hug in a bodysuit, leggings and long ladylike gloves. The florals are light and whimsical. Luke Sales hand processed the yards of meticulously hand stitched tie-dyed silks and cotton broidery anglaise. To ensure that each piece within Freedom Dreams Silks and Fresh Air Frill is completely unique. Gothic Garland symbolises dark family secrets and desires characterised by a use of moody colourways dramatically offset by graphic prints and inky black. Such noir opulence is resplendent in the Mourning Moth series of capes, tops and skirts with their jet beadwork and sequin fluttering wing detail that oozes luxury. The black and floral garland stripe appears on the Secret Kisses Frill Dress, with a prim high neckline and clever hand tucked detail that nips the print across the hips of the skirt, before opening into pleats and floating with a soft frill to the floor. The refined tailoring flows onto the smartly embellished checked linen of the Keepsake Cutout trio. Their beautiful hand beaded floral patches add extra edge to the classic cut jacket, bias skirt and strappy dress. The collection closes with the showstopping Honeymoon Bride shrouded in sweetly spotted tulles, the bodice is crafted from found and collected antique doilies and lace handkerchiefs before gathering into skirts of cotton frills and more spotted tulle.
What hidden treasures can be stored, stashed and salvaged from up in the dusty attic? With Romance Was Born’s careful treatment these forgotten keepsakes are shown love. Released from their past to blossom and sparkle again.