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Mysteria Wisteria

December 2016

"Opens doors between the realm of humanity and the realm of the divine." Romance Was Born invites you to join them on a cosmic cyber adventure. Your guide on this journey is a young princess with special powers called “Wisteria.” She is the ultimate gamer descending from an ancient bloodline of teleports or space-jumpers, Wisteria will grant thee rare access through the sacred portals to step into the void where you’ll discover enlightenment travelling to infinite parallel Universes and distant kingdoms. This season Romance Was Born collaborate with artist Jess Johnson to bring you Mysteria Wisteria. Jess Johnson’s intricate works on paper with pen and gouache oscillate with her hypnotic tessellations and daunting perspectives, that spiral, contract and vanish into distant horizons. A strange cast of bat-faced deities, gnostic symbols and yogic sleepers populate her complex works. They feel simultaneously ancient and futuristic existing outside of time’s linear constraints like some kind of void world of mass human consciousness. Romance was Born interpret Johnson’s works as entire vistas or they hone in on a single elements of her work elevating them to a new context of their own. These are thoughtfully placed onto extravagant floor length sequined gowns, silky patterned backdrops, embroidered raw silk, appliquéd soft tulle, beaded lace details, cotton lurex brocade and viscose knits. The collection is explored in four stories – Pastel Egypt, Snakes & Chains, Parallel Universe and Gnostic Geo Dimensions. Pastel Egypt cultivates a smart innocence of crisp cotton printed in soft pastel hues with pinstripe elements, light wool trousers with discreet leg splits and sweetly collared blouses. Snakes & Chains evokes a more sombre mood like a Corinthian underworld inhabited by dark silhouetted figures, medusa snakes coiling around themselves, chains and Illuminati symbols. Somewhat lightening the mood the charming wisteria beaded motif bursts to life here, twisting around shoulders and decadently dripping off dresses and skirts. The colour palette reflects this theme; jet, khaki, gold, midnight blue and a stunning pleated silver hologram. Parallel Universe is a bold contrast of black and white they oppose each other in strong linear patterns or more open slogan outfits. There is also a powerful injection of colour with the striking red tron triangle wafting gracefully through in light pleated chiffon. Gnostic Geo Dimensions is an impressive arrangement of Johnson's geometric patterns used as tessellated clusters along trims or placed more sparsely in flattering blocks upon the figure. This particular story has a 1960's feel sporting A-line shapes and sci-fi empire elegance. Wisteria is a mystical symbol of meditation, a symbol of the mind spiralling and unfolding, expanding consciousness as it stretches towards enlightenment.


Cooee Couture

Salon Collection

Romance was Born’s Collection 1 2017 is a gothic nocturne of ethereal beauty and wonder. The mode is inspired by the austere romanticism of the Victorian era, Pre-Raphaelite mysticism and the freedom of the Belle Époque. The Queen Of The Night collection offers the purest form of beauty, that of nature. Featuring the majesty of birds and flowers, whose evanescent beauty is captured in exquisite detail by Gary Heery in his dark and moving portraits. Romance Was Born interpret Heery’s portraiture as stunning placements set on a dramatic black backdrop of glamorous silks digitally printed on velvet, satin, crepe de chine and pure cotton poplin. Dresses and blouses are fashioned with the sleeve of the season, which is distinctly Victorian being ruched or ruffled with the volume of a pagoda or the fullness of a gigot. Making an elegant statement out of the humblest gesture. Seductive florals lure the eye with wanton fleshy petals in a display of crimson tulips, alabaster lilies, magnolia, dainty cherry blossom and rare cactus blooms. Arranged as an abundant everlasting mosaic in what RWB are calling the flora still life or in striking modernity with the simple and balance of ikebana. From petals to plumage and oh what plumage! The vivid detail of Heery’s birds is nothing short of spectacular, before his lens they dance mid flight fanning their feathers in an array of wing spans and tail tips plunging talons...


Mushroom Magic

Collection 3 2013

In a tale of magical metamorphosis Romance Was Born present… Mushroom Magic SUMMER ‘14.

At the stroke of midnight Romance Was Born invite you to follow them… Willingly and with gay abandon, you tumble headfirst, falling into a world that has turned quite topsy-turvy… like some psychedelic dream. With a puff and a poof, you land softly, cushioned by your frilly skirts and petit-coats. You have fallen into a Pip and Pop sparkling wonderland.

As the shimmery dust settles, you gaze across a luminescent landscape, where every horizon is crystal crusted and cloudy meringue hilltops sprout the most delicate sugary flowers, where mandala pathways lead into mystic forests. Cute creatures peep shyly out from behind spotted magic mushrooms that seem to beckon, “eat me.” Well, why not? Just one little bite, surely a nibble couldn’t hurt…

For Summer 2014 Romance Was Born unveil their incredible collection Mushroom Magic. The foundation of the collection begins as always for Romance Was Born, with the prints, and their collaboration with Tanya Schultz, the artist behind PIP and POP, provides endless inspiration for Mushroom Magic.

Schultz’s brightly coloured sugar and sand mandalas have a cosmic feel and the spirit of the late sixties and early seventies is evoked. This is referenced in the choice of silhouette; which features kaftan shapes, flares, soft silk chiffon gowns, adorable smocking, and flouncy pussy-bows, all capturing the style of the era.

Romance Was Born looked to the wonderful world of fairytales for the classic romantic spin on metamorphosis and transformation. Where, with a “bibbity bobbity boo” and the wave of a magic wand, a young maiden is transformed into a glamorous princess. The spectrum of princess femininity is explored through colour and fabrication. Mushroom Magic begins with crisp cottons in an innocent array of pastels, moving into silky neon brights before finishing with the more textured mood of the darkest obsidian jacquards. The full grandiose splendour of the collection is typified by Romance Was Born’s extravagant sequined and beaded details, in particular the Cheshire cat suit, which hypnotises with its multiple grins and starbursts.

Romance Was Born’s MUSHROOM MAGIC is the ultimate astral trip to a fairytale wonderworld that delights, fascinates and transforms.



Summer 2012

Behold, Marvel’s mighty heroes! Witness the birth of CMYK POWER! They Live! They Walk! They Conquer! Romance Was Born present - Berserkergang! A band of heroic brothers and sisters, lead by Doctor Strange an invincible Master of Mystic Arts; The Silver Surfer – Sky-Rider of the Spaceways and wielder of the “power cosmic”; The Incredible Hulk an uncontrollable monster and Thor - Thunder God of another realm, Asgard! Will our fearless heroes risk engaging in Berserkergang, a state of unbeatable warrior power to defeat the evil supremacy taking over the world? Can She-Hulk and The Dazzler join the team in time and help save the mutant sisterhood? Find out in the latest instalment of Romance Was Born’s fashion saga - Berserkergang!
Inspired by the almighty spectral power of colour, Romance Was Born is drawn to the pop appeal of Marvel Comics and their iconic Super Heroes. Attracted to the graphic artistry of Marvel’s creators, in particular the legendary Jack Kirby. Who’s unique rendering technique dubbed the term “Kirby dots,” which create that cinematic style of motion where his characters appear to leap, fly and battle across the page. An interest also sparked in the process of CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Key) printing which is used to produce these classic characters from the Marvel world. The CMYK printing technique of half toning and the pattern like dot work of applying colour is responsible for that instantly recognisable comic book style.


The Oracle

Spring Summer 2011

Inspired by The Never Ending Story, eternity and the beauty and decadence of the 1920’s. For spring, Romance have chosen an elegant colour palette of navy, coral, turquoise, gold and black and white. Using the luxury of champagne chantilly lace, sheen and structure of dupion silk with glints of gold foiling. The past, the present and the future flow through the river of time, like an infinity symbol, never ending and each dependant on the other for its very existence. Something evil has disrupted the harmony and natural order of things and now the ancient long forgotten gods have stirred from their blissful eternity.

But, The Ancient One’s infinite power has faded like the memories of the mortals who once worshipped these divine beings and prayed in their crumbling lavish temples. So the plight of all our hopes and dreams rests upon the young warrior boy to save Fantasia. He must find the Oracle and help her to restore balance to the world and stop the Ancient One’s from being completely forgotten and slipping into the murky obscurity of the nothing.


Renaissance Dinosaur

Spring Summer 2010

“it’s evolution baby”

Romance Was Born ponder the marvels of the Renaissance and its extravagant fashions while unearthing their paleontological fascination with the power and mystery of dinosaurs.

Long before Einstein’s theory of relativity, Galileo concluded from his meticulous charting of the night skies that the Earth orbits the Sun. His radical proclamation shakes the strict Papal States to their very core, for the church’s faith believes the Earth is the centre of the heavenly bodies. Galileo’s revelation triggers an all powerful, cosmic vibration, rupturing the delicate fabrics of time and space.

A kaleidoscopic crystal-lined portal cracks open linking the Jurassic period to Renaissance Florence, forming a pathway between their worlds. Now the sparkling gateway lies open in the Piazza dell Signoria. Dinosaurs stalk past Michelangelo’s statue of David making their way toward the Medici Palace… Enter Tyrannosaurus flanked by a Pterodactyl, followed by the sauntering armour clad Triceratops and Stegosaurus. Their shock arrival in the Medici court is met with terror and awe. The beauty of their sleek scales and glistening coloured skin holds the court mesmerised as they slash and claw at courtesans, dukes and wealthy merchants. Freeing the lower classes from the restrictions of sumptuary laws, the dinosaurs make a hasty retreat preferring the lush forests of their world to the paved streets of Florence.


Doillies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells

Spring Summer 2009

Romance Was Born open up nana’s glory box worn by the tides of time to reveal long forgotten treasures and mysterious secrets - glorious old jewels, budgies in a cage, 4711, a fine bone china tea set with a mother-of-pearl glaze, delicately aged lace doilies and other assorted goodies from a bygone era.

The sea inspires tales spun from the antediluvian age before Atlantis sank to her briny resting place at the bottom of the ocean. We sail through time, when the mythical creatures of the seven seas were ruled by mighty Poseidon and his kingdom of Nereids. A time when sea Nymphs frolicked and beautiful Aphrodite reigned supreme. Come and swim with Romance Was Born amidst iridescent jellyfish, sea horses, schools of fish and dancing electric eels… but beware, deep below the waves where shy oysters and ivory shells hide, a seaweed monster lurks…

Doilies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells launches two new collaborations with Australian artists Patrick Doherty and Esme Timbery. Come with us in celebration of our elders, traditions, family and the iridescent underwater world.
God bless...