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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.