What does the Romance Was Born world look like? Some years its a jurassic jungle, a volcanic mess of prehistoric craziness. Sometimes it's the urban metropolis, policed by superheroes with flame-red hair and piercing gazes. It's even been an ocean wonderland - this was the year that started it all - the pearls and the sparkles, the star-studded front row, the pastel frou... The only standard when it comes to Romance Was Born is that there is no standard.
This season's collection "Mushroom Magic" comes from a place we all know and love. The candy-floss, the sugar cane, the saccharine sweetness of marshmallows and glitter and things made out of fluff. That's a 90s childhood in pedal pushers and crop tops right there. Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales' world was a weird, wacky and totally wonderful fusion of that childhood exuberance (more is more is more is more!) and the knowing, winking smirk of a grown-up who ought to know better. Magic mushrooms meets just, well, mushrooms. Flouncy trapeze dresses were emblazoned with yellow daisies and pin-tuck pleats, tye-dye silk tee shirts met their match in shaggy sequin mohair flared trousers and two-piece boxy skirt suits were covered in graphic star prints. Was it a childhood fantasy, the kind you might find in a trip down the rabbit hole (well, the show was sponsored by Disney) or was it just, well a trip? We still don't quite know.
The best thing about Romance, though, is that we are invited to witness their world - to touch it, feel it, see it - without feeling any obligation to get involved. They're just as happy if you sit by and take in the show than if you are keeping a diary of all the looks you want to buy and/or photograph and/or style. You leave thinking about the sets, the hair and makeup (glittery faces, pom poms glued to cheeks and pantone-matched wigs!) and the music (soloist Paz Lenchantin on multiple instruments singing Venus in Furs). But by the time you get home you're thinking about how the embroidered midi pencil skirt would look fantastic with a white tee shirt and sandals... But with Romance it's not about the end goal so much as it is about the entertainment. In fact, the entertainment is the end goal. No-one does a fashion show quite like Romance Was Born. It's Romance's world, we're just living in it.
That's day one shows covered...Check out Talisa's post on Christopher Esber and Hannahs post on Camilla and Marc and stay tuned for Day 2 shows to be posted tomorrow...hopefully...after some sleep.