Romance Was Born is a serious fashion label with a very serious interpretation of the word “show”. Their own, the opening act for Australian Fashion Week at the end of the month, will see the brand’s signature ostentation and theatrics reach a whole new height. Designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales are collaborating with Marvel comics, having been given permission to plunder the archives of the character-based entertainment company just in time for the April release of The Avengers.
Past inspirations for the brand have included Renaissance dinosaurs and The Neverending Story, so it’s not like this is a completely surprising collaboration, but there’s something seriously wrong with any fan who is not on the verge of peeing his or her pants with excitement (Cate Blanchett, this means you). Romance Was Born don’t refuse to follow trends as much as they soar far beyond them, making each collection a dazzling display of their ability to merge costume-like designs with mathematical pattern making and fine, but still exquisitely embellished, detailing.
The only thing guaranteed about this show is that it’s not recommended for pregnant women or anyone suffering from epilepsy. Plunkett and Sales have warned in so many words that the main focus is not capes and leotards but strong, powerful superheroes and clothing worn as armour, and that the collection will be heavy on graphic print-on-print work. Prints are to Romance Was Born as Diet Coke is to Karl Lagerfeld, so prepare for a spectacle of Hulk-sized proportions.