In the official press release for Romance Was Born's autobiographical book, it describes the brand’s collections as "larger than life, utterly original, and mind-glowingly beautiful." It's not wrong. The Australian label may be new to your radar, but Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett’s creative brainchild been around longer than most of the Instagram-born labels that flood our feeds these days. And thanks to their debut oeuvre, Romance Was Born, you can catch up on everything you’ve missed.
Other than the clothing itself, the best thing about RWB is its backbone: the idea of going at it your own way. After studying at TAFE's Fashion Design Studio, Plunkett and Sales began their fashion venture after turning down internships at Dior (circa John Galliano, so you know it was real). In their own words, they just wanted to “do their own thing.” Fast forward over 15 years later, and their fashion label has taken them all over the world, from their first show in a Sydney pub to their latest for resort 2019, where a Judy Garland impersonator opened up a most theatrical (and sparkly) presentation in the basement of Restaurant Hubert.
Like an anthology, Romance Was Born takes readers through the minds of Plunkett and Sales, narrated by each of them (which, if you’ve collected enough of these things, you know is uncommon of fashion coffee table books), and offers a front row seat to just how and why their minds work the way they do. Sketches, runway shots, and inspiration cutouts that feel scanned directly from their moodboards make up a lump sum of the imagery on offer. But if you’re the type to lose yourself in fashion imagery — yarn, tulle, paillettes, and more — you’ll find yourself not only unable to put it down, but wanting to take it with you wherever you go. Spoiler alert: It’s not a pocketbook; it could actually stand to be a little bigger.