What business do fashion designers have at a bar? Wait, okay, let me re-phrase that. When given the opportunity to ‘dress up’ a bar, what’s a designer to do?
Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales met whilst studying Fashion Design and, quite literally, Romance Was Born. Their Australian fashion label has gifted us with collections such as ‘Dream On’ and ‘Mushroom Magic’, putting a playful spin on your typical catwalk productions.
Plunkett and Sales’ designs are like a lab experiment gone right – they splice disparate concepts and create something harmonious and outlandish at the same time. My personal favourite is their ‘Kawaii Hawaii’ collection (described as a “Luau with a distinctly Japanese flavour”), which merges the kitsch of a Hawaiian t-shirt sunset with the cutesy, exaggerated brush strokes of an anime.
Romance Was Born experiment so much with colour and cloth on the human form, this year they tried their hand at revamping the interior of Lo-Fi in Sydney’s Darlinghurst.
I was already a fan of Lo-Fi – it’s the middle ground between Johnny Wong’s masterful dumplings and The Standard Bowl (think bar meets music venue meets bowling alley) so what’s not to love? Now, Lo-Fi is strutting its stuff – perhaps having its own ‘Blue Steel’ moment with its gorgeous new outfit: neon lights refracted on bold geometric shapes, psychedelic butterflies and elegant black and whites.
Just as Romance Was Born like mixing beautiful and strange, I’m a big fan of mixing fashion with drinking spaces. For $8 you can get an apple whiskey (in a designer slurpee cup), kick back and enjoy your very own fashion installation. Well worth checking out!
Lo-Fi by Romance Was Born
Level 2, 383 Bourke Street
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday. 6pm – late.
*Words by Claire Benito
*Photography by Ari Pashalis