The lovely Anna Plunkett makes up one half of Romance Was Born, the Australian label that is at once brilliantly iconoclastic and, simultaneously, unapologetically iconic. Case(s) in point: past collaborative partners include insanely prolific brands like Star Wars, LEGO and Marvel Comics, as well as Australiana textile legend Jenny Kee.
Anna and her partner in design and aesthetic/spiritual soulmate, Luke Sales, met at design college in 2002 and launched their indelible debut collection ‘Weird Science’ at Australian Fashion Week in 2007. Ever since, Romance has been slaying with fearless fashion that inspires awe and joy.
In addition to being co-creator of one of the most artful and singularly creative fashion brands to come out of Australia in the last decade-plus, Anna’s also kind of a walking work of art. It’s abstract-expression meets girlish impressionism meets pure Pop, denim and then some.
“I guess spontaneous would be a good word” she says, when pushed to describe her personal style – a question she’s regularly asked but constantly finds difficulty answering off the cuff. “Spontaneous and eclectic,” she says. “Obviously, colour is one of my favourite things. And prints.”
Just look at the photos from our shoot – they speak for themselves.
From a young age she was using that eclectic approach to style as an expression. Anna recalls experimenting with different hairstyles in lieu of fashion choice diversity when she was at school. “I went to a Catholic school and it was really uniform-focused, so I’d play with my hair a lot,” she tells us.
After school, that translation of personal expression into something vivid and tangible and visual, evolved into the label that has amassed a throng of influential style mavericks as devotees, from Cate Blanchett to Nicki Minaj to Grimes. Anna, too, wears at least one piece of Romance Was Born every day.
“I don’t really buy a lot of things,” Anna explains of her fashion choices. “I’m more drawn to sentiment, or nostalgia, or to something someone’s given me.”
When it comes to beauty her attitude is less sentimental, slightly more practical.
“I love SK-II face mask,” she told us. “Sometimes if [Luke and I] are going on long flights, we usually put one on and look like freaks, but it’s so good because you get really hydrated – and it’s so much fun.”
That’s a vision we definitely want to feature in the follow-up article.
Words Susannah Tucker