Design duo Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales launched Romance Was Born’s first book and their latest Resort 2019 collection, Opal Goddess, at an intimate salon-style presentation at Restaurant Hubert.
Guests were transported from Sydney as they descended down the diamond-pattered staircase and into the dimly lit, underground venue. Greeted at the restaurant entrance, re-imagined as an air-bridge, Etihad flight attendants in bespoke Romance Was Born printed silk neck scarves welcomed guests with champagne and traditional Arabic delicacies, providing a brief stop-over before the journey continued to the French-style bistro.
Guests entered the Theatre Royale landing space atop an auditorium of one hundred red leather seats, providing the perfect viewpoint to take-in the beguiling set which debuted the brand’s book Romance Was Born. The new release was stacked high on display for attendees to browse and enjoy before they were ushered into the 1930’s-style basement dining room to take their seats.
A short drag performance by Dame Gaynor Tension set the scene; serenading the crowd with a rendition of Judy Garland’s “somewhere over the rainbow”, before fifteen ethereal art-deco goddesses snaked their way around tables, pausing to pose amongst the bar benches and cosy banquettes. The Opal Goddess resort collection, the brand’s first collaboration with iconic Australian artist Jenny Kee, includes prints from her renowned archive – rainbow opal designs and silk collages filled with almighty female icons, from Gaia to Aphrodite, exploring female divinity.
“Our mutual appreciation of each other’s’ work led us to collaborate with our long-term friend Jenny Kee, and revisit some of her classic prints in a new way,” explains Luke Sales. Anna Plunkett adds, “We’ve always been interested in goddesses and Xanadu, and the inspiration and strength that they provide to women. Alongside the mysticism of opals, this spirit is at the core of the new collection.”
Renya Xydis, Wella Professionals ANZ – Creative Director comments “Working with Romance Was Born is (much like the collection) a dream for me. Anna and Luke’s creativity and openness towards design allows me to be experimental with the hair styling. We channelled ‘goddesses’ across multiple looks, using a spectrum of EIMI styling products and of course, glitter. All of the glitter. Congratulations Romance on yet another incredible show.”
Upon exit, all guests received the book Romance Was Born as a gift; the 200 page tome shares the stories and artistic collaborations that have inspired the collections of the iconic Australian label and celebrates the first 10 years of their journey together.
Photo Credit: Daniel Boud