The Iced VoVo dress by fashion design label Romance Was Born is an eccentric and cheeky take on an iconic Australian biscuit. Larrikin designers, Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales are famous for their portrayal of Australian kitsch and use of traditional craft techniques. Shown at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2009/2010 as part of the Doilies and Lace collection it was widely covered by both newspapers and magazine. Flamboyant and whimsical the collection included everything from a crochet dress, octopus hats and a budgie inspired dress. Their clothes have graced the cover of Australian Vogue and in 2009 they won the Woolmark Young Designer Award.
Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales met and became firm friends while studying at The Fashion Design Studio, Sydney Institute of Technology. After graduation they were selected to attend The Fourth International Support Awards in Italy where they famously turned down an invitation to intern with John Galliano designer for fashion house Dior. The pair had other plans for their designs and launched their label, Romance Was Born shortly after. Inspired by iconic 1980's Australian designers Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee they are in Luke's own words, 'obsessed'! This influence can be seen through the use of bright eclectic prints, collaboration with Indigenous Australian artist, Esme Timbery and a recurring Australian theme. The duo have also collaborated with artist Del Kathryn Barton and high street fashion store Sportsgirl. They have dressed musicians Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Cindy Lauper, Bat For Lashes, Debbie Harry, Lilly Allen, MIA, the Presets and Architecture in Helsinki. Australian actress and Academy Award winner, Cate Blanchett has also worn their designs.
This Iced VoVo dress is significant as an example of unique and original contemporary Australian fashion design. It represents Australian themes in a playful manner and was one of the most talked about and acclaimed collections at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2009/2010. Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales are among the most creative and challenging Australian design teams to emerge in the last decade.
Assistant Curator, Rebecca Evans. March 2010.