Romance Was Born

Wonder Woman was always our favourite superhero. Like some incredibly long-legged model - supermodel, even - she would parade around in that bodice and those boots like it was nobody's business. She made looking fly her job. She had the best accessories, the big hair and the perfect shade of red lipstick. She was a hero, and she was pretty super.

The girls at Romance Was Born - with their fanta-orange David Bowie hair and comically extended eyebrows - took all of that Wonder Woman sass and infused it with a bit of modern-day, look-at-me attitude. In eye-catching prints lifted straight from the pages of Marvel Comics (who collaborated with RWB designers Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales on the collection) or plunging embellished cat-suits in that ineffable Phantom purple with matching upper-arm cuffs, they sauntered down the catwalk looking like they would blast anyone who got in their way. It was intense, and it was in-your-face and it was oh-so-fine.

A riot of colour and prints - a cacophony of it, an expanse of it, a rainbow of it - exploded on the runway, through which we could glimpse some of those staple RWB moments. There were sequinned tee-shirt dresses and fitted pencil skirts in rich jewel tones galore, but there was also a measure of design maturity to what we saw. The theatrics were still there - models carrying giant cut-outs of the words "Zap" and "Blam" could have walked right out of the pages of a comic book and no-one would have known different - but they were wearing such incredible things that it was almost by the by. All eyes in that draughty warehouse were drawn to the digitally-enhanced prints, mirrored across fitted dresses, the Hamburgler-esque yellow and black striped dresses with cape to match, or the logo-emblazoned high waisted trousers - the ultimate in geek chic.

RWB has always been over-the-top. They have carved out a strong reputation in Australia's notoriously fickle fashion industry as the innovators, the creative types, the ones who continuously marry couture-esque precision and finishes with unparallelled imaginative scope. But this year the biggest surprise was just how wearable this collection was. Cocktail dresses in gold-foil had enough zap and pow to make them superhero-worthy, but the defined shoulders and soft peplum were 100% of the now, Likewise with the series of boxy jackets, printed shirts and bustier-bodice dresses. With - or without, which, here, is the material point - their matching arrow-sharp arm cuffs you'd fit right in at work, or a swanky evening at the MCA, or a late-night dinner at somewhere very hip and trendy like the Apollo in Potts Point. Everything looked like it could slot effortlessly into a modern wardrobe, if it was taken away from the cartoonish setting and extravagant hair and makeup. But watching it all unfold and being right there in the moment begged the question... why would you ever want to do that, when donning one of those dresses might just turn you into a superhero. 

Words by Hannah-Rose Yee, Photographs and illustrations by me