Romance Was Born is a creative entity in a constant state of flux. Designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett push the boundaries of fashion and art with every collection and project they undertake, their latest causing them to cast their vision across one of Melbourne’s most iconic properties.
Fairhall in East Melbourne is home to an impressive collection of Georgian and Regency furniture, painting and objects d’art, gathered by the late antique dealer William Johnston and bequeathed to the people of Victoria in 1986. Similar to Romance Was Born’s aesthetic, Johnston’s vision was for his collection to constantly evolve by inviting different artistic individuals to give it their own treatment every year.
Plunkett and Sales are the latest to transform Fairhall. For the pair, the project is an opportunity to unleash their creativity in a different medium than usual.
“We have a little joke that our aesthetic is very much ‘more is more’ and I think it’s kind of what we did with the collection. We wanted each room to be its own world and have its own feeling,” Plunkett says.
The colour of each room is the starting point for its theme, with a range of props and spectacular Romance Was Born pieces placed and strewn throughout. The Yellow Drawing Room is an opulent bedchamber; the Blue Room a full-blown ship ready for voyage (think back to the Doilies and Pearls, Oysters and Shells spring/summer 2009 collection); and the Green Drawing Room a natural wonderland of animalia and bacchanalian feasting. As the title suggests, the White Room is the bride’s realm.
Kate Rohde, who collaborated with Plunkett and Sales on their 2010 Renaissance Dinosaur extravaganza, was called upon again to heighten the visual impact with installations across the house.