>> I>> I'm finally back in the colder climate of London after a blissful but productive week in Sydney for fashion week. I've still got a ton to post about on all things Aussie but first up, something physical to put on my back. Autumn winter collections of Australian designers get a little lost in the international scheme of things since there is only one Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia a year, showcasing what they would call their spring summer collections (but are our autumn winter collections in the Northern Hemisphere... I feel like a broken record explaining this). Just as our summer is approaching though, their winter is beginning and so it is we get some notions of outerwear, knits and thicker clothes to deal with what I personally think is a pretty tame winter. I came away with pieces from Romance was Born's A/W 13 collection that is currently in stores now but are just about perfect for the still mild spring we're getting in the UK (although I'm still mega pleased that our very own Harvey Nichols is selling Romance was Born's Marvel collection). It's all season semantics of course when topsy turvy weather in the current climate is out of sync with store deliveries and collections in general are becoming less about catering to specific seasons.
The point is it's good to shed some Northern Hemisphere light on Australian designers' autumn collections and RWB's Lil Lord Fauntleroy collection is a good un'. Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett worked with the Johnston Collection in Melbourne's Fairhall Museum to select pieces that would inspire the the prints. Sales and Plunkett picked up on the twee and ornate Staffordshire figurines, the sort that my mum loves to collect and put into dusty glass cabinets. The title of the collection also had a role to play. Frances Hodgson Burnett's tale about the little Earl and his elegant velvet suit and fancy ruffled blouses with oversized collars were amplified in the context of this 18th century Fragonard-hued collection. Tongue in cheek imagination is Romance was Born's speciality though and fortunately nothing ever veers too far into the dusty origins of these references. Even Thomas Gainsborough's painting of "The Blue Boy" is reproduced by the Sydney artist Phil James with a wink and a nudge. The bomber jacket, quilted skirt and matching fan-clutch look like a delicious trio together but can just as easily be taken apart for just a Lil' touch of Fauntleroy action.
Speaking of Staffordshire figurines, my sister Louisa has just styled this shoot for her site Lust and Found, featuring mum's repro porcelain figures, which we always thought were supremely hilarious, together with jewellery by Smith/Grey. A brilliant match, no?