Artist Pip and Pop created the pastel fantasy land in which Romance Was Born presented their Spring/Summer 2013 collection, “Mushroom Magic”. Illuminated in shocking pink lava-lamp light, the set almost audibly hummed with life like a living organism. Guests poured into Carriageworks’ cavernous shed, Bay 25, as birdcalls trilled over an awesome soundtrack of Nineties alt rock reinterpreted through the comb teeth of a musical jewellery box (“1979” by Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead’s “No Surprises” and more). At last the house lights went down and the set lights came up to reveal the shimmery sherbet landscape that Pip and Pop (AKA Tanya Schultz) had built using thousands of powdery sugar crystals. Then came the clothes.
Taking inspiration from the cosmic creations of their collaborator, Tanya Schultz, shapes and silhouettes from the flower power era of late Sixties to early 1970s, as well as Disney‘s brightly coloured fantastically batshit 1951 animated version of Alice In Wonderland, Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales produced a collection that was nothing short of visionary. As a conceptual body of work, “Mushroom Magic” is an achievement. The clothes – which inspired awe and joy – are a wholly unique expression of two artists unbound by the kind of rules designated by sales managers and trend forecasters. This is freedom in fashion; fearless and fucking fantastic.