United by Style

First published in The Melbourne Review, February 2014.

Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales of Romance Was Born collaborate with paint specialist Dulux. Picture: Mike Baker

Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales of Romance Was Born collaborate with paint specialist Dulux. Picture: Mike Baker

COLOUR choice and fashion are very much part of our day to day living.

Whether it’s as simple as choosing which pair of shoes to wear with your outfit or what tie to wear with your shirt, we make daily decisions on colour, pattern and texture. The days of monochromatic living and white on white are behind us too. Bold colour is making a big comeback in the home.

This year, Dulux has once again partnered with two of Australia’s leading fashion designers for the United by Style project to be showcased at the 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival this March.

Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales from Romance Was Born, and Lisa Gorman of Gorman have spent the last five months collaborating with Dulux Stylist Bree Leech to present the latest in fashion and interior trends. This follows Dulux’s successful partnership with Camilla Franks and Kirrily Johnston in 2013.

“The idea of United by Style project and our collaboration with fashion designers is that people are confident about personal style but not as confident about interiors,” Leech explains.

Her advice for people looking to update their home interiors is firstly to look in the cupboard to see the colours they are drawn to. “Use that as your inspiration,” she says.

Lisa Gorman of Gorman collaborates with paint specialist Dulux. Picture: Mike Baker

Lisa Gorman of Gorman collaborates with paint specialist Dulux. Picture: Mike Baker

Lisa Gorman and the team at Romance Was Born developed a close working relationship with Leech in the months leading up to VAMFF. Early on they provided Leech with lookbooks for their 2014 Autumn Winter collections. From here, she prepared mood boards with images as a starting point for interior concepts and key looks which represent the essence of each designer’s collection. The look was constantly updated following feedback from the designers. This has culminated in rooms, designed by the interior design team at Dulux, that demonstrate inspiring and trend-setting techniques to take fashion colours straight from the runway into the home.

“Your home, like the clothes your wear, is very much an expression of your individual style,” says Leech.

“It’s great to be able to show through these partnerships how inspiration can be taken from the newest fashion colours and translated into the home with paint and decorative accessories.”

With a great interest in the inspiration and opportunities that come from collaboration, Gorman says that Dulux are very forward in their thinking. The United by Style rooms have a sensibility that embodies the symbolic references, prints, colours and patterns of her Autumn Winter collection.

“We have combined gold and mustard colours with icy silver, pink and dark navy.”

Gorman’s Harvest pattern was inspired by artwork including hand blown glass vegetables and hand crafted macramé and ceramic homewares. Bright colours contrast with dark navy which is reflected in her new clothing collection and the Dulux room interiors.

“The rooms have a Scandinavian feel with a mix of timber and vintage Danish furniture and product sourced from Angelucci 20th Century furniture,” explains Gorman. They also include accessories from her homewares collection to which she plans to add new product in the coming months.

United by Style partners Dulux the 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival this March. Picture: Supplied

United by Style partners Dulux the 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival this March. Picture: Supplied


Leech describes Romance Was Born’s Autumn 2014 collection Dream On as “psychedelic more 1960s than 1970s.”

She says it delivers the sense of whimsy and theatre we expect from the dynamic duo that, since winning the title of Melbourne Fashion Festival National Designer in 2008, has taken the design world by storm. A fun and hopeful collection, Dream On sees silhouettes reminiscent of marching girl’s uniform, logos and motifs that hark back to the flower power movement and a fluidity that evokes a street wear vibe.

With such vibrant and inspired fashion designers at play, the United by Style project by Dulux is set to be a highlight of the 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

The 2014 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival will be held at Central Pier Docklands from March 17 – 23.

Vamff.com.au

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