Fairy lights and a titular romantic carousel brought a true event vibe to Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) as Romance Was Born took over Monday night as the official opening show. Two iconic hair brands and the week’s respective care and tools partners, Redken and ghd, led by two renowned hairdressers, Ricahrd Kavanagh and Natalie Anne, led the way on styling this iconic show.

“I’ve been working in collaboration with Richard Kavanagh and Redken on a super tough girl look for Romance this year,” Natalie Anne said. “As we were at the trial and talking about the direction it was interesting how he interpreted the designers look and what the designer wanted as a vision and he really built out this character, which was awesome to watch.”

“It’s a tough romance, so they are stronger, they’re more grown, they’re a little bit tougher,” she continued. “There’s a lot of cool hair cuts this year and if the girl came in with a cool hair cut we left them and let them do their thing using the ghd Helios diffuser predominantly this season and working a lot of volumising moves.”

This lived in toughness and texture was facilitated by pulling the sides of the hair right back for a total 50s rockabilly aesthetic. Working with this style on hair of different lengths, and with individual textures, braids and afros speaking to the power of individual hair, the tough girl aesthetic knew no stylistic bounds.

“The hair look for Romance was Born is Raw Elegance,” Richard added. “Designed to anchor the eclectic nature of the collection, and to bring a sense of grown up simplicity to the collection. It’s a finger combed wet look, cinched at the nape into a loose chignon. Inspired by the essence of sustainability and the idea of reworking and recycling, the hair is tough yet elegant, strong and textured, raw yet sophisticated.”

Other than Helios, ghd required their Soft Curve Tong as a hero tool, offering more bend and shape to natural textures and creating the distinct rockabilly-inspired silhouette through the capacity to truly manipulate hair.

“Instead of wetting the hair down we went in dry and saturated the hair with a volumising mousse to create that wet texture and really to give it that toughness. We pulled the sides right back, pushed all the hair back and created that 50s rockabilly silhouette that’s giving us that tough grunge vibe but then softly diffused all of the back to give that romantic finish at the end,” Natalie Anne added.

Bright coloured beauty touches on eyes, brows, lips and cheeks created an animated doll-like aesthetic, directed by none other than makeup legend Nicole Thompson for Mecca Max, becoming another scene stealing element in this vivacious show.

The Romance Was Born runway was wedding-themed, featuring a floral runway and the aforementioned carousel, to house a collection made entirely from vintage fabrics, in the name of sustainability and upcycling old pieces. An explosion of colour, prints, unique fabrics, textures, shapes and classical references saw fashion and art blended seamlessly, as is the Romance way.

Adding to the true event atmosphere, liqueur brand Disaronno were a sponsor, serving cocktails from upcycled glassware and encouraging guests to join in this movement by bringing in unused garments to aid the charity Dress For Success. The liqueur brand created A Romance Was Born in Saronno, an all-new specialised cocktail truly unique to the show.

After too much time away from the Australian Fashion Week runway, Romance Was Born gathered true titans in hair, beauty and even liquor to usher in Fashion Week in style. While the set enveloped attendees as soon as they entered, the hair, beauty, fashion and concept would remain front of mind long after they left.

Welcome back.

Get the look:

  1. To prep the hair, start with an application of Redken Shades EQ Gloss conditioning colour with Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo & Conditioner .
  2. Starting with clean dry hair, apply a very generous amount of mousse until hair is thoroughly saturated (Guts 10 for natural hair, and Full Effect 05 for sensitised or highly porous hair).
  3. Using a wide tooth comb, rake the hair back off the face and pull back into a ponytail tight at the occipital (middle back of the head).
  4. Using a diffuser and a hot ghd Helios hairdryer, gently diffuse the hair until it has set and has a high shine finish.
  5. Release the ponytail. Using your hands, pull the hair back and loosen up the shape. Twist and pin at the nape into a chignon.
  6. Finish with triple take 32 for extra hold and shape.

For more information visit www.redken.com.au and www.ghdhair.com/au