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“I’m very glad I’m going to be an Earl."

Inspired by the Johnston Collection, Staffordshire porcelain figurines and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s heartwarming rags to riches tale of the innocent Little Lord Fauntleroy.

After curating the Johnston Collection at Melbourne’s Fairhall Museum, Romance Was Born have selected some charming pieces from the museum’s extensive range of antique furniture and decorative arts to feature splendidly across a series of prints.  In particular the Staffordshire figures and vignettes were a particular fancy for Romance Was Born.  These and the intricate patterns from the delicate chinaware kept at Fairhall beautify their garments this season.  This china-derived chintz forms a delightful posy of verdant florals which blossom in buttercup yellow, blush in rose and bloom prettily in forget-me-not blue their fragile beauty is offset by the commanding contrast of navy, red, black and white.  Chancing upon Burnett’s story of Little Lord Fauntleroy, Romance Was Born were influenced by the costume of the young Earl for the cut and line of the season evoking his childlike grace in an array of fancy blouses, neat sweetheart collars and ruffled yokes.  A second chance encounter lead them to the work of Sydney artist Phil James whose “Untitled” work features as the hero of the collection.  His cheeky reworking of this found vintage print that is itself a reproduction of Thomas Gainsborough’s painting “The Blue Boy” is a stroke of genius and luck as it so often associated with looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy.  Romance Was Born embrace the joy of a sweet young boy’s fortune found which is more than a mere homage to the Little Lord Fauntleroy it is a complete re interpretation.