The following article is a collaboration with Tudor Watches
There’s a common belief in today’s society that the modern era of romance is dead.
For these four Australian creative couples, that generalisation couldn’t be further from the truth. Love is a timeless expression of creation much like the timepieces of Tudor’s latest Heritage Black Bay Dark and Black Bay 36. Whether it resides on the wrist of a talented male or female, for work or for play, the Tudor Black Bay collection was designed for today from the rich DNA of yesterday.
Some would call it art imitating life, but it’s even simpler than that. The purpose of a celebrated timepiece is to be expressed and who better to do it than a collective of Australia’s most successful thinkers, creators and lovers.
These are the human faces who have changed the old ways of romance for a new generation to aspire to.
Brent Wilson & Asha Clark
Brent Wilson is one of Sydney’s foremost authorities in men’s fashion.
Having launched his eponymous label at the ripe old age of twenty three, the young designer threw himself into the perils of fashion retail in a bid to carve out his own signature style for Australian men. He succeeded.
Today Brent Wilson the label is just that, a destination for those seeking sartorial intervention. What keeps a perennially curious mind such as his thriving? His partner in creative crime, Asha Clark.
“Brent said hello first,” glees Clark, a bubbly quadruple threat who specialises in acting, dancing, modelling and film production.
“We were friends of mutual friends on Facebook. We just kind of started chatting,” adds Wilson.
The pair kept it simple for a couple of weeks which grew to two months and an eventual coffee rendezvous. Since then they have been inseparable.
Clark warmed to the idea quickly too, admitting that even though Wilson’s Facebook profile picture was easy on the eyes, it was his sharp wit that eventually won her over.
“Being with Asha makes me a better person and makes me feel like I can do anything. It might sound corny but it’s true.”
What began as a simple ‘Hello’ on social media has certainly paid off for this dynamic pairing. Wilson and Clark recently got engaged and are adamant that there won’t be any creative clashes down the track.
“We come from very different creative worlds,” says Clark. “We back each other up and support each other. If he’s got an idea, he helps me grow on mine.”
“Yeah we complement each other,” adds Wilson. “My strengths, Ash’s weaknesses and vice versa.”
Given that Clark has already laid claim to the couple’s kitchen as her domain, Wilson is left to the devices of keeping the pair’s humble abode in an aesthetically pleasing state. A match made in heaven via a healthy dose of ‘His side/Her side’ designation? Not exactly.
The secret to Wilson and Clark’s seemingly effortless relationship narrows down to matching morals.
“To have a successful relationship you have to listen to each other and be supportive in what they do,” says Wilson. “Being with Asha makes me a better person and makes me feel like I can do anything. It might sound corny but it’s true.”
In the world of digital romance Wilson and Clark are living proof that love can last longer than just a few swipes of the phone. The approach might be new, but the fundamentals will always remain as selfless dedication to one another.
“She’s just a lovely person. I’ve spent a lot of time with her and she doesn’t have a bad bone in her body,” says Wilson.
“[She] always tries to do the right thing by others. I tried to dance like she does but I still have white boy moves. I’m a calmer nicer person when I’m with her which feeds back into my work.”
Clark also has her own words of affection. “He follows everything through and never gives up. If things don’t go through the first way, that determination gets us through.”
There’s even an added bonus to being Brent Wilson’s life partner. “Every now and then when I need some styling tips, he’s the guy I go to,” she laughs.
Alex Torino & Adam Worling
“We met on an app!” exclaims a beaming Adam Worling. “It’s a terribly modern way of doing things.”
And yet, here is another creative couple proving the digital detractors of love wrong. When the dual talents of Adam Worling and Alex Torino came together, it wasn’t just a romance that was born.
Through their own irreverent sense of style and expertise in differing fields, the two were able to grow their relationship by allowing their creative visions to flourish under the same roof.
Worling runs his own successful fashion PR company whilst Torino is an agent for actors and actresses. What brought them together was a mutual appreciation for all things visually appealing.
“With the app where we met, it’s a visual thing,” explains Worling. “You see someone’s face. That’s the first thing, we saw an image of each other.”
“We texted backwards and forwards. We had lunch, got on well and the rest is sort of history. Within a year and a half we moved in together.”
“I’ve met the most remarkable man and I’m terribly happy to be with him.”
Pitching their creative differences aside to make the relationship work long term was always a non-event between the pair. In fact, one could say that it even served to strengthen the couple’s foundations.
“Alex represents actors, whereas I represent fashion designers. But there’s a lot of synergies between our businesses.”
“Alex once said, ‘I get fashion week now – your fashion week is my pilot season’. It’s intense, it’s only a short period of time, but you really have to be on your game.”
When faced with a creative challenge as most do in the industry, Worling is quick to credit the open-mindedness of Torino for inspiring him.
“Alex is remarkable, the way he goes about his job. I’m fortunate to go to a lot of theatre and I love the way he looks forward to meeting actors after a production.”
“He’s very encouraging of their work, he’s very good at critiquing and giving good feedback. I really admire it.”
For a terribly modern way of doing things, Worling and Torino are certainly showing that love at first sight is still alive and well in the digital age. It doesn’t come without the occasional tumultuous ride but Worling thinks it’s all worth it with the couple’s eyes set on the future.
“We’re on a wonderful journey. It’s tremendous. I can’t fault it. I’ve met the most remarkable man and I’m terribly happy to be with him.”
Carine Thevenau & Yoshio Honjo
Carine Thevenau has been touted as one of the leading photographers of tomorrow, deftly capturing beauty and emotion in its purest form before gracing it onto the world.
Her partner, Yoshio Honjo, is also a creative force charged with inking his elaborate Japanese artwork onto human skin amongst other skills such as painting.
As the only couple here whose relationship was fostered offline, their collaborative approach to work and art is still resonant of a modern world approach.
“I learned a lot more about movement within the composition of a still image, from Yoshi. As a tattooist he creates work that comes alive on a curved surface – the skin.”
“A sense of movement in tattooing is essential and I have adopted some of these principals within my own practice.”
Thevenau recalls that the pair first met at an artist friend’s exhibition at the late Damien Minton Gallery in Redfern.
“We are best friends, lovers and now parents, in this thing called life, together.”
“Our second collision occurred a week later at my studio which is an artist run space. Yoshi visited to discuss etching with another artist who was more familiar with the process.”
The intriguing part of their romance lies in the appeal and trade-off between different cultures. A trait which Thevenau is openly fond of in their relationship.
“I love that Yoshi is super chilled and his foreign perspective, being from Japan, is fascinating to me. It adds another layer to the relationship.”
“Apparently, Yoshi likes my outgoing, happy vibe.”
Just as the previous couples have shown, the sharing of creative influence appears to be the secret to Thevenau and Honjo’s unyielding passion for one another.
“Yoshi was not interested in photography until we met,” explains Thevenau. “I have influenced his love for photography and he now shoots black and white 35mm film on a Pentax K1000.”
“Yoshi is the practical half. I am the daydreamer. He is extremely relaxed, whilst I am more neurotic. I am the thinker, he is the doer. We are certainly a case of opposites attract.”
The eclectic husband and wife duo even worked together on Thevenau’s last exhibition which was presented in galleries in Berlin, Melbourne and Perth. Creative conflict would rarely ever creep into the humble abode.
“Our conversations at home are often discussions about light, nature, art or our other favourite subject, our biggest collaborative project – our baby daughter, Yuki. We are best friends, lovers and now parents in this thing called life, together.”
Pete Moore & Natalie Cottee
Pete Moore is a jack of all trades in the creative realm. He is also a seasoned professional at throwing caution to the wind when it comes to courting a life partner.
“It’s pretty funny actually. I saw Nat commented on a Monster Children page so I stalked her on Facebook,” he laughs.
And so begins the love story of Pete Moore and Natalie Cottee. There was more to it of course. Moore was in Hawaii at the time of the stalking so the pair spoke online for a while before he officially took her out on a date once he landed home.
Moore works as a director in television and music but he also admits to dabbling in a spot of photography where possible. His talented partner, Natalie Cottee, runs her own business as a creative director and photographer in fashion and lifestyle.
Her proudest achievement to date is her not-for-profit organisation Coexist which combines her love for fashion with animals.
“You need someone to encourage you because it can be really hard. Pete makes sure I’m always fighting.”
“I want to raise money for animals and I’m actually about to do a shoot with wild animals like lions and tigers,” she says.
“We both work from home and we have a studio that we’re building this year. Eventually when we finish, that will be where we base all our work out of.”
Despite Moore’s smoothest efforts on social media, this particular relationship almost didn’t come to fruition. The pair met six weeks before Cottee was due to embark on a year-long trip through Europe with her Visa and flights already approved.
“Pete ended up flying to see me in Berlin and Amsterdam. Another three months later we met in Portugal and I decided to go home with him,” says Cottee.
“Love conquers all, as cheesy as it sounds.”
Creatively, the pair are tied to each other’s “creative vibe” and constantly bounce ideas off one another to make their craft work.
“We’re quite diplomatic about it. I really respect Nat’s taste. We watch movies, pause it and run through it together,” says Moore.
“It’s one cool thing that I don’t think people in relationships always have,” Cottee adds. “It’s something I really value.”
As a bonding agent which usually keeps the couple on their toes, their creative battles are often fought together to make the business work. Cottee believes that working for yourself requires a duty for mutual motivation.
“You need someone to encourage you because it can be really hard. Pete makes sure I’m always fighting – he’s consistent like that, whereas I get quite stir-crazy.”
For this couple which almost never happened, attractiveness and creativity comes hand-in-hand.
Cottee appreciates Moore’s good eye for things which she finds unique whilst Moore admits that he feels the same way with her great depth of knowledge in art history.
Queried on the future of their creative relationship, Moore only had one thing to say.
“The studio will be like our Andy Warhol factory. We’re going to collaborate. Tell good stories that make people think, stories that are unique and fresh.”
The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Dark and Black Bay 36 timepieces are featured on the wrists of our creative couples.
Photography produced exclusively for D’Marge by Kristian Taylor-Wood. No reproduction without permission.