January 29, 2018
If you’re in Australia and wanting to pick up some investment fashion pieces do not get distracted by the flashy glam of Sydney. No, no, no!
For the best Oz fashion fix, beeline straight to Melbourne. Best known for its affinity with black, true Melburnian style is a distinctive mix of intelligent design with a laid-back, resort aesthetic. Flex that AmEx, here's Suzanne Delahunty's guide to the city's best shopping districts.
Although a lot of Melbourne’s best bits are hidden among its labyrinth of laneways, arcades and alleys, one behemoth stands out as the local designer go-to: Emporium in the CBD. This high-end shopping centre houses the who's who of Aussie fashion.
If you’re feeling a little spendy, head straight to Zimmermann. This homegrown fashion house is a favourite among celebs and social media darlings for its whimsical floaty creations. Here you’ll try on frocks that will make you want change your lifestyle – that’s if it doesn’t already involve beachside fine dining a sipping cocktails on yachts.
From Zimmerman, dart across to Camilla & Marc for a more minimal, but no less luxurious approach to style. Dion Lee is great for structured design with technical elements, and for true investment pieces, look to stalwart Scanlan Theodore, whose sharp classics are essentials in many a fashionista’s wardrobe. Finally, Viktoria & Woods will cater to every laid-back, beachy style need with pieces that effortlessly elevate a casual look to something more glam.
High Street, Armadale
In the heart of the leafy, well-heeled suburb of Armadale, the stretch of High Street between Kooyong Road and Glenferrie Road has experienced a fashion renaissance in recent years. Sitting alongside many of the labels found at Emporium, are these Aussie treasures:
Melbourne-based designer Susie Jacobs has an atelier for her effortlessly bohemian Luxe Deluxe. Perched opposite, Lee Mathews is your go-to for quintessentially Australian looks in the most dreamy natural fibres. And just a quick shimmy down the street is Thurley, where you will find the most decadent of dresses that will have you spring-racing-carnival-ready in no time.
Not far from High Street Armadale is the charming shopping enclave known as Hawksburn Village. The stores here cater for a beach-loving clientele, so you'll find the best in resort wear.
Morrison is a Perth-based design house that creates elevated basics in beach-ready colour palettes; across the street is Bassike, a favourite of many a fashion blogger for its quality basics and relaxed silhouettes in organic cottons and linens.
Farther along is Flannel repping boho-meets-European sensibilities, resulting in luxe pieces you’ll most definitely want to bring on your next holiday.
Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
For true Melbourne style, look no further than these two thoroughfares in hip inner-city Fitzroy. Amid the cafes, bars and restaurants, are a handful of local designers you need to know.
Arnsdorf on Brunswick Street stands out for its intelligent, timeless designs and sustainability. The label’s founder makes limited numbers of each item in her nearby factory, and offers bespoke alterations as an initiative to avoid oversupply and unnecessary environmental impact.
Thoughtful, eclectic and sculptural, Kloke is another very Melbourne label. These are the kind of outfits you want to wear while mooching around edgy galleries making pseudo-intellectual comments about the artwork.
Alistair Trung arrived in Australia at the age of 11 as a refugee from Vietnam. He went to on to realise his vision of a fashion label that is “trans-seasonal, trans-occasional, trans-age, trans-size and ultimately transgender.” It’s worth visiting his Gertrude Street store to see the interior alone, with its wooden canoes, sculptural lead creations and earthenware.
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