Melbourne’s Fashion Precincts
Melbourne is considered one of the world’s most liveable city, but this vibrant cosmopolitan metropolis is also a contender for the world’s most stylish locale. Famous for its residents’ well documented penchant for all black everything, over the years Melbourne has branched out to become a showcase for everything from covetable prints to wild splashes of colour and avant-garde design details alongside those much-loved dark hued neutrals. Join us as we take you on a tour of this thriving city’s most fashionable precincts. Just don’t forget to pack your credit card.
If there’s one thing Melbourne does well it’s coffee. But above that, even, comes fashion. Equal parts eclectic and chic, this is a city that takes style very seriously indeed.
It comes as no surprise then that the CBD’s myriad of laneways are home to a multitude of designer boutiques from cherished local stars like resin jewellery mavens Dinosaur Designs and chief purveyors of kooky chic Kuwaii to international design hubs such as the always elegant dot COMME. Bourke Street plays host to the ever-reliable chain store classics of Zara, Topshop and Sportsgirl while what surely must be a contender for the world’s most breathtaking H&M is housed in the storied old GPO building. Aussie gems such as Incu and Obus showcase the independents, while Myer and David Jones are a nod to the ever reliable old guard.
Leafy, plush and leisurely, Armadale has long been the shopping (and brunching) destination of choice for glamorous Melburnians. Originally known for its beautiful bridal wear, this chic suburb has since become a veritable who’s who of local and international designers. In fact, the iconic High Street shopping strip is nothing less than a fashion mecca.
Elegant and on the pulse Australian brands such as Dion Lee, Thurley and Ryder sit alongside prized European retailers like Acne Studios, making Armadale the ultimate fashionista’s one stop shop. While local favourite Aje dazzles with its sleek classics and embellished eveningwear and celebrity darling Rachel Gilbert offers up its signature high octane glamour. Many a shopper has left this chic neighbourhood laden with monogrammed carry bags, and that’s not about to change any time soon.
For those who like their clothing with a little edge, eclectic Fitzroy is a certified leader in the design space. And while this certainly isn’t the place for chain stores and fast fashion, what was once a bohemian enclave is now the city’s undisputed hot spot and there’s something for everyone.
Hip Service Denim has all the classic blue jean dreams you need to look like a young Jane Birkin. And colourful Vintage Sole and American Vintage offer up the very best of yesteryear in all its modish glory. Iconic Brunswick Street is a carefully selected second hand mecca, while Smith and Gertrude Streets specialise in timeless pieces and tailored one-of-a-kinds. Local boutiques búl and Kloke represent the area’s impressive fashion nous, while Alpha 60 and Somebuddy Loves You trade in the special brand of quirky chic from which Fitzroy first made its name. Far removed from the all too prevalent generic shopping malls and same-same retailers, this stylish neighbourhood is custom made for who don’t want to look just like everyone else.
With its alluring mix of vintage gems, hip local boutiques, chain store finds and high end designer hubs, South Yarra’s buzzing Chapel Street has long cemented itself as a true Melbourne fashion icon. While the main thoroughfare is home to everything a shopper could possibly desire, its surrounding side streets and enclaves offer up an equally exciting array of discoveries.
Elegant Le Louvre with its impressive façade and racks of dazzling wares is a bastion of European chic. While the sleek and highly covetable Sass and Bide, Scanlan Theordore and Alice McCallare longstanding Aussie favourites with the impressive pedigrees to match. On trend boutiques LIFEwithBird and Zimmermann round out the national contingent, while Gorman is loved for its iconic prints and instantly recognisable bold colour palette. This fashion mad neighbourhood is equally popular with budget friendly bargain hunters who scour the racks of Topshop, Sportsgirl and Kookai alike for stylish finds – further ensuring that when it comes to shopping, Chapel Street isn’t to be missed.
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