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Melbourne’s quirky and unique specialty stores

/ 25 Sep 2017
Melbourne is famous for its hidden gems, with some of the best retailers tucked into little laneways and arcades – so hidden in fact that many bespoke stores remain unknown to shoppers. These quirky specialty stores and bespoke boutiques offer something a little left-of-centre.

Lord Coconut is Melbourne’s only retailer, gallery and online boutique selling contemporary jewellery, only for men. They stock over 600 individual jewellery pieces and represent over 40 Melbourne and interstate jewellers, artisans and designers. Shoppers looking for the perfect man gift this festival season will find it at Lord Coconut, with so much to choose from, including cufflinks, rings, lapel pins, tie bars, necklaces and more.
Level 5, Mitchell House, Cnr Lonsdale Street & Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Ph: +61 450 015 263.

Buttonmania is a one-stop-shop for buttons, buckles, toggles and more. Denise and daughters Edwina and Jean stock European, high-end buttons and even handcrafted buttons, belts and buckles. Buttonmania’s bespoke items have graced the dresses, suits and jackets of some of Australia’s best-known designers.
537 Highett Street, Highett. Ph: +61 3 8597 0822.

FilmNeverDie run by husband and wife duo Gary and Wei Wei, is an old school photography store and cafe with a difference. FilmNeverDie stocks a huge range of retro film including Polaroid, Fujifilm, Kodak and more. They are constantly sourcing rare 35mm and 120 film and traditional cameras from a time before instant digital photography. Enthusiast can also bring in their Polaroid and film cameras to FilmNeverDie for repair advice and testing.
2/640 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Ph: +61 3 8899 7586.

Magic Lantern in Fitzroy, just 10 minutes north of Melbourne’s city centre, celebrates the fun and forgotten technologies and toys of the pre-cinematic world. Visitors can get nostalgic with the simple delights of early animation toys, play with puppets and get swept away in the toy theatre. Kids will enjoy this time-travel back into the fun and imaginative world of magic and entertainment before TV, video games and Netflix.
155 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Ph: +61 456 961 010.

Max Stern & Co is a coin and stamp collection store run by Max Stern, a 94-year old stamp dealer with 75 years’ experience and a remarkable personal story. Max begum stamp dealing at age 17 and continued to operate his business throughout most of World War II. In 1945 Max and wife Eva escaped Slovakia and made their way to Australia, where Max established his award-winning Melbourne store.
244 Flinders Street, Port Phillip Arcade. Ph: +61 3 9654 6751.

Beyond the Pale in Melbourne’s iconic suburb of St Kilda, is a design studio that has created rock posters for some of the world’s biggest bands including The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and Beastie Boys. Since 1996, Beyond the Pale’s talented team of artists have been creating highly collectible, contemporary designed posters, printed using age-old handmade silkscreen techniques.
25 Carlisle Street, St Kilda. Ph: +61 3 9593 8900.


Beyond The Pale



Absinthesalon Melbourne celebrates absinthe and the rituals of what they believe is the most misunderstood and misrepresented of all spirits, ‘the green fairy’. This Parisian-style speakeasy in Fitzroy offers close to 40 traditionally distilled varieties of absinthe and the venue is equally as impressive - each table is adorned with beautiful 19th century decanters in the centre.
82 Rose Street, Fitzroy. Ph: +61 406 207 903.

Il Papiro is an exquisite Italian stationery store in Degraves Street which specialises in handcrafted journals, leather-bound books, wrapping paper, wax seals and charming old-fashioned paper and ink. Il Papiro also offers custom printing and a calligraphy service.
Shop 5, Degraves Street, Melbourne. Ph: +61 3 9654 0955.

Kimono House is a traditional Japanese textile and craft store found within the heart of Melbourne. Kimono House provide directly sourced textile treasures and is a place for visitors to explore their creative side in an authentic Japanese cultural workshop or fashion class. Owner Leanne O’Sullivan also teaches traditional and contemporary Japanese handicrafts regularly in her city studio.
Level 2, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Ph: +61 3 9639 0565.

Tanto Japanese Knives, on the ground floor of QT Hotel Melbourne, Tanto sells an exclusive range of Suisin handcrafted Japanese and specialty knives, curated by 10th generation sword makers. A destination for chefs and foodies, home cooks can even bring in their own knives to be sharpened.
Portland Lane, 133 Russell Street, Melbourne. Ph: +61 3 8636 8800.

Wunderkammer, German for ‘cabinet of curiosities’, is one of Melbourne’s more eclectic stores, featuring scientific instruments, artefacts, scientific paraphernalia, skeletons, insects and butterflies, and more. Inside Wunderkammer visitors will lose themselves for hours among the weird and wacky.
439 Londsale Street, Melbourne. Ph: +61 3 9642 4694.

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