When the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (1-19 March 2017) arrives in town, fashionistas will have even more reason to visit Melbourne with industry, retail and runway events set to send the city into a stylish spin over 19 days dedicated to fashion. The nation’s largest consumer fashion festival is the perfect inspiration for a wardrobe revamp and, no matter if it’s eclectic treasures or luxury labels that are called for, Melbourne has the answer.
Here are five of the must-shop destinations in the city and beyond.
Since opening its doors in 2014, Emporium Melbourne has carved itself a name as a must-visit on any Melbourne shopping expedition. It houses 225 shops and eateries over seven levels of retail heaven and boasts the largest collection of Australian designers under one roof. Highlight stores include Melbourne’s own Scanlan Theodore, Gorman, Mr Simple, Godwin Charli and Autonomy. Japanese Giant Uniqlo chose this location for its first Australian store, as did Zoo York, The Waiting Room by Dr Denim and Calvin Klein Watches + Jewellery.
From here, it is easy to reach neighbouring shopping precincts QV, Melbourne Central, The Strand Melbourne and major department stores Myer and David Jones. Undercover walkways help to create one of Australia’s largest retail precincts, with more than 1000 retailers within two city blocks.
City laneways and arcades
A trip to Melbourne would not be complete without getting a little lost amidst the laneways and arcades that typify the city. They are punctuated by some seriously stylish boutiques, including local designers LIFEwithBIRD, Nevenka, Alpha 60 and Kuwaii. For the finishing touches of any outfit, the city’s best accessories can be found at Christine (ladies), Lord Coconut (men), Craft (home to Victorian makers’ goods) and e.g.etal (a gallery-style display of contemporary Australian jewellery). And for up and coming designers and one-off treasures, Design A Space is the place to go.
Opened in May 2016, St Collins Lane is the latest destination for fashion in the city centre and is home to a range of luxury boutiques. Paris labels, Sandro and Maje opened their first Australian flagship stores here, as did UK fashion house, REISS. They sit alongside international brands including TAG, Coach, Furla and The Kooples. On Level Two, The Aviary offers al fresco dining and sweeping city views.
Chadstone doesn’t it call itself The Fashion Capital for nothing. The shopping centre is home to almost 600 retailers including some of the world’s most iconic luxury designer stores, premium international retailers, and an exciting collection of flagships. Its recent $660 million evolution has reinforced the centre as one of the leading shopping centres in the world, with more than 70 new retail stores, two new dining precincts and a new cinema complex. This April, Chadstone will welcome Australia’s only LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre so the little ones can be kept entertained during a shopping spree. Chadstone is located half an hour south east of the city and is accessible via a free shuttle bus.
South Yarra to Armadale
The city’s southside exudes luxury and its retailers emanate this vibe. Toorak Road in South Yarra and Malvern Road in Toorak are both home to a collection of high end designer stores, while Chapel Street remains of the city’s most famed shopping destinations. Starting from Toorak Road, the street is lined with a broad range of fashion brands, from Melbourne’s own A’Esque, Gorman and White Suede to exclusive Australian designer stores including Zimmerman, Aje and Scanlan Theodore and fast-fashion favourites such as Top Shop, Dotti and Sportsgirl.
A tram ride away, High Street, Armadale is a haven for leading Australian and international designer labels. Highlight stores include Melbourne designers búl, Lisa Barron, Thurley and Megan Park and bespoke accessory designer Stephanie Browne. The precinct also boasts one of the largest collections of bridal boutiques and services in a single location.
Fitzroy and Collingwood
On the other side of town, just 10 minutes north of the city, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, is brimming with must-visit boutiques. Locally designed garments can be found at Leonard Street, The Signet Bureau, Sadotna, handsom and Tiffany Treloar. While those with a penchant for international style can head to Bruce and, for a touch of the bohemian, Who Invited Her. Rose Chong’s Costumiers is a must-visit for the eccentrically-inclined.
Just around the corner, Smith Street is also home to a host of shopper-havens, including In.cub8r where a range of local artisan pieces are on offer, and bespoke footwear designer Preston Zly. Nearby, the Rose Street Market is the place to head on the weekends for locally made treasures and Brunswick Street – where Fitzroy’s flourish began – boasts a range of browse-worthy stores.
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