Fashion and spring go hand-in-hand, but commitment to style is not confined to the glorious floral months in Melbourne with locals and visitors alike embracing the trends of the moment all-year-round.
From boutique shopping in the heart of the city to neighbourhoods that each boast their own creative flair, bringing to life a look is easy in Australia’s fashion capital.
The beating heart of Melbourne’s retail scene, Bourke Street Mall is home to department stores Myer and David Jones and is the main artery between GPO, Melbourne Central with trams that link the city to fashionable neighbourhoods in the north and south. Closed to traffic, there is retail galore alongside the strip between Melbourne’s Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street.
Originally a little-known back alley, Howey Place, got a new lease on life in 1896 when developer of Edward William Cole decided to cover the lane with its now signature glass and wrought iron canopy.Glass fronted boutiques have dominated the lane ever since, showcasing everything from books, toys and upmarket homewares to fashion and beauty salons. Take a break from shopping and turn down Presgrave Place to check out the curious street art and flying sculptures on display along the lane.
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 Nevenka, Alpha 60 and Kuwaii. 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.
In the centre of the city visitors will find Emporium Melbourne, a dream for the fashion forward looking to browse boutiques at price points that suits every budget. Emporium Melbourne is home to a veritable shopping bag of first-to-Australia brands and sleek and shiny Melbourne flagship stores, plus a culinary offering that redefines the very notion of shopping sustenance. Here shoppers will find the everything from UNIQLO to Kate Spade and Michael Kors, with ease of access via Melbourne’s iconic tram network. 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000. (03) 8609 8221.
It doesn’t it call itself The Fashion Capital for nothing. 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 evolution has reinforced the centre as one of the leading shopping centres in the world. Chadstone is located half an hour south east of the city and is accessible via a free shuttle bus departing Federation Square daily, or visitors can now stay on site at Hotel Chadstone, which is set to open next month. 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone, Victoria, 3148.
There's a great mix of vintage and designer wares to shop for in this multicultural neighbourhood, with the chance to kick on late into the night across multiple live music venues and delicious dining options. Dejour Jeans is a staple of the shopping scene here, showcasing walls lined with denim of every colour, cut and shape. The draw card is the onsite alterations, which are included as part of the deal. Mr Kitly and Monk House Designs are among the other highlights.
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 Dotti and Sportsgirl. A tram ride away, High Street, Armadale is a haven for leading Australian and international designer labels. 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. Just around the corner, Smith Street is also home to a host of shopper-havens, while the Rose Street Market is the place to head on the weekends for locally made treasures.
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