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With Melbourne Spring Fashion Week just around the corner we interviewed 11 of Melbourne’s top fashion bloggers for their thoughts on what not to miss, where to shop their favourite Melbourne designers and boutique’s as well as how best to dress for your stay.
1. Who’s your favourite Melbourne fashion designer? My pick would be Alice McCall because their collections are often the stand outs pieces for me at the recent fashion weeks.
2. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? Some of my favourite boutiques in Melbourne are along High Street in Armadale and Chapel St in Prahran. You can find local labels that I’m loving this season such as Alice McCall, Ginger and Smart, Josh Goot and LIFEwithBIRD, alongside international labels such as ACNE Studios and more.
3. What sets your style apart from other Melbourne fashion bloggers? I try to be bold with fashion and take on different styles and find ways to make certain looks work for me as I enjoy the challenge. So I guess I would say my style evolves quite a lot.
4. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? Don’t trust the weather forecast! Melbourne is well known for its unpredictable weather so if you’re lucky (or should I say unlucky?) you might experience our famous ‘four-seasons-in-one-day’ climate!
1. What are your top 3 tips for how to dress for Melbourne weather? what should you avoid? Does layering, layering, layering count as three tips? While our weather is mostly mild it can turn super hot or pretty chilly within minutes (and then back again). You might want to ensure each version of your outfit looks as good as the next. Not so much weather dependent as practical, but I’d avoid wearing stiletto heels if possible as you’re likely to twist an ankle on our beautiful cobblestone laneways!
2. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? Indy label A Part of Me a.k.a APOM has a gorgeously fresh little store out in Balaclava. It stocks their own label and other like-minded labels’ accessories. Also suburban, Grace in Malvern is always lovely to stop into, with cool international fashion, lovely jewels and a great selection of coffee table books. If you have a little cash to splash Marais and Christine in the CBD are treasure troves to “ooh” and “ahh” in.
And you have to stop by Kuwaii, Limedrop and Lady Petrova’s quirky boutiques which are all right nearby one another in the Cathedral Arcade/Flinders lane precinct.
3. What trends do you love and hate at the moment? I tend to agree with forecaster Li Edelkoort that fashion – as it is – is a bit over. So for me it’s not so much trends to look towards but a way of dressing for yourself and your real lifestyle, of buying less, choosing better quality (and more consciously) and wearing pieces more. I love people who can do that and still bring their own individuality to a look. Trends I hate: sheer everything, flashing too much skin and celebs wearing next to nothing. Other than that I love to see people wearing what they feel good in, who cares if it’s flattering!
4. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? Make a day/night of it! Don’t just go to a runway show but see what bar and dining option are nearby and don’t forget to see if there are any other off-runway MSFW events happening before the show – you’re more likely to discover something new and interesting at those.
1. What’s your number one tip to master wearing Melbourne’s famous black on black? It’s no secret that Melbournians love wearing black! To nail this look I recommend mixing textures and materials to add some interest to your look. E.g. if you are wear a black cotton or silk dress, add a black leather jacket. The weather is often unpredictable in Melbourne so it’s always good to layer up too!
2. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? For unique archival and vintage designer pieces, you can’t beat Madam Virtue & Co. Hidden off one of Melbourne’s famous CBD side streets, it is choc a block with stunning fashion finds. There is no other store like it in the world! Myer and DJ’s are a great place to find Australian labels, including my favourite, Maticevski. I can’t get enough of designer Toni Maticevski’s breathtaking, modern, feminine designs. Other labels I would recommend checking out are Lover, Ellery and Bassike.
3. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? I would definitely recommend checking out at least one of the shows. They are a fantastic way to get into the fashion week spirit and experience a runway show which many people don’t get the chance to do! I would then recommend heading out afterwards for dinner. You will be spoilt for choice in Melbourne as there are so many great eateries! If you want to stay in the CBD I would suggest Shanghai Street, Chin Chin or Lucy Lui (Chinese), Fonda (Mexican) or Magic Mountain Saloon for (Thai). If you are wanting to explore out of the CBD I would recommend the Highline Restaurant in Windsor (Modern Australian), Kong (Korean) and Baby (Italian) in Richmond or Shop Ramen in Fitzroy (Japanese). If you are out and about in the city on a Thursday or Friday night, you can also indulge in some late night shopping. You will be able to buy most of the looks straight off the runway which is always good! I suggest heading to Bourke Street Mall and Emporium Melbourne.
1. What are the key pieces to include in a typical Melbourne Outfit? Anything black. Although we’re also a city of colour, all Melbourne girls are well acquainted with black as a wardrobe staple and standard ‘go to’ shade.
2. Who’s your favourite Melbourne fashion designer? There are so many amazing Australian designers who call Melbourne home. I could never pick just one, so have to name a few: Toni Maticavski, Thurley, Nobody Denim, Viktoria and Woods, Pageant, Scanlan Theodore. And these are only a few.
3. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? Being a south sider residing in St Kilda, my favourite place to shop is High St Armadale. The boutiques in this shopping strip include Acne, Josh Goot, Mecca Cosmetica and many more. It’s a train ride from the city, but totally worth the trip.
4. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? We’re excited to say we’re involved in MSFW again this year and will be shooting throughout the whole festival as one of the #MSFWInsiders. We’re most excited for the opening night, this year partnering with Vogue Australia there will be amazing activations and discounts from retailers across the whole city. A night definitely not to be missed. Also make sure you head to the Hubb in City Square, where there will be lots of great pop ups and shows over the week.
5. Anything else you would like to add? When exploring our beautiful city make sure to take your time and walk down the alley’s in the city. Not only will you see some incredible street art, but it’s definitely a city of hidden doors and wonderful discoveries.
1. Who’s your favourite local Men’s fashion designer?Arthur Galan, he’s Melbourne based and is renowned for his classic, yet daring aesthetic in menswear. Beautiful jackets and tailored pieces to make statement during fashion week.
2. What are some of your favourite men’s fashion boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? My favourites include Jack London, Calibre, Kenzo, Marais, Harrolds, Marcs & Saba. They’re all within 5 minutes of each other in Melbourne’s CBD, you’ll be sure to find something you love in one (if not all) of these stores – I always do!
3. What’s your number one tip to master wearing Melbourne’s famous black on black? Don’t use it as an excuse to be boring. Having a one tone colour palette really allows you to play with different fabrics, textures and shapes! Leather, PVC, velvet, draping, layers, prints – the list is endless, just have fun with it!
4. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? Be sure to pack light, shop lots and do your research on the program, there’s always so many exciting things taking place outside of the runway shows. Speaking of, try to catch the Student Showcase. It’s always my favourite – crazy, innovative designs from Melbourne’s up & coming!
1. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? I love stores like Green With Envy for Australian and international labels and Miss Louise for window shopping in the city. Still in the CBD, The Strand has three of my favourite stores side-by-side – Acne, Gorman and Cos, and I love Chadstone for Incu, the Zimmermann boutique and Life With Bird.
2. Do you have a secret place for finding amazing, affordable pieces in Melbourne? If you need a new outfit stat and don’ t have a lot to spend on it, you’ll always find something at Zara or Cos in the city. They’re good for basics like jeans or blazers, but I always prefer to support local labels and shop on Flinders Lane for guaranteed amazing finds from Kuwaii, Life with Bird, Alpha 60 or Leonard St.
3. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? I live close to the city and love to shop in the CBD, which is perfect for anyone heading to a MSFW show at the Melbourne Town Hall. There’s a great mix of small independent boutiques, department stores, larger chains and now shopping centres as well. If you’re new to Melbourne you also need to check out Chadstone for its great range of Australian Designer stores.
1. What trends do you love at the moment?As I am not really a trend girl I would have to say something that everyone should have right now is the skinny long scarf as seen on the Chloe runway. Always time for an accessory.
2. What’s your number one tip to master wearing Melbourne’s famous black on black? Layering different pieces is important and use texture and the garments shape and your highlight. As each black is different (trust me it is) using different fabrics and textures will help to break it up a little. Black is classic and chic so choose pieces that reinforce this style.
3. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? Scanlan and Theodore – Iconic brand that sums up the class and fashion forward Melbourne woman. Marais – Our best designer shopping in Melbourne. Celine, Balenciaga, Givenchy to name just a few.
1. Who’s your favourite Melbourne fashion designer? Livia Arena
2. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? Flinders Lane is always a great place to turn for local designers. You can never go past Lady Petrova, Fame Agenda or Lime Drop without popping in to look at all the pretty things. The Emporium also has a whole section dedicated to Australian designers which always gives my wallet a good workout.
3. What are your favourite ethical/social enterprise fashion labels or shops in Melbourne? I have to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about the ethics of our local fashion labels. In saying that I know that Gorman pride themselves on their ethical practices and I’m a big fan of their quirky pieces.
4. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? Check out some of the cultural events. There’s always amazing exhibitions and displays to see. Make sure you stop by some of the free runway events too. Let’s face it, we can’t all always afford the designer labels on the premium runways, and the free runways will give you heaps of inspiration on how to style the latest in high street fashion.
5. Anything else you would like to add? Fashion week can sometimes be a bit intimidating for those who aren’t constantly immersed in that world. My advice would be to wear something you feel great and comfortable in, don’t stress too much about what everyone else is wearing, and just soak up the atmosphere.
1. What sets your style apart from other Melbourne fashion bloggers? My style is quirky and elegant, and always with an element of surprise. I don’t follow trends, and only wear what’s comfortable and true to my style. You tend to find me in either vintage or designer pieces (and not high-street labels) because I am obssessed with original designs. My style mantra is that ‘every day is worth dressing up for’, although that’s always a challenge when I’m working as a vet…
2. Who’s your favourite Melbourne fashion designer? I love Livia Arena for her unique and clever pieces that are ultra flattering and comfortable. Having studied Arts/Science at uni before becoming a fashion designer, she has a more functional approach when it comes to fashion. Her timeless pieces are made from beautiful and natural fabrics. The construction may appear simple from afar but there’s ingenuity behind each of her well-cut pieces.
3. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? If you want a one-stop shop, the Emporium houses a myriad of fun and exciting international and Australian labels. There are funky cafes and restaurants on the top floors so you don’t have to shop til you drop. You have to visit Christine on Flinders Lane for her impeccable taste in accessories, all personally sourced by Christine Barro from across the globe. The boutique is in the basement. As you walk down the steps, you’ll feel like you’re entering another fabulous universe.
4. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? Enjoy it! Go to as many events and exhibitions as you can. Wear flats so you can walk around and soak up the atmosphere and explore all the wonderful laneways Melbourne has to offer. Oh, and follow my style mantra “every day is worth dressing up for, especially during Spring Fashion Week’! And on a practical note, it’s usually still pretty fresh in Melbourne during Spring Fashion Week, so pack a jacket, coat or go shopping!
1. In your opinion, what makes Melbourne one of the fashion capitals of the world? The multi-cultural nature of Melbourne gives it an edge over other cities when it comes to style. There is definitely a lot of creativity everywhere one looks, therefore it is hard not to be fashionably inspired by this amazing, cosmopolitan hub that is Melbourne.
2. Who’s your favourite Melbourne fashion designer? I absolutely love Yeojin Bae. Her label offers elegant, timeless pieces, and she seems very lovely as a person too. Not only is she well established in Australia, but she doing great as an international designer too, which makes her quite an inspiration for me.
3. Do you have a secret place for finding amazing, affordable pieces in Melbourne? One does not have to travel far to find a great bargain in Melbourne. Brunswick Street and Smith Street in Fitzroy have a number of amazing factory outlets, as well as Bridge Road in Richmond. If you prefer your bargains in one big shopping centre, there are awesome DFO’s like South Wharf.
4. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? I can’t really say I have a favourite boutique. I find the shopping experience in Melbourne more fun when I walk along a pretty street like Chapel Street (South Yarra) where there are a number of great boutiques. I can stop for a coffee in a quaint little cafe, then continue on again with my expedition. Sometimes the cool finds are in unexpected places. It is always like a treasure hunt in Melbourne, and I am still stumbling over great finds decades later. Bourke St mall, Emporium, and Melbourne Central are amazing too if you just want to stay within the CBD. You can also wander along “The Paris End” of Collins Street for all your high-end designer labels, or visit Chadstone Shopping Centre.
5. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? There is no time like the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week to unleash your creative style! Do not hold back; bring your fabulous ‘one of a kind’ pieces that could never fit in anywhere. I promise, there is place for them in Melbourne because here, we have a great appreciation for awesome street style all throughout the year, and we would definitely love to be inspired by your different point of view.
6. Anything else you would like to add? The weather can be a bit unpredictable, so take it into consideration when travelling to Melbourne and make sure you have an amazing weather app. Pack items that can take you through 4 seasons in day… just in case.
1. In your opinion, what makes Melbourne one of the fashion capitals of the world? We have a lot of creative local designers based in Melbourne so it’s the best place to shop their beautiful pieces!
2. What are some of your favourite boutiques in Melbourne? Where can you find them? I love Gorman, their Driver Lane boutique is especially beautiful. The Strand Arcade and Flinders Lane & its surrounding alleyways are also great places to find boutiques stocking many independent local labels. For designer shopping, Chapel St is filled with Aussie designer stores. As is the newly opened Emporium which houses many sought after Aussie labels as well as many new to Melbourne international brands too. The city is a massive fashion retail destination these days. Melbourne Central, Emporium, Myer, Bourke St Mall, The Strand Arcade, QV, H&M in Melbourne’s GPO are all within a step’s reach from each other and most are connected by walkways too.
3. What’s your number one tip for those visiting Melbourne for Spring Fashion Week? There’s always lots to do during MSFW. Aside from the nightly shows held in the town hall (a beautiful venue to visit during the day!), there’s also lots of day shows at City Square and lots of stores like to get involved with in-store workshops, events and shopping offers too. My tip is to plan ahead and check out what’s on before heading into the city. Sometimes the best event of the week is five floors up in an alleyway, in a function room transformed into a runway!
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