The Fashion Lover’s Guide To Melbourne
Get the best out of Melbourne’s unique fashion scene.
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There’s nothing quite like Melbourne style, from the edgy threads of the inner-city design crowd to the take-no-prisoners normcore of the inner north. Melbourne’s fashion secrets are endless and endlessly delightful, with one-of-a-kind labels and unique boutiques all bolstered by a citywide love of creativity, art and individuality. Check out our fashion guide to Melbourne to discover all the hottest fashion digs in the city.
Melbourne offers three immense, immersive fashion zones for people who like on-trend and super-luxe style: Chapel Street, Chadstone and the “Paris End” of Collins Street.
In and around Collins Street is the place to find international fashion houses such as Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Cartier, Dolce and Gabbana, and Gucci, many of which are also present at the monolithic Chadstone Shopping Centre.
A city unto itself, Chadstone is the place to get lost in luxury, with swathes of designer stores all under one roof.
Running from South Yarra to Prahran, Chapel Street hosts high-street boutiques, from the close-to-affordable to the absolutely indulgent.
Fashion with an edge
For those with deep pockets but an edgier aesthetic, the place to shop is Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, a strip where inner-city creative culture and gentrification collide with style. Check out The Signet Bureau for bold tailoring by local designers, ESS. Laboratory for dramatic tailoring, and Le Labo for divine, hand-made perfumes. If you have less to spend, Gertrude Street has great vintage shops, too.
On any given day of the week, you’ll see a queue of people outside an unassuming shop front at the north end of Sydney Road in Brunswick. This is Dejour Jeans, a place of local legend where, for roughly $50, you can buy a new pair of jeans and have them tailored on the spot.
The back room of Dejour has an air of intense industry, with half-a-dozen sewing machines whirring. The hipster kids who work as sale attendants use chalk to mark all the nips and cuts that your new jeans require so, ultimately, they’ll fit your body like a glove.
A fashion guide to Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without highlighting the brilliant, creative local labels that call the city home. Cute, quirky brands like Gorman, Obus and Leonard Street do Melbourne proud, but it’s the truly progressive labels that really make the city synonymous with style.
One such label is the Melbourne-born DI$COUNT UNIVER$E, helmed by the immensely talented duo Nadia Napreychikov and Cami James. This glitzy anti-fashion brand counts Katy Perry, Rihanna and Madonna as fans – and their threads are available online.
With their use of latex, cut-aways and a fetish-meets-streetwear aesthetic, Self Perform is another dynamite local label worth seeking out. Plus, don’t miss emerging labels Penny Drop, Nixi Killick and Pageant.
There are a number of stylish stops for lads in Melbourne, including American Tailors, which offers dapper accessories and threads, and Andre’s, a go-to for bespoke suits.
For the perfect hat, a visit to Smart Alec Hatters is in order. Another one of Gertrude Street’s fine offerings, Smart Alec sells fedoras, boaters, bowlers, panamas, felt trilbys, berets and top hats, as well as cufflinks, scarves and gloves, all beautifully made.
Sneaker freaks are well catered for in Melbourne, with a bunch of stores that specialise in collabs, limited editions and retro remakes. There are two Sneakerboy stores, one in the CBD and one at Chadstone, which carry obscure gems like Filling Pieces alongside Balenciaga and Fendi street shoes.
Out in Brunswick, Concrete Jungle stocks more modestly priced fare, including limited run editions by Saucony, Diadora, Converse and Vans.
When it comes to op shops, Savers Brunswick is legendary. The aircraft hangar-sized warehouse on Sydney Road turns over stock at a fast rate and, despite being picked over daily by the swarming hipster masses, it is still the most incredible place to get yourself kitted out in one-of-a-kind second-hand clothes.
Savers is a Melbourne institution and you have not truly toured the city unless you’ve made the pilgrimage. You might even see Alannah Hill on your visit – she’s still a regular shopper.
Now you’re all set with our fashion guide to Melbourne, read how to spend 48 hours in the city.
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(Lead image: Models Sandra Sundelin, Alejandra Zuluaga, Ella Bond, Maddison Lukes and Bela Pelacio Hazewinkel wearing Christian Dior Couture / Wayne Taylor)