Melbourne businesses have been doing it tough lately. But now that shops and cafes are reopening their doors, the message is clear: when you shop small, you make a big difference.
For women. By women. That’s the mantra at feminist maker’s store, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Shop! It’s a curated collection of quirky designs by Victorian women and non-binary artists and designers. Step back to the 80s with cute ceramic earrings from Shuh. Go for gingham studs or daisy drops. Or grab a pair of love heart earrings from FTLOV, the home of the candy heart brooch.
The accessories and clothing at Collective Closets feature tribal prints and earthy colours. They’re African inspired and made in Melbourne. You’ll find your perfect pair of high-waisted, tailored linen pants here. Choose from navy or bold geometric prints. Two African-born and Melbourne raised sisters are behind this eclectic label. They’ve successfully merged Melbourne’s monochrome tones with Nairobi inspired chic. Collective Closets is at Queen Victoria Market.
Who says you have to wear heels? Certainly not North Melbourne’s shoe fitting salon for modern women, Radical Yes. They only deal in flat shoes. Liberate your feet with statement flats and timely winter boots. Want something both warm and practical? You’ll stand out from the crowd in a pair of Saturn Returns high-top trainers. These bottle green, shearling-lined boots feel like Uggs but look super stylish. You’ll be jumping through puddles before you know it.
There’s a range of labels to browse at Kloke, over in QV. New arrivals for men include boiled wool sweaters spun from premium merino. And a signature beanie in navy or French blue will keep ears warm without sacrificing an ounce of style. The latest thing in denim for women is a loose-fitting shirtdress with oversize pockets and stitch detailing. Or freeze out the chill with a ribbed knit turtleneck sweater in ink. Whatever you choose, you’ll be taking home a timeless classic to love and to hold onto for seasons to come.
Visiting family or friends overseas is off the agenda right now. So why not send them a reminder of home from Melbournalia instead? The store’s Aussie themed clothing, accessories and paper goods are all designed locally. Pick up a necklace of clay beads handmade by Emily Green. The vibrant colours have a nostalgic edge that will make you smile. See if you can find a colour match in the Kester Black range of fashionably matte nail polishes. We bet you can. For something that screams Oz, pick up a pair of ceramic kangaroo earrings from Togetherness Design. Or add a Sunday Paper tote bag daubed with a Fitzroy bound tram. They’re designed in Melbourne by Sass Cocker and made from 100% fair-trade cotton.
Monk House Design
For a range of individual, contemporary designs you won’t see twice, head to Monk House Design in Driver Lane. You’ll stand out in the crowd in silk floral trews from Melbourne designer Ingrid Verner. Her kaftans and beachwear look forward to summer. And those distinctive geometric prints are by Indigenous artist Lisa Waup. Ah, but winter still has a few stings left in its tail. Snuggle into a unique people print knit from Barcelona’s Paloma Wool. Or turn heads in one of her two-tone jumpers in olive-white or ecru-white.
At Kuwaii in Cathedral Arcade, the focus is on sustainability. That means craftsmanship, low volume runs, made in Melbourne and designed for forever. So yes, these well-tailored pieces are the polar opposite of fast fashion. Think pinstriped pants and all-season wide-leg trousers that will become wardrobe staples. To tide you over this winter, and many more to come, warm up in corduroy. That could be a cord jumpsuit, skirt, pencil-leg trousers or a pair of wide-leg pants. It’s your choice. Or make a playful statement in everyone’s favourite, the tartan Thea skirt in fuzzy orange and blue. Go on, pair it with the matching Nixon jacket. Tailor-made for layering, it’s the perfect winter coat.
At Alpha60, statement pieces shout unique but remain sophisticated. This theme continues inside the boutique, next to St Paul’s Cathedral in the former Chapter House. The Gothic decor is truly Hogwarts, with stained-glass trefoil windows and clustered columns. For winter 2020, make a splash in a tweed zip-top pullover. Add matching wide-leg pants in the same textured, chunky wool to create an instant suit. Designs are cropped to flare from the waist, creating distinctive silhouettes. Seasonal hues are cobalt and wine. Looking for something you can wear every day? Goldie jeans in white, black or pale blue denim are a perennial favourite.