Who doesn’t love a girl’s trip to Melbourne?
For some serious shopping, Melbourne is Australia’s mecca for sartorial style. From under-the-radar boutiques to high street labels and European designer labels, Melbourne has it all. It’s certainly a city of discovery with an amazing maze of lane-ways in the CBD, as well as beautiful strip shopping in pretty suburbs, hipster shopping in in the inner suburbs and amazing huge, shopping malls.
Image: Ankalia Zahara sandals in black suede embellished with Swarovski crystals
Where to stay?
I recommend The Westin on Collins Street in the CBD. It’s so well positioned you can literally walk ‘everywhere’ in the CBD.
Image: Ankalia Charlie sandals in chocolate brown suede embellished with Swarovski crystals
Walking in the city
1. Definitely wander the laneways and alleys. I love the Degraves Street walk. You can start at the Flinders Street end and weave your way all the way through to the Bourke Street Mall. It will give you a good look at Melbourne street art, coffee culture and casual hipster alfresco dining.
2. The Block Arcade. A stunning heritage listed arcade that was built between 1891 and 1893. The architect was briefed to build something similar to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. Wander through here to see small, unique independent stores. It’s the place to find something a little bit different.
3. Definitely stroll along Hosier Lane to see lots of amazing street art.
Image: Ankalia Donatella sandals in cream suede embellished with multi-coloured Swarovski crystals
Shopping in the CBD
1. There are more than 1,000 fashion retailers in the CBD. Start on the Bourke Street Mall for Zara and plenty of mainstream Australian brands. Myer and David Jones are there and they are both so big you could spend all day in there alone.
2. Emporium. Walk through Myer or David Jones to Emporium and on your way go into Cos a Swedish label that I love. It’s faces onto Elizabeth Street. Emporium houses the first standalone stores in Australia for America’s Michael Kors and Kate Spade. It also houses many Australian designers.
Image: Terena sandals in gold leather embellished with emerald green Swarovski crystals
3. Collins Street (Paris end). Stroll up Collins Street from The Westin and you’ll find Dolce and Gabbana, Hermes, Paul Smith, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Miss Louise (shoes to die for) and more.
4. An amazing little find is Madame Virtue & Co at 5 Crossley Street (off Bourke Street). This unique and quirky store is home to a huge selection of Vintage couture and haute couture labels. It really is a unique find. Very Melbourne! I hung around in the shop for ages chatting with Dean, a lovely customer and their beautiful “rolley polley” dog – Maude.
5. St Collins Lane. This centre houses two of my favourite French labels - Maje and Sandro. It also houses Reiss, a high street label that is a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Image: Ankalia Gemma sandals in lilac leather embellished with green Swarovski crystals
Shopping in the Leafy Suburbs
If you want to get out of the city and get a feel for how the Melbournians really live, then these are a few of my favourites:
1. High Street Armadale. A mecca for high end Australian designers and a great place to shop for wedding gowns as well.
2. Hawksburn Village. This strip on Malvern Road has some lovely little boutiques.
3. Chapel Street and Toorak Road, South Yarra. Not as flash as it used to be but still worth a stroll.
4. Victoria Avenue, Albert Park. A pretty ‘old’ suburb in Melbourne with pretty shops to match. There is a Mister Zimi, Country Road, Seed and a few independent stores as well.
5. Finally, I have to mention Chadstone Shopping Centre. It is the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. There is a free shuttle service that leaves from Federation Square (bookings are essential). It has an entire European designer wing. Heaven!
Image: Ankalia Lara sandals in lime green suede
Have fun! Melbourne is a great place to visit.
Lots of love,