Fashionology: Melbourne shopping spree – edition No. 1

We’ve collated six hot fashion shops nominated by The Weekly Review‘s fashion expert Janice Breen Burns so far this year. Start planning your shopping trip now!

LOULOU

Every day, Christine Georgescu sits quietly in a plush cup chair at the top of a wide tract of creamy carpet flanked on two sides by shelves full of gobsmackingly pretty shoes.

Christine Georgescu in her boutique shoe salon LouLou in Armadale. Photo: Michael Rayner

Christine Georgescu in her boutique shoe salon LouLou in Armadale. Photo: Michael Rayner

Between the glossy glass door of her boutique LouLou and her customary spot, this former finance manager has the rare pleasure of watching women, mostly, as they oooohhh and aaaaahhh along the rows of extraordinary shoes that changed her life.

Melbourne-born Christine started LouLou barely a year ago after six years of study and work in Bucharest, Romania: “I just didn’t think the shoes here [in Melbourne] were very interesting.”

She met her own challenge. Stilettos, wedges, platform and block heels, loafers, ballet flats and kitten heels are crafted in Italy and hand-embellished in Bucharest with crystals, sequin and glitter crusts, tiny flowers, pearls, rhinestones, embroidery and beading.

MUST HAVE

Black glamour bow stilettos $600

Black bow transparent stiletto. Photo: Michael Rayner

Black bow transparent stiletto. Photo: Michael Rayner

 

DIOR HOMME

  • Shop G003, Chadstone,
  • 1341 Dandenong Road,
  • Malvern East
  • 9564 8161

Melbourne’s first Dior Homme shop opened on the upper deck of a glossy new wing of Chadstone under a vast glass sky-vault ceiling last November. At the time, I wondered if it might be just too swank for average chaps.

Interior, Dior Homme, Chadstone. dior.com. Photo: Supplied

Interior, Dior Homme, Chadstone. dior.com. Photo: Supplied

It’s gob-smackingly sleek; all white marble and silver slivers, graphic black racks and mirror fins. Even the clothes, by one of menswear’s coolest dudes, Kris Van Assche, hang like artworks and its accessories are lit like precious Mings.

But Chadstone is rare on the planet for its democratising effect on luxury shopping. I know one young chap – and I suspect he’s typical of many – who barely scratches a living from his bedroom blog but saves hard for his Dior Homme treats; a backpack here, limited-edition sneakers there.

When he proffers the plastic at Chadstone’s Dior Homme, he does so with a flourish not dissimilar to the Singaporean billionaire Dior addict on the lush leather sofa nearby.

MUST HAVES

Darklight coated canvas backpack, $2800

Darklight coated canvas backpack. Photo: Supplied

Darklight coated canvas backpack. Photo: Supplied

Ping Pong black calfskin and white rubber-soled slip-on sneakers, $1050

Ping Pong black calfskin and white rubber-soled slip-on sneakers. Photo: Supplied

Ping Pong black calfskin and white rubber-soled slip-on sneakers. Photo: Supplied

 

 

MONDOPIERO

Mondopiero is an off-the-beaten-track emporium where the fruits of one man’s fine taste are curated for an in-the-know clientele.

“It’s a culmination of 40 years’ travelling, learning, absorbing,” says Piero Paolo Gesualdi, renowned for having pioneered projects in Melbourne’s fashion, architecture and restaurant cultures since 1972. “Everything here is about design.”

He has made Mondopiero feel both vast and homely. He wafts perfume into its ceiling and arranges handblown glassware from Germany and Italy into shelves beside signed Florentine knives, Italian sunglasses and pod collections of jewels by makers from Milan to Melbourne.

Among the homewares, furniture and food, he racks fashion brands as hotly desired as the cultish Aspesi, to justify a schlepp across town or even a flight from another city.

MUST HAVES

Aspesi handmade summer trench $693

Aspesi classic handmade trench in sand or navy $693, mondopiero.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Aspesi classic handmade trench in sand or navy $693, mondopiero.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Reunion military inspired sunglasses $420

Reunion flat-lense vintage Italian military inspired handmade sunglasses $440, mondopiero.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Reunion flat-lense vintage Italian military inspired handmade sunglasses $440, mondopiero.com.au. Photo: Supplied

2Lyn&Tony White Tropicneck piece $154

Kangaroo leather and cotton cord White Tropic neckpiece $154, Mondopiero.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Kangaroo leather and cotton cord White Tropic neckpiece $154, Mondopiero.com.au. Photo: Supplied

 

BIANCA SPENDER

The High Street, Armadale, strip is evolving into a major artery, if not the heartland, of Australian design.

Fashionistocrats bristle among its bridal shops and beauty salons: Dion Lee, Scanlan Theodore, Zimmermann, Aje, Viktoria & Woods, Lee Mathews. There are more every month.

Bianca Spender boutique, Armadale. Photo: Supplied

Bianca Spender boutique, Armadale. Photo: Supplied

Now the artfully elegant Bianca Spender, with a sleek, near colourless flagship that intensifies the rich greens, navies, blacks, creams and bulls-bloods of her new winter collection, is vying for Melbourne’s most blessed (read, cashed-up) mums and private-schooled daughters.

They’re already on her wavelength. Bianca’s legendary mum, Carla Zampatti, has a shop across the road and, frankly, I’ve yet to discern a wisp of difference between their aesthetics (Bianca learnt her art at Martine Sitbon and her mother’s knee).

Both have a knack for graceful tailoring, balancing classic principles with clean modernity, and playing with palettes and patterns that plug deep into our natural connoisseurship of beauty. Same same, equally lovely, but different.

MUST HAVES

Ink quilted/ponte doublet jumper $425. Wide span belt $165

Bianca Spender winter collection. Ink quilted/ponte doublet jumper. Wide span belt. Photo: Supplied

Bianca Spender winter collection. Ink quilted/ponte doublet jumper. Wide span belt. Photo: Supplied

Lichen twill skirt $515 Emerald wool aviator jacket $795

Bianca Spender, winter collection. Lichen twill skirt. Emerald wool aviator jacket. Photo: Supplied.

Bianca Spender, winter collection. Lichen twill skirt. Emerald wool aviator jacket. Photo: Supplied.

 

 

TANNER + TEAGUE

On cool’s Richter scale it’s a polished 8.5, an airy little shop where one of the most thoughtful designers you probably never heard of caters to Melbourne’s most discerning minimalistocrats.

Tanner & Teague interior, 287 Smith St., Fitzroy, www.tannerandteague.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Tanner & Teague interior, 287 Smith St., Fitzroy, www.tannerandteague.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Sam Fisher is a low-key wunderkind with a CV that lists Scanlan Theodore, Willow, Husk and four years at the elbow of Vivienne Westwood. With his wife Kyleigh, he started Tanner+Teague four years ago, improbably as a children’s label.

With new partners, JET guitarist Cameron Muncey and wife Sarah, it has evolved into a full-blown concept store where Sam’s artfully fussless clothes, perfumes, jewels, homewares and leather goods by Helmut Lang, Issey Miyake, Royal Republiq, among others, are carefully curated and reverently racked.

“My focus is beautifully constructed and considered garments that hinge around draping,” he says.

MUST HAVE

Denim bent-leg trousers $179

Tanner + Teague bent-leg linen pant www.tannerandteague.com.au. Photo: Supplied

Tanner + Teague bent-leg linen pant www.tannerandteague.com.au. Photo: Supplied

 

ELK

● Elk, 182 Little Collins Street, city
elkaccessories.com

I feel virtuous just browsing in Elk’s silky new city store with its stone grey and fleshy leather walls and banks of optical-white cabinets.

A post shared by Elk Accessories (@elkaccessories) on

It’s typical of Elk co-founder and creative director, Marnie Goding’s penchant for purity and authenticity – with a little ping of something something extra – in all her creative work.

For 12 years she has evolved Elk’s signature into lovely hand-made jewels, and handbags, shoes and clothing, conceived along such clean lines it is calming just to browse among them.

This is the label’s first flagship, tucked into a narrow rise of elegant Victorian buildings, which accentuates its warm modernity.

Marnie collaborated with local interior designer Fiona Lynch and a brace of artisans and artists to somehow distil Elk’s essence into it.

MUST HAVES

ELK leisure set

ELK leisure set. Photo: Supplied

ELK leisure set. Photo: Supplied

 

Dome short necklace

Dome necklace elkaccessories.com. Photo: Supplied

Dome necklace elkaccessories.com. Photo: Supplied

Leather backpack/handbag

ELK convertable backpack_handbag, elkaccessories.com. Photo: Supplied

ELK convertable backpack_handbag, elkaccessories.com. Photo: Supplied

 

 

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