Style Melbourne


Baby it’s cold outside. As the chill gradually descends on Melbourne (with our deceptively weak sunlight) I just want to stay indoors. Short of hibernating and in a quest to find some new layers and woolly accessories to stave off the cold, my shopping bug is back. The best thing about autumn/winter shopping sprees is you don’t even have to consider tanlines or squeezing into a swimsuit; everything you try on hides past sins.

I haven’t stopped at Melbourne Central for a long while, I’ll usually just skip through it as a darkened thoroughfare on my way to one after-hours event or another, but I recently had the opportunity to stop (and shop) for a moment. Hadn’t realised the retail center had been going through quite a transformation. Since Myer nearby closed the familiar link bridges have been sealed off and made into green spaces. This one is a charming garden where shoppers are encouraged to pick herbs and other edibles planted as a Stephanie Alexander project to take home.

Another not-so-deadend houses the Social Studio; an initiative which provides young refugees with ragtrade skills and where shoppers can purchase one-off hand made pieces. They are usually based in Collingwood but if successful this pop-up might become permanent.

Level 2 has now become something of a luxury precinct. It’s quiet, light and features local designer labels like Gorman, Scanlan and Theodore (almost an outlet) and Thurley (their store is darkly gorgeous). Sass and Bide’s boutique has some great floral sculptures in the windows and oddities in their change rooms but we’re not allowed to take photos so it’ll have to remain a surprise. Fame Agenda, which still stocks some of their own label alongside fab Karen Walker jewels, Materialbyproduct and Romance was Born pieces, should be your first stop. Kinki Gerlinki is also here for a rainbow of vintage-esque goods and a dose of quirk.

Melbourne Central now has a dining hall on Level 2; essentially a fancy food court. There’s still a way to go here – soon-to-come ventures are hidden behind screens – but designer seating and mosaic walls are a start as you wolf down some sushi.

Outside the luxury area, even the high-street labels like Portmans are getting a sophisticated update. A peek at the sugar-high inducing lolly buffet installed for their recent relaunch.

And random artwork because I like to spy unexpected things as I shop.

The best part of shopping here is that I take the train so I don’t even have to chance the rain by braving the winter-y outdoors. Now if they could just bring me mulled wine as I window shop that would be heaven…

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