11 March

H&M unveils Australian website

Posted in Shopping & Style

H&M

After a Facebook announcement, a banner hanging inside GPO and a whole lot of waiting, Australia’s first H&M store is almost here. Yep – by the end of April we’ll no longer need passports to buy the chic-yet-affordable attire that the Swedish fashion giant is famous for.

In anticipation of next month’s opening, H&M have just launched a dedicated Australian website. Divided into women’s, men’s and kid’s fashion, the site displays the full range available to buy in store and includes Australian prices. There’s also the Home section, where you’ll find enough pretty printed duvet sets and quirky decorations to make IKEA jealous.

Make sure you also check out H&M Life: the brand’s fashion and lifestyle blog. Even if you followed it before, no longer will you lament that the ‘featured products’ listed in each trend report are half a world away.

Buying online isn’t an option on the website, but that’s just fine with us. For now, we’re happy to click ‘View all’, start scrolling and imagine the moment when we step into 5,000 square metres of pure H&M glory.… Read more

6 March

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition comes to Melbourne

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We’re not told what the NGV’s big 2014/2015 summer show will be when we turn up – the only clues are the blue- and white-striped sweaters the staff are wearing.

The media are herded into a darkened room in which a thumping ‘Love Train’ soundtrack is blaring. There’s an introduction by the NGV’s director, Tony Elwood – in which he’s rightfully proud that the 2013/2014 summer smash, Melbourne Now, has drawn over 600,000 visitors – and then it’s time for the big reveal.

Curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot steps up to preview The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. This blockbuster exhibition will feature over 140 of Gaultier’s most iconic fashion designs, which Loriot (a former model himself) spent two years whittling down from the 15,000-piece archive. It will find its home at the National Gallery of Victoria between October 17 2014 and February 8 2015.

Melbourne will be the only city in the Asia-Pacific region to host the show, which will use innovative manequins with superimposed faces and voices from Gaultier’s real-life muses. The exhibition is curated by Loriot and organised by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris.… Read more

4 March

UNIQLO announces opening date of first Melbourne store

Posted in Shopping & Style

UNIQLO ambassadors

We Melburnians love to boast about our shopping. But for all our laneway boutiques, vintage treasure troves and cute pop-ups, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of seeing one of the world’s biggest brands open its doors in our city.

UNIQLO, welcome to Melbourne. This morning, we visited the Japanese brand’s pop-up shop for the launch of Australia’s first UNIQLO store, opening Wednesday April 16. UNIQLO’s Emporium Melbourne store will spread its new Autumn/Winter range over four floors, spanning over 3000 square metres.

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, chances are you’ve at least seen UNIQLO apparel on tennis star Novak Djokovic and Aussie golf champion Adam Scott, both global ambassadors. Not simply sporting attire, the brand’s core concept is ‘LifeWear’ – clothes that feel like a second skin. Think quality basics, fine wool, soft cashmere and cotton flannels. We can’t wait to get our hands on UNIQLO’s famous Ultra Light Down vests and jackets. Not only are they said to be unbelievably warm, they also look like an almost unfeasibly stylish version of your regular puffy coat.

Also announced today were the five Australian brand ambassadors, chosen to represent the diverse lifestyles and talent within our city. There’s The Slap actress Sophie Lowe, young sailor Jessica Watson, Cumulus Inc.… Read more

17 February

Watch a model casting at David Jones

Posted in Shopping & Style

Model Casting _ David Jones

Australian department store stalwart David Jones will be searching for models to walk the opening of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF). The special public casting will give us outsiders a behind-the-scenes look into the world of farshun, when a panel of experts from David Jones, VAMFF and the Herald Sun host the public model casting. They will be giving one aspiring Melbourne model the opportunity to walk alongside ranks of Aussie beauties including Montana Cox and Jessica Gomes. Catch all the action this Wednesday Feb 19 at 12.15pm at David Jones Bourke Street.

Want to enter yourself? You’ve got till 11am on Tuesday 18th! Follow David Jones on Instagram or on Facebook and then upload your headshot to the David Jones Facebook page – or tag @davidjonesstore on Instagram using the hashtag #walkwithdjs. From there, David Jones will narrow it down to the top 100, who will be called to walk the casting.… Read more

10 February

COS comes to Melbourne

Posted in News, Shopping & Style

COS comes to Melbourne

Another day, another overseas brand descends on Australia

The first COS (that’s short for Collection of Style) will open at Melbourne’s the Strand, on Elizabeth St later on this year. Melbourne will be the first city in the southern hemisphere to have a COS of it’s own. If you’re not familiar the brand, it’s an offshoot of Swedish mega-retailer H&M, that delivers high-quality, minimal basics and timeless staples. Marie Honda, COS’ Overall Brand Responsible explained to Today Online: ”I would like to think that they are essential pieces in your wardrobe. But they are also very modern. And it’s important that you have the right cut for the season or the right finish for the material.” This move comes off the back off news that Melbourne will also be the first Aussie home for a bunch of other international retail big-wigs including parent label H&M at Melbourne’s GPO, Japan’s Muji and Uniqlo at Chadstone and Emporium respectively, and possibly even a Marks and Spencer.… Read more

4 February

Shop like a boss at Southern Cross

Posted in Shopping & Style

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To the right of platform one at Southern Cross Station, there’s an escalator that takes you up into retail heaven. Typically, brand discount stores are out in the ’burbs, but this mall’s in the heart of the city. Formerly a DFO, the Spencer Outlet Centre had a recent whiz-bang opening to reveal an extension out the back and a whole bank of new stores.

What they all have in common are the bargains. Ah, those magic words: factory outlets, stocktake sales, seconds… you’ll find all those words plastered on windows up here. The space is noticeably dominated by the Cotton On Mega Store and its subsidiaries – including T Bar (with three trendy T-shirts for $20), Cotton On Kids ($5 bargains), a Cotton Body pop-up (undies for $2 and nothing over $10) and Rubi (with shoes from $2) – but there’s plenty more in the way of apparel and homewares.

For sunnies, Florentine offer generic shades from $5 with designer shades starting at $150. Lovisa’s jewellery and hair accessories can be bundled, three for $10. Bags and suitcases are well covered, with Kate Hill handbags under $50 and Strandbags offering 30-70% off. Stock up on sports gear at Fila (a minimum of 50% off), or ‘invest’ in Skechers trainers from $19 and Converse Chucks from $50.… Read more

14 January

Four top fashion tips for 2014

Posted in Shopping & Style

ASOS fashion

ASOS womenswear design director Jacqui Markham names four fail-safe fashion trends for 2014.

We know what it’s like: it’s the new year, the sales are tempting the credit card out of your wallet, and no matter how much you try to resist you’ve just purchased a pair of unnecessary silver winter ankle boots.

Here to help us all make better fashion choices (we hope) is ASOS womenswear design director Jacqui Markham. Markham has made a career of predicting global trends, and over two decades she has worked for British high street fashion stores Oasis, Karen Millen and Topshop.

Markham gives us her top trend tips for the new year.

1. Slip dress
ASOS fashion“Number one, without a doubt is the slip dress,” says Markham. “It’s a really versatile piece; you can layer it up, layer it down, wear a T-shirt underneath… It’s perfect for every season.” Taking a dress from the NY 90s range, Markham tells us the key is to keep adapting the look as the seasons change. “Colour palettes are becoming more seasonally neutral – it’s not unusual to wear monochrome in spring or peach in winter.”

2. Duster coats

ASOS fashion“Unstructured tailoring in coats is really big in Europe this winter and we’ll see the same in Australia as the seasons change.” And we hear the baggier the better, so slouchy and loose is best.… Read more

8 January

Emporium Melbourne to open

Posted in Shopping & Style

the-emporium

Time Out Melbourne gives you the fast facts on the mega mall set to open early 2014…

Number of stores: 225
Number of levels: Eight
Cost: $1.16 billion
Total retail area: 46,175 square metres

What’s in it: We already know that Japanese brands Muji and UNIQLO will be opening their flagship Australian stores, alongside other international brands including Max Mara, Paul Smith, Topshop, Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo and Mulberry. Local designers will also be setting up shop, with Scanlan & Theodore, sass & bide, Zimmermann, Oroton, Marcs and Saba all confirmed. And if all that shopping makes you hungry, you’ll be please to know there’s a 1,100 seat food court, too.

Emporium Melbourne Store, 269-321 Lonsdale St, MelbourneRead more

7 January

Marks & Spencer coming to Melbourne?

Posted in Shopping & Style

Marks & Spencer

The march of the mega stores continues with Inside Retail reporting that British department store chain Marks & Spencer is eyeing sites in Melbourne. There is also word that fellow Brit toy store Hamleys is also scouting locations, and with the impending arrival of River Island, the British retail invasion is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.

In the meantime, you can often get free delivery from Marks & Spencer online.… Read more

20 December

Get a piece of UNIQLO and Novak Djokovic at this Swanston Street pop-up

Posted in Shopping & Style

Uniqlo Interior

The arrival of UNIQLO is imminent, but fans of the Japanese fashion juggernaut will be able to get a taste of the brand before their first Australia store opens over at Emporium Melbourne. The UNIQLO pop-up will be arriving to Swanston Street in late January, and will be stocking a special line of 2014 Australian Open replica matchwear. The kit was designed for UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador, Novak Djokovic, who wears the kit during all his professional games, including the 2014 Australian Open.

UNIQLO Pop-up Store, 171 Swanston St, Melbourne, 18 Jan-31 Mar 2014Read more