20 May

Dr. Martens pop-up shop and gig series

If you think Dr. Martens are ‘just shoes’, then you’ve probably never laced your feet into a yellow-stitched, air-cushioned, heat-welded pair of Docs and felt their indestructible power. Buying your first pair of DMs is a defining moment. Breaking them in is part of the ritual.

Docs also represent a lot more than reliable footwear. Since the original eight-eyelet leather boot came off the production line in 1960, subcultures and individuals have taken them up as a symbol of self-expression. Ska-loving skinheads donned shiny oxblood steelcaps in the’70s, grunge girls of the ’90s took to the chunky Mary Janes, and new-rave scenesters embraced the patent-leather neon pinks and purples. Bonus DM fact: some of the first people to champion the boots were German women over the age of 40, back when they were still being made by German doctor Klaus Maertens.

Over five decades later, they haven’t stopped evolving. Recently, the brand launched its #standforsomething campaign.… Read more

16 April

UNIQLO launches Emporium Melbourne store

Uniqlo

Have you heard the term ‘normcore’ yet? It refers to the growing number of young trendies who are abandoning cutting-edge fashion for quality basics like slacks, vests and cardigans. Fashionistas and trend-spotters have noticed it, and as of today, Emporium Melbourne is open and host to normcore’s patron saint: UNIQLO.

On the night of the launch, UNIQLO’s puffer-vested mannequins dominate Emporium’s Lonsdale Street entrance. And while the Japanese brand isn’t known for loud patterns or outlandish designs, guests are welcomed like warlords by a host of traditional Japanese drummers, then met with Asahi beers and sake-based cocktails.

It’s a good thing that the store’s three floors and 3,000 square metres are fitted out using simple white shelving and clear red signage, because things could get confusing in here. Meticulously-folded jeans, cashmere jumpers, vests and shirts sit colour-coordinated in rows. And rows. The overall effect makes UNIQLO’s three floors feel like an endless display of paint swatches.… Read more

11 April

Sephora is coming to Australia

Sephora

Boy are we on a roll. After the glorious reveal of GPO’s glitzy H&M and the looming UNIQLO opening at Emporium, we’re about to indulge in another piece of Europe in the form of French cosmetics giant Sephora.

The world’s largest beauty retailer is set to open its first Australian store in Sydney in 2015, with more stores to follow (swiftly, we hope) in other cities. The stand-alone store will stock its own brand of skincare, make-up and fragrance products in addition to a wide range of international brands. Just imagine: soon, brands like Urban Decay, Tarte, Make Up For Ever and Laura Mercier will be opening their testers just for you. And if Sephora’s overseas stores are any indication, service staff are generous with samples and are willing to sit down with customers to demonstrate a product’s application.

You may as well accept now that on entering Sephora’s glossy isles, you’ll suddenly yearn for all sorts of lovely things that you never even knew you needed.… Read more

4 April

H&M launch party

H&M

We knew it would be impressive, but when we stepped off the red carpet into 5000 square metres of white, gleaming H&M glory at last night’s launch party, we were not prepared.

Australia’s first H&M has taken over all of GPO. All of it. And tonight, the former post office has never looked grander. Soft lighting makes the white Victorian arches and windowed ceilings gleam, and the room hums with the excited chatter of over a thousand invite-only guests.

Glass of Mumm champagne in one hand and a large tote bag in the other, we gravitate toward the 47-piece exclusive Australian collection. It’s all tomboy shirtdresses, wide-brimmed boho hats and leather shorts, and it’s made from premium quality material. We then navigate through the three levels. The division of the range into ‘mini-stores’ such as formal, casual, shoes, kids, sports and homewares makes the shopping experience less overwhelming, and there are fitting rooms placed throughout the building.… Read more

31 March

Calling all sneaker freakers

651a4b5bebdfb80d168bebe92cc5cc6a_large

Are you an innie or an outie? We aren’t talking about belly buttons (although type ‘myinnie’ into YouTube if you’re feeling bored and brave), we’re talking about sneaker laces and a knew widget, ‘Myinnies’. Local entrepreneur Bart Atherinos noted that he and many of his other sneaker enthusiast mates were ‘innies’ who preferred  to tuck their shoelaces in on the inside of their shoes to achieve a clean, bowless look. However in order to achieve this they’d have to stuff their laces in the shoes, making for an uncomfortable fit.

Atherinos decided to think outside the (shoe)box and created the Innie – a small durable plastic clip which can’t be seen from the outside or felt on the inside. The clips have been tested on a bunch of shoes – hi-tops, boat shoes,  business sport and skate – to ensure they are both comfortable and functional. At the moment Bart is sitting at around halfway to his goal of raising $10k, so if you’re keen to get in on Innies, you can support the Kickstarter campaign.… Read more

25 March

Ajak Deng at VAMFF

Ajak Deng“Sometimes it’s hard for me to take in. Did I really just experience these two worlds? Now that I’m in New York as an international model, I’m like, ‘Wow, life is different.’”

‘Different’ hardly begins to describe the journey that model Ajak Deng has taken to get to the Melbourne Fashion Festival. Google her name and you’ll encounter the story of a girl who fled Sudan as a child, lost her mother to malaria in Kenya at age 12 and started a life in Melbourne in 2004 as the carer of seven siblings.

Equally as staggering is her new life on the other end of the spectrum. After finishing high school, Deng’s modelling career catapulted almost instantly. At 24, she now lives in New York, making her long-limbed presence known on the runways of Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Valentino and Chloe. On Friday 21st March, she made her return to Melbourne as the face of UK high street giant River Island, launching the brand’s partnership with Australian fashion website The Iconic by walking their runway.… Read more

21 March

H&M previews exclusive Australian collection

H&M preview store

Saturday April 5 marks the opening of Australia’s first flagship H&M store at GPO. We’d read the stats – three floors, 5,000 square metres – but what we hadn’t yet seen were the clothes.

This week, H&M launched its exclusive Australian collection with a pop-up preview at Fed Square. Created in partnership with Vogue Australia, the display will remain open until the end of today.

Media, models and fashionistas attended a sneak peek of the collection on Wednesday morning. Styled to perfection by Vogue Australia and GQ, the outfits on display are textured, layered and colourful. Our eyes are drawn to an edgy black leather jacket with white sleeves and to a long navy chiffon dress with tassels. Vogue will change the looks daily, and once the flagship store opens, will regularly freshen up the displays with new clothing combinations.

H&M preview clothes

Overseeing the launch is Margareta van den Bosch – H&M’s Global Creative Advisor.… Read more

18 March

Time Out gets a Verve makeover

Verve Richmond

One night, deep in a brainstorming session, we suddenly realised there was one thing missing in our Time Out Melbourne headquarters. Dizzy with self-satisfaction, we congratulated ourselves on pinpointing the crucial element that would finally help us achieve meteoric magazine sales.

The solution had been there all along. It wasn’t a fridge full of super foods or a hot yoga studio adjacent to the office. Like all the world’s greatest leaders, we needed to immortalise ourselves in a huge portrait that would be mounted on our wall for all to behold.

Enter Verve studios – shunners of the rigidly posed, matching-white-t-shirts style of portraiture that was so popular in eras gone by. With the tagline ‘art inspired by you’, Verve is committed to providing a portrait experience rather than a product. Clients are asked to wear clothes and bring objects that best reflect their personalities. Baking instruments, plastic dinosaurs and pet snakes are just some of the things you’ll find in Verve’s vibrant portfolio.… Read more

11 March

H&M unveils Australian website

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.… Read more

6 March

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition comes to Melbourne

EXHI022206_RGB

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.… Read more