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48-hour itinerary: Fashion

Melbourne

  • Design A Space, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Friday night
Hit the ground late-night shopping at multi-level retail mecca Emporium, home to a stable of fashion goliaths and food outlets that will leave you wanting for nothing. Unless of course you're after a rooftop drink to go with your shopping show-and-tell, which can be easily arranged at Swanston Street's Goldlilocks. Like a fairytale.

Saturday morning
Fuel the day's fashion hunt with coffee and bagels from Bowery to Williamsburg and map out your morning.

If you're after serious sartorial splendour, take a promenade among the designer stores in heritage buildings at the top of Collins Street. Here you'll find the flagship stores of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani. One block over, little sibling Little Collins Street is great for finding local designer labels tucked away in tiny boutiques. For exquisite contemporary jewellery design, browse the boutiques on and around Flinders Lane: e.g. etal, Pieces of Eight and Lord Coconut (for the gents).

Saturday afternoon
For lunch, meet the modern Mexican that started the wave, Collins Street's Mamasita, or wind your way back down to Flinders Lane for a pan-Asian flavours at Chin Chin.

If a little post-lunch nostalgia appeals, let the elevators in the historic Nicholas Building take you back in time to Retrostar, a vintage bazaar with outfits for almost any occasion. Back in the here and now on street level, the boutiques around Flinders Quarter stock gorgeous contemporary lines from independent designers. Don't miss local favourites Lady Petrova, Alpha60, Kuwaii and LIFEwithBIRD.

From Flinders Street, head down to Campbell Arcade beneath Degraves Street, for quirky jewellery at Corky Saint Clair and more local fashion from Subject to Change and The Cats Meow. Come up for air at Manchester Lane to find one-off pieces at creative concept store Design a Space and some serious Melbourne black at Claude Maus.

Saturday night
The seven levels of fabulousness of Curtin House will meet all your Saturday night needs. Check out the fashion at P.A.M. Store and Dot Comme, stay for dinner at Mesa Verde or Cookie and climb to the top of the stairs for a drink at Rooftop Bar. If the season suits, stick around for Rooftop Cinema, or, go downstairs and catch a gig at Toff in Town.

Sunday morning
Rise and shine with breakfast at Manchester Press in Rankins Lane, and check out the Japanese label with a cult following at neighbouring Comme des Garçons Pocket. Gents, see to all your sartorial needs at gentlemen's outfitter and cafe Captains of Industry in Guildford Lane.

Out of the laneways, head back to the glossy Emporium and across to Melbourne Central for more local and international labels.

Sunday afternoon
For more bright lights and big brands, take the free fashion shuttle from Federation Square to Chadstone, the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you're after something more indie, hop a tram to Fitzroy and start your afternoon at the Rose Street Artists Market. From here, explore Fitzroy. In Brunswick Street, check out vintage and designer boutiques – don't miss Gorman, Alpha60 and bùl. Take a detour to Johnston Street to get your bespoke t-shirts from Das T-Shirt Automat, and get smart in Gertrude Street at Smart Alec Hatters and at The Signet Bureau. Bargain hunters, bag the best at the outlet stores at the northern end of Smith Street.

Sunday night
For a perfectly fashionable end to your weekend, stroll back to Brunswick Street for rooftop drinks and Basque bites at Naked in the Sky.