Guidebook Fashion: the devil wears Melbourne


Fashion: the devil wears Melbourne

It’s like a citizenship right to dress well -- “to be able to express their creativity and style through a carefully-crafted outfit,” says Kim Lamb in Eat Pray Love Travel, whether it’s dripping in designer, full leather, a mustard yellow cardigan or Glad bags donned as a cape.” The city, she says, is Australia’s undisputable fashion capital, which “naturally means the options to purchase the latest in fashion are at their purse-draining best in Melbourne.”

“One constant in Melbourne fashion is colour, or lack of it,” explains the Lonely Planet Melbourne Guide. And you won’t go for long without hearing mention of “Melbourne black”, says Lonely Planet (which is headquartered in Melbourne, and so should know) and “it’s true that inky shades are worn not just during the cold months but right through the hottest days of summer … perhaps it’s because black somehow suits the soft light and often grey days, or maybe it’s the subliminal influence of the city’s moody bluestone. Some muse that it’s the long-lingering fallout of the explosive 1980s postpunk scene or southern European immigration. The fact remains that black clothes sell far better here than in any other city in the country. In Melbourne, black is always the new black.”

There are a number of local designers and destinations who are big on sustainability, says Amy Campbell in Fashion Journal. “You want to know where your clothes are made, who made them, and more importantly – what they’re made with,” she comments. “You take time to read care labels, you know your silks from polyesters and you take pride in wearing a design with the disclaimer, ‘ethically made.’ And for this, we’re proud of you. But we also understand that in a city full of fast fashion super-stores, sorting sustainable from mass-produced can be rather scary.”

“Let’s face it, sneakers are today considered the fashion staple of every stylish man’s wardrobe,” proclaims Aleczander Gamboa in [D’Marge](, who proceeds to name the best sneaker stores in Melbourne: Capsule in Lonsdale Street (“if you’re ever in need of style inspiration, Capsule is always there to help”), 124 Shoes in Russell Place (“if you’re looking for real quality and strong lasting power for your sneakers, look no further”), Sneakerboy in Little Bourke Street (“a showroom display of their stock, where you try on the sneakers in store and then make the purchase online”), Up There Store in McKillop Street)”pitches itself on quality sneakers along with unprecedented product knowledge to back it up”) and Culture Kings in Queen Street (“if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all things streetwear from snapback hats, crewnecks and of course, sneakers”).

Want to wear a piece of Melbourne fashion? Try these labels, suggest Time Out: Alpha60 (“a local label that epitomises Melbourne’s penchant for comfortable yet stylish gear, with plenty of baggy cuts and dark colours”) or Kuwaii (“founder Kristy Barber produces all her clothing and footwear locally – and they’re meant to last a lifetime”). “

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