So you may recall that I spent my Spring Break in Australia. It was every bit the fashion-lovers paradise I expected, and after wearing my purchases a few times, I finally have a moment to sit down and write about them.
My trip started in Melbourne, which is generally considered the fashion capital of Australia. And though I was only there a few days and just scratched the surface of the shopping opportunities available, it did not disappoint. The streets of Melbourne’s Central Business District are lined with stores, from high-fashion houses like Chanel and Louis Vuitton to budget Australian chain Cotton On. Shopping arcades connect the streets and provide endless window-shopping eye candy. And down the adorable, cobble-stoned laneways, quirky boutiques abound. I could have stayed there forever.
I was determined to pick up a few unique items while in Melbourne without breaking the bank, which is tough to do, as most things in Australia are more expensive than they are in the States. So I started at Cotton On. It’s a chain, yes — in fact, I learned upon my return there are even stores right here in Phoenix at Arrowhead Town Centre and Chandler Fashion Centre — but at the time it was new to me. Cotton On is basically Australia’s Forever 21. The store was filled with casual, colorful tops, tanks and sweaters, as well as a wide array of colored denim. I stuck with the tanks, in preparation for the impending Arizona summer. I picked up three, two of the rayon variety and one cotton, all around $25USD. I have been pleased with my rayon choices, but I was dismayed when I accidentally stuck the cotton tank in the dryer and it shrunk to become a doll’s dress.
My next stop was Gorman. I had seen some items in a magazine from this Melbourne-based designer and had visited the website, so I was excited to check it out in person. The store is located in Melbourne’s GPO, a cool, historic postal hall built in the mid-1800s, which is now a retail center. I tried on several dresses but fell in love with this blue striped one. I was skeptical when I saw it on the hanger — the horizontal stripes could be disastrous. But the clever cut of the skirt is incredibly flattering, a fact not lost on Taylor Swift, who was seen wearing the same dress a few weeks ago.
Gorman Ipanema Striped Jersey Dress / Via Spiga Sandals via Last Chance (similar style) / Smith by Zoe Chicco Gold Disk Necklace via OpenSky (similar style) / Hayden Harnett Celina Signature Cuff in Wild Rose/ Michael Kors Jet Set Bracelet Watch (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2011) / J. Crew Signet Ring (similar style)
My final purchase in Melbourne was on a spur-of-the-moment duck-in to a quirky little shop near Degraves Street called Kinki-Gerlinki. I picked up a truly original pattern-mixing blouse featuring both owls and seashells. How cool is that? I only wish I had more time in the store, but my husband was waiting outside in the rain so I had to make it quick. While I wish I would have come home with a few more items, I’m really happy with my purchases. I’ve received many compliments on the items, and it’s fun to be able to say I got them in Australia. I love clothes with a good story and that bring back fond memories of faraway places. I do have one major regret, however; I missed Topshop. It was at the top of my list, but I somehow managed to forget to seek it out while in Melbourne. My only consolation is that I will finally be able to check it out while I am in London and Dubai this summer. Another trip, another new addition to my closet…