Forget the overcrowded, air-conditioned shopping malls this racing season and venture out to some of Melbourne’s best boutiques for your racing season shopping. You can get all the best Australian and international luxury brands in places you may not expect without having to battle the traffic, crowds and stuffiness of big shopping centers. These under-the-radar Melbourne boutiques offer unique Spring Racing Carnival shopping experience with amazing labels and a personalised approach.
1. LE LOUVRE
2 Daly Street, South Yarra VIC 3141, Ph. (03) 9823 5300
Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Lanvin—oh my! This iconic Melbourne boutique is not only rich in history but also in its wealth of international haute couture, making it a luxury shopping destination for discerning race goers. Stocking some of the best designers and offering superior buying taste, they always put on a good show for the Racing season. The store has plenty of hats, fascinators and accessories to go with your fabulous Balmain, Chloe, Givenchy, Alaia or Stella McCartney creation.
2. ALICE EUPHEMIA
Shop 6, Cathedral Arcade (cnr Flinders Lane), 37 Swanston Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Ph. (03) 9650 4300
Alice Euphemia is an eclectic mix of the best Australian and New Zealand designers. With around 80 clothing and accessories labels, this city boutique is a much loved Melbourne gem. With labels such as Romance Was Born, Lover, Michael Lo Sordo and Magdalena Valevska, Alice Euphemia is often the first to stock the best emerging Australian fashion designers and has earned a reputation as one of Melbourne’s best boutiques. With new designs dropping in weekly and a huge selection of clothing, jewellery and accessories, this famed boutique is the mecca for race day shopping.
3. MADAM VIRTUE & CO.
5 Crossley Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Ph. (03) 9663 8669
Madam Virtue & Co sell clothing from around the world, with a collection of French and international designers that are not second-hand but archival and new. You can find new season Balenciaga and an Alexander McQueen gown all in the same place, making it a unique treasure trove of luxury labels. They even offer haute couture service. With original Chanel handbags and jewellery, plus Hermes and Gucci accessories, it’s the perfect place to pick up that classic high end accessory to complement your racing outfit.
109 Auburn Road, Hawthorn. Ph. (03) 9942 3630
Devoted to emerging and under-the-radar fashion labels and homeware designers, this charming little boutique in the suburbs will provide you with a unique retail experience. Their collection showcases a range of styles, aesthetics and innovations, and includes owners Keegan and Brahmans own labels Margery Daw and Elgar & Lyle. With fashion, jewellery, homewares and accessories, it’s your one-stop for Spring Racing season complete with an eye-popping range of fascinators in traditional and cutting-edge designs, and even Swoon’s own brand of tea and macaroons.
5. BRETT MORLEY MILLINER
Shop online at http://www.brettmorley.com/#!store, or ph. 0416 063 166
Melbourne-based milliner Brett Morley’s designs are so exquisite that well-known fashion blogger Phoebe Monatague has chosen to wear his designs exclusively for the Spring Racing Carnival. With pieces that evoke memories of the golden years of haute couture and elite fashion, your custom-made hat will make you look and feel very special. With his passion for vintage glamour and countless hours of research and fabric sourcing, along with his favoured methods of traditional headwear construction, Brett will ensure your original head piece will stand out in any crowd.
107 High Street, Preston, Ph. (03) 9004 1310
Selling only Australian labels, this young boutique in Preston is proudly flying the flag for Australian designers. Stocking labels such as Rachel Gilbert, Alice McCall, Bec & Bridge, Indiana by Freda, Shakuhachi, Dalu Resort, Low Luv, and Toby and Dexter Flynn for men, Scene provides on-trend street style fashion for fashion savvy Melbournians. Boasting a modernistic collection including pieces from their exclusive in-house label Tribeca, you can stop by after work and grab that last minute garment for the races with late night shopping on Friday.
7. FAME AGENDA
Shop 235 Melbourne Central, 211 LaTrobe Street, Ph. (03) 9650 2322
This Melbourne-based store stocks a good dose of Australian labels including Karen Walker, Romance Was Born, Antipodium, and Stretsis all available in store and online, as well as Fame Agenda’s own in-house label, which creates beautiful modernistic pieces in delicate fabrics with structured tailoring. Designing their own prints in edgy yet sophistocated designs, their pieces tell a story and are right on trend for Spring. For something a little bit different on race day, Fame Agenda’s designs will have everyone asking you where you got your outfit from.
8. OSCAR AND WILD
788 Burke Road, Camberwell and 167 High Street, Kew or online at www.oscarandwild.com
Oscar & Wild offers a range of high end Australian and international fashion. Known for its stellar designers, cult brands, and unique, hard-to-source labels, Oscar & Wild stocks over 50 top Australian designers such as Alex Perry, Ginger and Smart, FLuer Wood, Kirrily Johnson, Alice McCall and Tim O’ Connor. They also carry luxury international labels like BCBG Max Azria, M Missioni, J Brand, American Vintage, Ted Baker and Manning Cartell. Perfect for that crowd/show-stopping Spring racing Carnival dress, Oscar and Wild also offers an in-house milliner (with affordable prices) creating stunning designs to complement any outfit.
9. KERRIE STANLEY MILLINERY & DESIGNER HAT HIRE
388 High Street, Prahran VIC 3181, Ph. 0412 670 865, and online at www.designerhathire.com/author/kerrie/
Kerrie Stanley is one of Australia’s most awarded Milliners, and her hats are highly sought after for race days. But if you don’t want to fork up a small fortune for a hat that you may only wear once, then her side label Designer Headwear for Hire is for you. Including some of Australia’s most renowned milliners as well as up and coming ones, they cater for every occasion and style. With affordable prices and 3 days to allow for collection, wearing and return, this is a smart new way to ready yourself for the races.
10. DANDELION FLORAL FOLIAGE AND DESIGN
242 High Street, Kew, Ph. (03) 9853 4443 and online at dandelionff.com.au
Each major race day throughout the Spring Carnival has a flower dedicated to it and florists. At Dandelion Floral and Foliage Design in Kew, florists help race goers incorporate them into their outfits. They offer beautiful fresh arrangements and stunning adornments for the racers. Ideal for men to add some class to their suits with a buttonhole corsage, or for the girls to add some colour to their hat or hair.