Melbourne is Australia’s fashion capital. It’s a bold claim to make but here it is in black and white (well, in the case of Melbourne, mainly black).
A never-fading black
There is much debate as to whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Melbourne’s fashionistas are addicted to black. So much so that there’s a term for it – ‘Melbourne black; it never fades’. Black on black had come to define Melbourne’s approach to style and you’ll see it in play everywhere from the board room to the back room.
A passion for fashion
Melbourne is host to not one, but two major events each year that revolve around our passion for fashion. We’ve got the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in March each year and the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week during September each year. Both of these festivals showcase the work of emerging local designers and present visiting international fashion industry icons.
Mood revealing weather
The notoriously changeable weather in Melbourne is responsible for another unique sartorial quirk amongst those Melbournians who like to dress up. The notion of layering so as to attune one’s self the mood of the weather lends itself perfectly to over-accessorising, over-draping and constant-revealing of an assortment of showy essential and signature fashion items all day and all night long.
Show up and show off
Major international events such as the Melbourne Cup have created ample opportunity for Melbourne’s best (and worst) dressed to step-out-in-style and be noticed. Such events have given every excuse for Melbournians to parade their finest to a waiting media, shining a bright light on the lengths Melbournians will go to show up and show off!
Every Australian city has them but Melbourne has bred them like no other. Our style icons have tentacles that reach worldwide, giving Melbourne a fashion-cred that the city is renowned for. There’s the dandy and dapper Barry Humphries AKA Dame Edna Everage and there’s Andreja Pejić, our headline making catwalk model and cover girl just to name two.
Shop till you drop
Shoppers flock to Melbourne from all around Australia to be seen ‘doing’ Chapel Street or hitting ‘Chadstone’ and trawling other fashion destinations such as Collins & Little Collins Streets, Flinders Lane or Crown. Major international brands such as H&M, Zara, Uniqlo and MUJI have chosen Melbourne to set up their flagship stores, placing Melbourne front and centre on the national fashion radar.
Seek and discover
We Melbournians love our emerging local designers and support them, loud and proud. Nestled amongst the bars, cafes and clubs of Melbourne’s famous lanes and alleys there’s a thriving rag trade going on where the hip hang out doing their thing. This scene is ever-evolving so the best way to uncover the latest and local is to hit the lanes and explore.
If it’s style you’re after and you don’t mind flaunting your own flair for fashion, Melbourne is the place to do it. You won’t be on your own.
(Featured image: Chris Phutully)