I’m no expert on vintage brands or styles. I don’t even know much of anything about current brands and styles. But I like what I like, and I like what Melbourne has to offer.
While there we stayed in the heart of Melbourne’s gentrified bohemian scene – Fitzroy/Collingwood. The area is dominated by excellent cafes and vintage shops. I spent $100 on a second hand dress from Vintage Garage in Collingwood, mostly because I loved the pattern and it fits perfectly, but also because I really loved the shop. It’s curated by a number of collectors and arranged beautifully with rows hanging clothing racks and glass cabinets displaying all manner of accessories and collectibles.
Vintage Garage really was a delight to shop in and we were left to explore the store as long as we liked.
A few streets over in Fitzroy is Brunswick Street’s Red Cross store. It stood out enough that I made a note on my phone to remind myself of the great selection, cute staff, and good music.
You really can’t go wrong if you just spend a day exploring everything on Smith and Brunswick streets.
The majority of my Melbourne purchases were made at a couple of Savers stores. Savers is a long established warehouse style recycled clothing chain with most of its branches in Melbourne. I first visited the branch in Footscray and found a blouse that I’ve worn a lot since. But one of the Kiwi staff from the Proud Mary cafe suggested I catch a tram to the Brunswick branch. (Note that Brunswick St and Brunswick are completely different areas. Every fucking name in Melbourne is duplicated at least once and it can get very frustrating and confusing!) I’m so glad I did! I picked up a huge amount of swag, including 2 pairs of shoes.
National Gallery of Victoria
I do like art, but I can’t spend a long time staring at a single painting or a small collection. I get bored. But the National Gallery of Victoria has free entry and once inside I realised I do actually love art, mostly 19th century, mostly dark.
While exploring the National Gallery I fell in love with the salon style Victorian Room. In a top corner hung Anguish by August Schenck, one of the most beautiful and distressing paintings I’ve seen.
The Queen Vic Market is a must visit if you haven’t been before. The food is excellent and the trinkets will make you appreciate just how much crap you could possibly have in your life. If you’re looking for cheap clothing you’ll find it here. And at $5-$10 off inner city prices (for the exact same item).
For something more special you should check out the Rose St Artist Market. It’s a handmade market open on Staurdays in Fitzroy. We left with a Carey Potter painting and a Write to Me stationery brochure.
- If you like movies then you have to see something at Astor Theatre. It’s big and old and beautiful and has a resident cat.
- Olympic Donuts at Footscray Train Station cannot be beaten.
- The pho at Hien Vuong (Pasteur), 146 Hopkins St, Footscray is excellent. The large size bowls are ridiculously HUGE.
- Dumplings from Shanghai Street Dumpling, 342 Little Bourke St are worth waiting in line for.
- Rooftop Bar on Swanston St is moderately priced and has excellent views. The novelty of being so high up without being pushed around by the wind was not lost on this Wellingtonian.
- The State Library of Victoria is quite stunning if you’re into architecture. We didn’t look at any of the books but spent some time looking at the exhibitions.
Sunrise in Collingwood // Fitzroy // Vine covered house // Bars in alleyways // Graffiti // Yarn bombed bike // St Kilda // Luna Park // Melbourne Museum // State Library of Victoria // Birdman Eating // Alleys // Sebastian // Burgers and Fries at Rooftop Bar // St Paul’s Cathedral // Flinders St Station