Vintiquing in Melbourne: best vintage & antique shopping

CoteProvence, 433 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

It may be a 24-hour flight away but Melburnian Belinda Jackson says her home town holds rich rewards for antiques and design lovers holidaying in Australia.

‘Which do you like better, Melbourne or Sydney?’ It’s a question we Melburnians can’t help asking international visitors. Maybe we have second-child syndrome: founded in 1835, Melbourne is nearly 50 years younger than its glossy sibling. but despite Sydney’s glittering harbour and its first-city status, we also know that we have a great deal to rival what it offers. Who needs the harbour when you can walk the pier at St Kilda? Melbourne’s design scene is more exciting and, of
course, the coffee’s better down south. You’ve come a long way – but Australia’s
second-largest city definitely is worth the journey. 

DECO DELIGHTS

Melbourne is one of the world’s great Art Deco cities,
thanks to a building boom leading up to its centenary in 1934. Many
architecture aficionados rate the Manchester Unity Building their favourite, but
guide and deco expert Robin Grow loves the Century Building
for what he describes as its ‘sleek, unadorned and uncompromising
verticality’(cnr Swanston St & Little Collins St). Join Robin on his Melbourne Art Deco tour, for $49, which takes place every
second Sunday of the month, meltours.com.au/architecture.htm

AROUND TOWN

Undoubtedly one of the city’s most exciting streets for design is Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. It’s only a couple of
blocks long, but packed with great cafes, restaurants and some of
the city’s best vintage shops (see below). Fitzroy’s sister hotspots
include its neighbour, Colllingwood, refined Prahran and the
street-art-spattered lanes and alleyways of the central business district. Forget taking a taxi, make
like a local and zip between these areas on the trams.
A word of advice for the serious hunter: the high-end antique
stores cluster around Armadale’s High Street. Here you will find the Armadale Antique Centre (1147 High St, armadaleantiquecentre.com.au),
the Francophiles at Capocchi (941/951 High St, capocchi.com.au),
the fresh and fun Fenton & Fenton (471
High St, fentonandfenton.com.au) and the master of quirkiness, Graham Geddes Antiques (877 High St, grahamgeddesantiques.com).

Kazari + Ziguzagu,
450 Malvern Rd, Prahran

MARKET CULTURE

See what Melbourne’s artist community has to offer at the Rose Street Art & Design market (rosestmarket.com.au) which takes place efvery Saturday and Sunday, or look for vintage reads in the weekly book market
at Federation Square, the city’s love-it-or-hate-it modern architecture statement
(fedsquare.com). You won’t find anything
shiny and new or mass-produced at Camberwell’s enormous Sunday market, but lots of lovely pre-owned and
handcrafted goods (Sundays, 7am-12.30pm). The 135-year-old Queen Victoria Market is an institution selling produce through
the week, before acquiring a gifty edge on weekends (qvm.com.au). Lunch on hot pide (Turkish pizza) from the
delicatessen hall or squeeze in with the hipsters for a caffeine hit at tiny Market
Lane Cafe (109-111 Therry
St, marketlane.com.au).

 

CAFE SOCIETY

Design Dispensary, 92 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

It’s said that if three Melburnians are standing
together, an espresso machine will soon turn up. This town has a serious speciality
coffee culture: aficionados hang in hip Proud
Mary
ordering cold drip, pourover, syphon and chemex coffees. The ricotta
hotcakes are astonishing and yes, you can get a latte. (172 Oxford St,
Collingwood, proudmarycoffee.com.au) For some New
York love, everyone’s talking about Bowery
to Williamsburg’s
pecan pie (16 Oliver Lane, City) while old
school vibes still resonate at oh-so Italian Pellegrini’s
Espresso Bar
, said to be the first place to pour an espresso in this town and
still rocking its original working-class diner theme (66 Bourke Street, City.

DAY TRIPPING

An hour and a half south of the city, you’ll discover our
beloved beach getaway, the Mornington Peninsula. This is the ideal place to enjoy fish and chips
and a paddle at Safety Beach or indulge yourself with a long lunch at Merrick’s General Store (3460
Frankston-Flinders Rd, Merricks, mgwinestore.com.au) or indeed at one of Red Hill’s
many wineries. In Dromana, don’t miss Felix
which appropriately sums itself up as ‘unique, boutique, antique’ (167 Point Nepean Rd,
Dromana, felix.net.au) while Big Chair stocks Australian-made, upcycled
furniture and also pocketable gifts (119 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento, and 118 Main
St, Mornington, bigchair.com.au) andhe little town of Tyabb is an antiques and
vintage hub. Check out The Vintage Shed
(thevintageshed.com.au) and the vast Tyabb
Packing House
at 14 Mornington-Tyabb Road (tyabbpackinghouseantiques.com.au) before heading back to the city.

NEED TO KNOW

WHERE TO STAY Artist and architect Maggie Fooke has created an
artistic haven at Brooklyn Arts Hotel (48-50 George St, Fitzroy, brooklynartshotel.com.au) which is just off Gertrude Street.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK Enjoy old-world glamour at The Everleigh bar (150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, theeverleigh.com) Euro-cuisine at Moon Under Water
restaurant (211 Gertrude St, Builders’ Arms Hotel, buildersarmshotel.com.au) or modern Australian gastronomy at Saint Crispin’s
(300 Smith St, saintcrispin.com.au).

To find out which are Melbourne’s top eight vintage & antique shops, click here.

This feature by Belinda Jackson was first published in British magazine Homes & Antiques

A material whirl: eight great shopping cities

Gorgeously photogenic babouches, leather slippers
from Marrakech, Morocco

Belinda Jackson lists eight favourite destinations at which to arrive
with empty bags. 

Busted your luggage allowance lugging home a treasure only to find it in
your local ‘hood? The best shopping is a rejection of globalisation: it’s about
going back to the source or finding something that only that city or country
can provide.

LONDON

Basking in a design
renaissance, London’s smoking-hot fashion and design is being peddled by a
James Bond (Daniel Craig), a welter of celebrated sportsmen and the new baby
Windsor.
Locals love Stylist and personal shopper Rachel Meddowes says London’s
hottest strip is Chiltern Street, in Marylebone, W1. “It’s a return to a
coterie of small, chic, beautifully designed and curated shops including
fabulous Tyler Brule’s the Monocle Cafe, Cire Trudon for the best candles,
uber-cool men’s boutique Trunk, and Atlas Gallery, for its photographs. If I
had to say one shop, it would be Mouki (mouki-london.com)
for its stylish, insider brands of women’s fashion and lifestyle.”
Must-visit Selfridges is home to the world’s largest women’s and
men’s shoe departments. Its new Denim Studio includes a free denim doctor to
help women find their perfect pair of jeans from 60 brands. The Conran Shop
(including the newly refurbished Marylebone store, conranshop.co.uk) and Liberty (liberty.co.uk) are design stalwarts.
Local hero For a catch-all day of browsing, use the cobbled Seven
Dials, north of Covent Garden, as your compass point and branch out (sevendialsco.uk). Check out Cambridge
Satchel Company (cambridgesatchel.com),
Sienna Miller’s Twenty8Twelve (twenty8twelve.com)
or, for a village vibe, Neal’s Yard.
Wild card The flagship Burberry Bespoke (burberry.com) has more than 100 screens
flashing your customised trench on the catwalk or in a movie, in-between
sporadic digital thunderstorms.
STOCKHOLM
The bellwether of
ice-cool design, you can’t visit Stockholm without admiring the masters’ design
ethic.
Locals love “To get to the heart of modern Stockholm, head over
to SoFo – South of Folkungagatan Street (sofo-stockholm.se)
– with a profusion of fashion and interior designers with antique and vintage
clothing shops, trendy bars and restaurants,” says Birgitta Palmer, of the
Stockholm Visitors Board.
Must-visit Get your head into Swedish living space at Svenskt Tenn (svenskttenn.se), your stationery fix at
Ordning&Reda (ordning-reda.com)
and gifts at DesignTorget (designtorget.se).
Local hero Cruise Acne Studios’ flagship store and V Ave Shoe Repair
for the ultimate in Swedish fashion (acnestudios.com;
vave-shoerepair.com). Every
self-respecting Swedish child wears Polarn O. Pyret, designer of unisex,
hard-wearing children’s clothes (polarnopyret.com).
And who can say no to Bjorn Borg-designed knickers (bjornborg.com)?
Wild card Uncover the next big thing or total trash at the weekend
market Street, in Sodermalm. A tip from Sean Naughton, concierge at Benny
Andersson’s Hotel Rival (www.rival.se): if
you can’t afford the heavyweight fashion names of Bibliotekstan, score
discounted fashion at Barkaby outlet centre (qualityoutlet.com/in-english).
BANGKOK
Tap into the Thai
design aesthetic – it’s cheeky and cute, and if you don’t leave Bangkok with a
bag full of silk, you’re just not trying.
Locals love “Post-Nerd [Siam Square] is a favourite for cool
T-shirts with unusual designs,” says Bangkok resident Mark Thomson, of
Anantara hotels. “Also Propaganda, which is home to Mr P, who appears in
anatomically correct cartoon lamps and other … products.” (propagandaonline.com).
Must-visit Siam Discovery, in the cluster of Siam Square malls, has
been recently made-over with an edgy open plan; several floors are given over
to Thailand’s fashion designers. It’s also the home of Madame Tussauds Bangkok.
The massive Chatuchak market is in every guidebook, allegedly the world’s
largest weekend market. Grab a map at the entrance before you dive in (chatuchak.org).
Local hero A perennial favourite is FotoFile, for fantastic new and
second-hand camera gear in the beloved, budget-easy MBK mall. Unlike the rest
of MBK, prices are fixed and labelled.
Wild card Take home the scent of a Thai spa with success story
Thann, whose lush products feature Asian ingredients: think jasmine blossom,
tamarind, rice-bran oil and nutmeg. Find them in all the major malls and a new
Thann cafe at level 3, Gaysorn Plaza.
MANILA
The Philippines has a
special flair that makes it an interior design powerhouse and, of course, shoes
are a hot item.
Locals love Bespoke menswear and womenswear designer Joey Samson loves
three homewares stores. A11 comprises three townhouses that are a furniture and
design gallery (F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay). AC+632 stocks Gallic homewares
with a Philippines twist, including excellent tassels (Greenbelt 5, Makati),
while W17 is a celebration of Asian interiors using local materials (w17home.com).
Must-visit Cram your bags with South Sea pearls in all shapes and
sizes, from just a few dollars each (Greenhills market, San Juan). For upmarket
indigenous design visit revered jeweller Arnel Papa, whose materials may
include buffalo horn and ebony wood (Greenbelt 5, Makati).
Local hero Alice Blue soy candles capture the scent of sampaguita,
the Philippines’ national flower (Glorietta 3, Makati), while the omnipresent
SM (which stands for Shoemart) fits any tastepoint, from ballet flats to
nightclub dagger heels, at great prices (sm-shoemart.com).
Wild card Score a pre-loved, genuine-label handbag from Bagaholic.
Expect Chanel and Gucci with serial numbers if you can bear to carry last
year’s hottest tote (Almeda Arcade Building, Makati, bagaholic.com.ph).
DELHI
For breathtaking
colour and exotic motifs Indian shopping is in a league of its own, from haute
couture to Hindi kitsch.
Locals love Fiona Caulfield, author of India’s definitive shopping
guides including Love Delhi, tips three hot locales: Meharchand Market, Khan
Market and ShapurJat of Hauz Khas. “Snigdha Shekhar has created one of the
best interior and lifestyle stores in Delhi at Artisan Luxe,” she says.
(Meherchand Market, Lodhi Road.)
Must-visit Shop for
contemporary homewares at Khan Market’s Good Earth then take a break in its
excellent rooftop cafe, Latitude 28 (goodearth.in).
Local hero Bring India’s eye-popping colour home with beautiful
textiles: hunt down your wallet-friendly Indian wardrobe of cotton kurtas (long
shirts) and salwars (trousers) in Fabindia (Khan Market) or Anokhi (www.anokhi.com). Stay ahead of the pack at
Alecca Carrano’s Drawing Room for shawls and wraps (aleccacarrano.com).
Wild card “Run by the Crafts Council of India, Kamala is the
new face of craft in India. This beautifully curated collection is sourced
directly from artisans,” Caulfield says. “Superb shopping!” (craftscouncilofindia.org.)

BUENOS AIRES
Though dubbed
“the Paris of the Pampas”, the city maintains its own colourful
character, and those pampas turn out some mighty fine leather to boot. Or rug.
Or bag.
Locals love “Buenos Aires’ hottest spot to shop is jewellery
atelier Celedonio [Uraguay 1223, Recoleta],” trend hunter Lucia Radeljak
says. “Celedonio Lohidoy’s signature pieces are baroque necklaces with
precious stones and pearls. He has collaborated with international fashion
houses Kenzo and Ungaro, and his store is worth visiting for its garden
alone.”
Must-visit Hunters of antiques and atmosphere head to San Telmo
antique fair to scour old vinyls and snap up such must-haves as cobblers’ lasts
and local jewellery (Sundays, Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo).
Local hero The best cowhide rugs are Argentine: try Calma Chicha (calmachicha.com). Too heavy? Beautiful
leather bags are found at tiny Humawaca (humawaca.com).
Wild card Hit Av Suipacha, aka “sweater street”, and shop
for the lightest cashmere or pick up a pair of hand-made tango shoes on Av
Esmerelda, which runs parallel.
MARRAKESH
Breathe deeply and steel
yourself for a shopping extravaganza. Don’t rush at the first shop off the main
square, Djemma el-Fna. You’ll regret it.
Locals love Akbar Delights is pricey, but the fine embroidery and
detailed clothing are well worth it, says Marrakesh-based artist Dawn
Boys-Stone. Warda la Mouche (127 Rue Kennaria) is great for women’s and
children’s clothes in traditional Moroccan style with modern fabrics.
Must-visit Shoe lovers know that Atika crafts hand-made leather shoes
in classical Occidental styles (34 Rue de la Liberte, Gueliz).
Local hero Marrakesh’s antiques scene is fantastic. Try Mustapha
Blaoui (142-4 Rue Bab Doukkala).
Wild card Love leather? Go the ornate local leather slippers,
babouches, found on most street corners, in traditional yellow or every shade
of the rainbow.
JAKARTA
So close to us,
Jakarta remains a mystery for most. Persevere: it throws up seriously desirable
oddities, and its midnight mall sales are legendary.
Locals love “Otoko is a hidden gem of a boutique amongst all the
big malls in Jakarta,” says Susanna Perini, of Biasa.
“It stocks menswear only and presents a unique experience when you visit.
The store has great synergy … a sense of ‘quiet luxury’ with a sleek and
contemporary design.”
Must-visit Locals adore Jakarta’s malls and are serious international
label devotees, though even the biggies, such as Grand Indonesia (grand-indonesia.com), have Indonesian
Fashion Avenues for local designers. Geeks on a budget make for Ambassador
Mall.
Local hero The Bali-based Biasa label (biasabali.com)
serves up soft, deconstructed men’s and women’s fashion on Jalan Kemang,
Jakarta’s boutique strip, where you’ll also find local designers.
Wild card Visit the colourful bird market (Pasar Pramuka) and the
nearby antique market (Pasar Surabaya); you totally need that old map, stuffed
animal and brass betel nut-cracker.

Shopping Seminyak: Bali beyond the basic

Eclectic treasures: Horn Emporium

Seminyak’s shopping is a treasure trove of fabulousness, as Belinda Jackson discovers.


The
girls are clad in a uniform of floaty tunics and kaftans, strappy
sandals and big sunglasses, each arm jangling with bangles and glossy
paper shopping bags.

I run into them at three boutiques in a row
and at each stop, someone’s pulling out a gorgeous gauzy shirt or new
belt to show the rest of the gang.

They’re on a serious boutique hop,
riding the pure, glistening wave of the retail high.

It’s not
Rodeo Drive, it’s not Milan: it’s Bali. Seminyak, to be precise.
Balinese shopping isn’t all Bintang singlets and dyed sarongs guaranteed
to turn your laundry cerise. The chic enclave of Seminyak is a United
Nations of designers lured by sun, sand and a culture that breathes
beautiful design.

If
you’re expecting cheap Billabong surfwear, forget about it. You don’t
go to Bali to buy the big international brands: they’re imported, so
they’ll be expensive.

Once you’ve jumped that mental hurdle, then
you can start to explore the real treasures of Balinese shopping:
handmade clothes made with a level of detail and finishing for a price
you’d never pay in Australia. Additional tailoring is also fast, cheap
and most boutiques can organise it for you overnight.

Seminyak’s
boutiques gather in clusters on Jalan Laksmana and in Jalan Raya
Seminyak, and you’ll see a number of names crop up on both, including
Magali Pascal for beautiful lacework (177X Jl Laksmana), and the
Brazilians, Lily Jean (102 X Jl Laksmana) and Lulu Yasmine, for sexy and
standout statement pieces (100 Jl Laksmana).

Haveli homewares

Australian designer
Penny Pinkster’s Mist boutique is a favourite for those after soft,
yielding kaftans in a subdued palette (42 Jl Raya Seminyak), Namu will
kit you out, from totally covetable lunching ensembles to killer
cocktail kit (234X Jl Petitenget) and pick up your saucy nix at niconico
intimo
(12 Jl Raya Seminyak).

Shop fashion with a conscience at
Puravida
, owned by two Italian sisters, which produces all its bright,
easy-wearing cotton and jersey clothes locally, and supports Eco Bali
ventures (38b Jl Raya Seminyak). It also pays its staff fair wages with
healthcare, as does Buddha Wear, which also locally manufactures
gorgeous jerseys. Hot tip: nip upstairs to riffle through Buddha Wear’s
bargain racks if you’re on a tight budget (15X Jl Laksmana). Low-key
Jamila
is a must-stop for the basics (tees, leggings) in black, white
and grey, at very reasonable prices, with alterations done in-house (49
Jl Raya Seminyak).

Bargain hunters will love the boutique
clearance shops: try Animale for end-of-season flats, sandals and
costume jewellery that won’t fall apart after the first hour (31 Jl Raya
Seminyak). Steer clear of the overpriced kaftans and tatty fashion in
Seminyak market opposite Seminyak square.

Men, all is not
forgotten: French designer Jacque Ruc’s Animale does more tailored,
pared-back men’s fashion suitable for Australia’s sober streets, while
Susanna Perini’s super-chic Biasa is a hot stop for deconstructed
layering for both men and women and also has an artspace for
contemporary Indonesian artists (36 Jl Raya Seminyak).

You can
snap up cheap, emergency sunglasses, big earrings and your shell
jewellery in the stalls at the front of Seminyak Square. Hit Aura for
handmade, customised leather goods (21X Jl Laksmana) while Tasmaniac has
a cult following for its, er, high-quality, less original handbags (501
Jl Raya Seminyak).

Another little pocket of fabulousness is Jalan
Kunti, not far from the intersection of Laksmana and Raya Seminyak.
Think of it as “the Paris end of Seminyak”.

Here, the beautiful
people cool down with cocktails at Word of Mouth‘s cafe in between
cruising its deeply gorgeous homewares and fashion (9 Jl Kunti). Then,
it’s a few short steps down to the beautiful interiors of Sydney
designer Natasha Welsh’s Allegra for floaty, girly statement frocks:
beware, they’re cut small, so strapping lasses should steer clear to
avoid changing-room angst (6 Jl Kunti).

Colourful White Peacock

Homewares hunters are in
paradise in Bali, and not just lovers of the omnipresent Buddha statues.
Jalan Kerobokan is the place to buy lighting. Rice paper, woven
branches, statement chandeliers: choose your taste point. Jump in a taxi
and kerb-crawl, then hit The White Peacock for super-colourful throws
and cushions, located obligingly opposite the Grocer & Grind for
good coffee or nearby Petitenget for a luxe lunch and cocktail option.

Carga
is chockers full of gorgeous homewares and trinkets (886 Jl
Petitenget), and an absolute must-visit is Horn Emporium, by Anita Horn,
whose unerring eye will steer you into unchartered territory (100X Jl
Petitenget). For homewares with an ethical bent, make for indi vie, in
the Made’s Warung complex, which stocks the cutest little dolls made by
Bali’s street kids, under a not-for-profit charity (Jl Raya Seminyak).
They’re also sold at Press Ban cafe, one of the few places you’ll find
nuevo-retro and vintage fashion (50 Jl Laksmana). Put Kody Ko on the
list for knockout artworks (C002 Jl Kayu Cendana).

Seminyak takes
its after-shop care seriously: it knows how to reward and rejuvenate the
jaded shopper, with a foot massage at Jari Menari (47 Raya Basangkasa)
followed by sunset cocktails at Ku De Ta (dress up), La Plancha (dress
down) or Potato Head Beach Club (dress however you want, except Bintang
T-shirts) to celebrate a job well done.

Belinda Jackson was a guest of Space Villas.

Trip notes

Staying there Seminyak
is heaving with accommodation, from budget to break-the-bank. Try Space
Villas, No. 8 Jl Drupadi, Seminyak. +62 361 731100, spaceatbali.com.
Getting there Virgin Australia (virginaustralia.com), Jetstar (jetstar.com.au) and Garuda Indonesia (garuda-indonesia.com) fly Sydney to Denpasar direct.
More information indonesia.travel.

Hey, big spenders! Shopping holidays in Asia.

Plastic loaded and flats on feet? Experts tell Belinda Jackson where the bargains are in Asia.
It’s official: Hong Kong is the hottest shopping neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The food, the shopping, the views, the energy, the noise, the waterways – HK’s alive and buzzing 24/7,” says design tracker Anne-Maree Sargeant, on our panel of shopping experts who share their secret haunts and favourite hot spots in the region’s top 10 shopping cities, according to a Global Shopper survey (globeshopperindex.com).
The cities were chosen based on their visitor numbers – Sydney is the only Australian city to make the list – and each city was marked out of 100 based on its affordability, shops, convenience, hotels, transport, climate and culture.

1. Hong Kong, 69/100

The insider Art and design journalist and hunter Anne-Maree Sargeant (thesnapassembly.com).
What’s hot Best in show for its fashion, electronics, watches and jewellery. 83/100 for the shops.
What’s not Pricey hotels that are permanently booked out. 58/100 for retail affordability.
The address book Hit Cat Street Gallery for emerging and mid-career artists (thecatstreetgallery.com) and the inaugural Hong Kong art fair (May 23- 26, 2013), run by the hugely influential new owners Art Basel and Design Miami (hongkongartfair.com). Stylish superstore Lane Crawford is stacked with luxury brands and designer offerings. Check the capsule store featuring furniture and lighting from favourite Brit designer Lee Broom (lanecrawford.com). Get your fix of Harvey Nicks at The Landmark, the Asian Harvey Nichols flagship store for revered luxury and designer offerings (blog.harveynichols.com.hk). Monocle Shop is the first of a new “retail/news” concept for British style tome Monocle (shop.monocle.com).
Getting there Fly Sydney to Hong Kong direct with Qantas (qantas.com), Cathay Pacific (cathaypacific.com) or Virgin Atlantic (virgin-atlantic.com).
Staying there The 117-room Upper House hotel, designed by architect Andre Fu, sits above Pacific Place Shopping Mall, Admiralty, Hong Kong Island (upperhouse.com).

2. Kuala Lumpur 65/100

The insider Belinda Jackson, travel writer and former international shopping columnist.
What’s hot Low prices in great malls and off-the-scale seasonal sales. 76/100 for shops.
What’s not Sticky climate and few attractions. 50/100 for climate and culture.
The address book Malaysians do shoes, led by the master, Jimmy Choo, in luxe mall Suria KLCC (jimmychoo.com). The new Choo is said to be Lewre Lew, found in Parkson department stores (lewre.com). Buy batik shoes from Jimmy’s fave designer, Fion Poon, in the Central Market (fionpoon.com). Brothers Charles and Keith Wong’s Charles & Keith are unmissable for affordable, high-style shoes and accessories (charleskeith.com). For stingray clutches, head to Klutched in Mid Valley Megamall (klutched.com). High-energy Low Yat Plaza has every computer invention at one-third of the price of Singapore, with one floor dedicated just to repairs (plazalowyat.com). KL is justly famous for its malls – hit the strip of Bukit Bintang for big-dollar Starhill and Suria KLCC, chic Pavilion, street-smart Fahrenheit88, Lot 10 and perennial bargain fave Sungei Wang.
Getting there Fly direct from Sydney to Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines (malaysiaairlines.com) and Air Asia (airasia.com).
Staying there The Westin Kuala Lumpur is at the start of Bukit Bintang, making it ideal for shoppers (starwoodhotels.com).

3. Shanghai 63/100

The insiders Fashion designer Alex Zabotto-Bentley and events director Anna Patterson of AZBcreative (azbthecreative.com).
What’s hot International brands, affordable hotels and long shopping hours. 84/100 for hotels and transport.
What’s not Nasty sales taxes. 59/100 for affordability.
The address book Spend a weekend afternoon at the iconic Dong Tai Lu Antiques Markets. Enter from Xizang Lu into Liuhe Lu, near Xintiandi, and haggle. Spin has amazing handmade ceramics: think industrial chic meets a Chinese art gallery (360 Kangding Lu, near Shanxi Bei Lu). Casa Pagoda is the ultimate in East meets West, with exotic fabrics, old lost-and-found furniture and homewares (casapagoda.com). We love Madame Mao’s Dowry for womenswear and Chinese kitsch for the home (madamemaosdowry.com). The streets Xinle Lu and Changle Lu in the French Concession have amazing women’s fashion, cafes and art deco furniture. Try The Villa for high-end international fashion (shopthevilla.com).
Getting there Fly Sydney to Shanghai direct with China Eastern (flychinaeastern.com) or Air China (airchina.com.au).
Staying there For immaculate location and architecture, stay at the Waterhouse at South Bund (designhotels.com).
More info cnto.org.au.

4. Beijing 61/100

The insider Still-life master and photographer Dieu Tan (dieutan.com).
What’s hot Long shopping hours, top World Heritage sites and good hotels. 84/100 for hotels and transport.
What’s not Limited foreign languages spoken and few deals. 49/100 for shops.
The address book Hunt hard for genuine Chinese antiques among the reproductions at Panjiayuan antique market (21 Dongsanhuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District). Spend a day or two in Dashanzi Art District’s galleries looking at Modern Chinese art. Most work is for sale, so visit the UCCA gallery shop (2 Jiuxiangqiao Lu, Chaoyang District). Sanlitun Village is one of the hippest areas in town, with ultra-luxe brands with a Beijing edge (19 and 11 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District). The Gulou/Houhai area houses the traditional Beijing hutong style of architecture, some of which is converted into stylish shops for local art, home deco, tea, fashion and accessories (Gulou Dong Da Jie, Dongcheng District). The Sanyuanli food market is where many Western restaurants and international grocery stores buy wholesale (Shunyuan Jie, west of Sanyuan Dongqiao, Chaoyang District).
Getting there Fly Sydney to Beijing direct with Air China (airchina.com.au).
Staying there Hotel G is a 110-room hotel in the Sanlitun district. Workers’ Stadium West Road, Chaoyang District (mrandmrssmith.com).
More info cnto.org.au.

5. Singapore 60/100

The insider “House whisperer” and stylist Megan Morton (meganmorton.com).
What’s hot Safe, culturally diverse and convenient. 71/100 for hotels and transport.
What’s not Pricey hotels and high transport costs. 50/100 for affordability.
The address book Expect cups, trinkets and objects you didn’t know you had to have until you saw them at gallery-store Little Drom Store (thelittledromstore.com). Red Dot Design Museum’s Design Journey is an excursion to 18 of the city’s most design-oriented places (red-dot.sg/museum). Locals dress their spaces with Miles & Theodore’s modernistic offerings from Copenhagen’s Massproductions, France’s Revol and Carpet Reloaded floor coverings (milesandtheodore.com). Go for the rose-petal tea; go for the marmalade; go for the vintage selection: Carpenter & Cook is a tea room that trades vintage curios, furniture and kitchenware (carpenterandcook.com).
Getting there Fly Sydney to Singapore direct with Singapore Airlines (singaporeair.com), Scoot (flyscoot.com), Qantas (qantas.com), China Eastern (www.flychinaeastern.com), British Airways (britishairways.com) and Virgin Australia (virginaustralia.com).
Staying there Every room in the New Majestic Design Hotel differs, the service is great and the rooms are energising. (31-37 Bukit Pasoh, newmajestichotel.com).
More info yoursingapore.com.

6. Sydney 58/100

The insider Style queen Melissa Penfold, author of Australian Style and co-author of Melissa Penfold’s Little Black Book: Sydney’s Shopping Secrets.
What’s hot Great weather, cultural attractions. 71/100 for climate, culture.
What’s not Short trading hours, costly hotels and tricky visas. Bargain central, it’s not. 34/100 for affordability.
The address book The Country Trader has hundreds of antique-look table accessories in silver, glass, china and wood (thecountrytrader.com.au), while Spence & Lyda’s glam new showroom is the place for Missoni Home linen (spenceandlyda.com.au). Double Bay’s Transvaal Avenue is hot right now: start at My Island Home for Caribbean living style, African home lovelies at Doveton Kay Interiors, or French pretties at Maison et Jardin. Jan Logan Jewellery has great taste at sensible prices (janlogan.com) and Anny Lada Jewellery is the celebs’ source of big, affordable, shell-based South Sea pearls (shop 37, 22 Knox Street). Top Australian fashion designers reside at The Intersection in Paddington, with Acne and Bassike for brill basics. At Robert Burton, get French Cire Trudon candles, fab Bensimon sneakers and Petit Bateau womenswear (robertburtonshop.com).
Getting there By cab or bus.
Staying there Everyone’s talking about Sydney’s newest hotel, QT in the heart of the city (qtsydney.com.au).
More info seesydney.com.au.

7. Bangkok 57/100

The insider Photographer Matt Burns splits his time between Australia and Bangkok (southeastasiaimages.com).
What’s hot Fun street markets, great hotels and spectacular food. 69/100 for affordability.
What’s not Dodgy counterfeits. 50/100 for culture and climate.
The address book Monte Carlo tailors isn’t a cheap option, but the staff do provide fantastic quality and service. Expect to pay $300-$1000 for a suit, depending on the cloth (mctailor.com). I can’t recommend Fotofile in the MBK Centre highly enough for its professional camera equipment and unsurpassed knowledge and service. Try and talk to Khun Kong for the best service (fotofile.net). Pantip Plaza has every piece of computer equipment you’ll ever need, but know your prices first (604 New Petchaburi Road). For clothes, homewares and pretty much everything in the world, visit the Chatuchak weekend market. Get in early before the heat and crowds (chatuchak.org) and shop for Thai silk at Narai Phand in the Royal Thai Government Handicrafts Centre (naraiphand.com).
Getting there Fly Sydney to Bangkok direct with Thai Airways (thaiairways.com.au), Emirates (emirates.com) or Qantas (qantas.com).
Staying there The new, wallet-friendly Aloft Bangkok is a quick tuk-tuk trip to Bangkok’s shopping strips (aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com).
More info thailand.net.au.

8. Tokyo 56/100

The insider Melbourne/NY interiors stylist Glen Proebstel (glenproebstel.com).
What’s hot A great events calendar. 92/100 for hotels and transport.
What’s not Few sales and super-high hotel, transport and dining costs. 20/100 for affordability.
The address book Claska Gallery and Shop is the perfect destination to sample the best of local and international design makers and crafters (claska.com). New York fashion store Opening Ceremony opened a Tokyo branch that’s a must-visit (openingceremony.us). For beautifully chosen industrial vintage, visit Journal Standard Furniture (js-furniture.jp). As the name says, I Find Everything Tokyo (ifindeverythingtokyo.com). Fog Linen Work has been a recognisable brand in many boutique homeware stores throughout Australia, but nothing compares to visiting where it all began (foglinenwork.com).

Getting there Fly Sydney to Tokyo direct with Qantas (qantas.com) or with Jetstar, via Gold Coast or Cairns (jetstar.com).

Staying there The Park Hotel Tokyo is a soothing oasis amid the neon (en.parkhoteltokyo.com).
More info jnto.org.au.

9. Seoul 55/100

The insider Australian model Jessica Gomes, a bona fide superstar in Korea (iamjessicagomes.com).
What’s hot Good mix of old markets and new boutiques. 66/100 for hotels and transport.
What’s not Dodgy weather and a challenging hotel scene. 43/100 for retail affordability.
The address book The Galleria Department Store, in the Apgujeong-dong retail district, is super-modern and cool for international luxury brands. Dongdaemun Shopping Market is open from midnight until early morning. I love buying from young Korean designers who provide great quality at a good price. The Hyundai Department Store has a mixture of Korean and international labels, as well as a great food market. Green Street has cool hipster cafes and boutiques. Korea has great labels such as VOV (myvov.com) and really good up-and-coming designers in the boutiques in Apgujeong-dong.
Getting there Fly Sydney to Seoul direct with Korean Air (koreanair.com) or Asiana Airlines (flyasiana.com).
Staying there The IP Boutique Hotel is a quirky hotel in the expat Itaewon district (737-32 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu,ipboutiquehotel.com).
More information visitkorea.or.kr.

10. Delhi 53/100

The insider Interior stylist, creative director and owner of The Society Inc, Sibella Court (thesocietyinc.com.au).
What’s hot Fabulous sights and haggling shopkeepers. 63/100 for affordability.
What’s not Weak for mall rats, tough visas and struggling transport. 40/100 for shopping.
The address book The Full Circle Bookstore has every book of every author who has ever spoken or been a part of Jaipur’s incredible literary festival (fullcirclebooks.in). The National Handicrafts & Handlooms Museum gives an insight into the skill and technique behind it all, and craftspeople sell their wares in the courtyard (nationalcraftsmuseum.nic.in). Anokhi is great for the travelling basics – scarves, cotton pants – all lovely and affordable (www.anokhi.com). I love the Chandni Chowk market in Old Delhi, especially the hardware section with all the vendors tinkering away. Kamayani has amazing handmade textiles from across India, selected with a superb eye (kamayani.in).
Getting there Fly Sydney to Delhi with China Southern (via Guangzhou) (csair.com/en), Singapore Airlines (singaporeair.com) and Virgin Australia via Singapore (virginaustralia.com).
Staying there The Manor is a stylish boutique hotel in New Friends Colony, with just 15 rooms and a lot of luxury (themanordelhi.com).
More information incredibleindia.org.com.

SHOP BRISBANE: Indie vibe is right on trend

Brisbane’s
burgeoning fashion scene has a home in inner-city Paddington, a veritable
boutique-crawl up Given Terrace, with plenty of stand-out cafes in between for
stamina. The vibe is indie rather than lables, with an emphasis on good
cutting, great textiles and individuality. 
It all heats up one corner of Given
Terrace, where a cluster of Brisbane designers share the love: take a look at Surafina, where its design duo Laura
and Rechelle are responsible for Brissy’s smart and sexy mums in saucy
above-knee skirts and structured riding jackets. Five minutes and these two
will have your number pegged. 
Nearby, the mood in Maiocchi is too cute, but with tunnel vision, you can get
your geisha on, with her oh-so-ladylike Sino-fab prints in the sweetest dresses
and skirts. While you’re in the hood, check out happening Brissy bag label
LouenHide at Olive Home.
 
Further
along, Given becomes LaTrobe Terrace where you’ll find stalwart fashion veteran
Chercher La Femme with its delicate
silk and linens in whites, neutrals and naturals, where classic tailoring and
functionality are key. Take a sticky down the back of the shop for the sweetest
babywear in town. Straight across the road, the renovated Queenslander that is
home to La La La Trobe buzzes to a
younger beat, evoking saucy boudoir with its two own funky labels, She’s Gone La La and La La Luxe. The look is a little boho
rock star, a little naughty girlishness, courtesy of a blend of ethnic knits,
leopard pant and a splash of gypsy whimsy. 
The other
major haunt for local label lovers is Fortitude Valley, where the big, brash
fashion names bunker down with up-and-coming boltholes of gorgeousness. 
There’s
a certain sleek glossiness to the James St precinct, amply demonstrated by Nat-Sui,
whose vertiginous, handmade heels have been seen
garnishing the legs of such celebs as Delta Goodrem and Deborah Hutton, while
the scent is supplied by Libertine Parfumerie. This Parisian-style
little boutique stocks rare fragrances, many custom designed for royalty and
screen stars. Current best-sellers include Grace Kelly’s ‘Gin Fizz’, first
designed in 1955. 
Admirers
of handmade beauty will resonate with Incub8r, where crafty
artists showcase one-off pieces, from handbags to picture frames, jewellery to
clothing. Speaking of clothing, while you’re on a roll in the area, check out Drobe’s
racks range from the intense to the minimal, featuring local designer Kate
Anderson and Jessica T for accessories and bags. Brisbane milliner Felicity Boevink’s vintage-inspired creations can be found in the Brisbane multi-brand staple, Jean Brown, in the Emporium precinct.   
Homewares
hunters will find their soul’s delight in the vintage treasure troves of
Woolloongabba’s Logan Rd strip and the old Queenslander houses that line
Paddington’s main drag, Latrobe Terrace. 
Start with French-farmhouse
inspiration at Blake & Taylor, whose weatherboard Queenslander is
filled to the eyeballs with toile prints, cute signs, cunning coat hooks and
overstuffed chairs before continuing up the hill to the far more severely
edited AP Design House, which brings single, beautiful items from the
world into one warm space. Find beautifully blended gold micron jewellery by
one-to-watch Brisbane label Angle Diamond Dot mixed with Belgian linen duvets
and rugs from Sardinia. 
Put a few hours aside to wander the antique and vintage
shops along the strip until you hit Paddington Antique Centre at the top
of the terrace, with 45 antique dealers trading in anything from life-sized
models of cows to green glasswear, vintage jewellery and taxidermy in one
hyper-ventilatingly crazy mish-mash. Minimalists need not bother entering. 
BREAKOUT: Winn Lane
The
newest, coolest little shopping strip in town is Winn Lane, a tiny nook off Ann
St in Fortitude Valley. Barely six months old, it supplies rich pickings in the
form of Brisbane fashion luminaries Easton Pearson’s younger EP label, Sunday
Social
for rare and vintage threads, cute local accessories by Ruby
& Prankster
, spanking new Atavist Books for secondhand treasures and Flamingo Café, which creates the
coffee that keeps it all ticking along nicely (winnlane.com)
Address book
Chercher La Femme, 2 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington, chercherlafemme.com
La La La Trobe, 21 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington,
lalalatrobe.com
Surafina, 204-208 Given Tce, Paddington surafina.com
Maiocchi, 216
Given Tce, Paddington maiocchi.com.au
Olive Home,
218 Given Tce, Paddington
olivehome.com.au
Nat-Sui, 19 James St,
Fortitude Valley, nat-sui.com.au
Easton Pearson, 60
James St, Fortitude Valley, eastonpearson.com
Incub8, 368
Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, incube8r.com.au
Drobe, 669 Ann
St, Fortitude
Valley,
drobeonline.com
Jean Brown,
1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, jeanbrown.com.au
Libertine Parfumerie, 181 Robertson St, Fortitude Valley, libertineparfumerie.com.au
Subfusco, 61
Gray Rd, West End, subfusco.com
Tanya Mrnjaus, idcouture.com
Blake & Taylor, 11 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington, blakeandtaylor.com.au
AP Design House, 15
LaTrobe Tce, Paddington, apdesignhouse.com.au
Paddington Antique Centre, 167 Latrobe Tce, Paddington,
paddingtonantiquecentre.com
Hamptons Home Living, 180 Latrobe Tce, Paddington,
hamptonshomeliving.com.au
Source: Sun Herald 

Hot to shop: Adelaide

Adelaide Arcade pic credit: Sun Herald

For vintage fashion, antiques and contemporary design, this city is streets ahead. We’re talking Adelaide. Yes, Adelaide. Canny eastern states bargain hunters are well aware of the great deals to be had in the city of churches, sex shops and hydroponic gardeners (and we’re not talking tomatoes here).


And with the addition of some cool new markets and ramped-up fashion, the city could possibly be getting rid of its love-hate relationship with Sydney & Melbourne (love to run away there, hate it when others run away there…)


To read more, click here

More bang for your baht in Bangkok

MBK, you big, beautiful monster, I miss you!

Someone told me recently they couldn’t understand the hype about Bangkok’s best budget shopping mall, but then they don’t know about the fantastic little camera shop on the ground floor, Nice Face spa that will set your toes a-twinkling for a few baht up on the fifth, just near the fantastic food court and they don’t know about the awesome watch I bought there a few years ago, that only just conked out, to my dismay.

Click here to read more…

Hot to shop: Noosa

It’s not just about the surf and sand in this Sunshine Coast town, in Queensland.

Noosa is where the beautiful people gather to frolic on Main Beach, in between coffee, drinks and dinner on the pavement or by the window of the latest new restaurant; this scene’s all about being seen, especially if you’re fit, fabulous and tanned deep brown. 

They’ll be newly-arrived Melburnians lurking in the shadows in their southerner’s black rags and milk-white skin.

Don’t have a kaftan/surf board to fit the smart set? Look no further it’s hot to shop Noosa

Hot to shop: Cairo

In the printed media business, we work with interesting timings: to wit the publication of the Sun Herald’s Hot to Shop: Cairo, just as the riots were taking hold, when shops were either closed against the demonstrations, or being forceably opened by looters.

As was said to me recently, it could have been worse: London’s The Guardian published a story on Cairo for kids at the height of the demonstrations. Damn those long lead times!

Look on the bright side, travellers! Cairo is going to be dirt cheap in the coming months – if the government gets its act together. Having read the news reports about the French supermarket chain Carrefour being looted to blazes, I have to wonder what the looters really thought they’d do with all that weird foreign food: pesto, risotto, thai curry paste…

Well, if Queensland can mount an advertising campaign to lure back lost tourists after a swathe of natural disasters (floods, cyclones, more floods), why not Cairo? It may be a few weeks to early, but the Occidental Tourist likes to stay ahead of the pack.

So if you’re heading for Egypt some time soon, here are my hot tips for the best shopping in the Victorious City, more

Hot to Shop: Singapore

The joke goes that Singapore is the only shopping mall that’s been admitted into the UN.  

Tiny Singapore’s shopping is defined by Orchard Road: 2.2km of malls that are linked by sub-subterranean passages, skybridges and subway tunnels so that you can actually visit the city and breathe only air-conditioned oxygen.

But would you really want to?

 Get in touch with your inner sweater and hit the streets of Kampong Glam (I loved it before I visited, purely for the name alone), the back streets of Chinatown and pumping Little India.

To read more, click here! You know you want to…