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.
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.
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.
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.
major haunt for local label lovers is Fortitude Valley, where the big, brash
fashion names bunker down with up-and-coming boltholes of gorgeousness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Given Tce, Paddington maiocchi.com.au
218 Given Tce, Paddington
Fortitude Valley, nat-sui.com.au
James St, Fortitude Valley, eastonpearson.com
Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, incube8r.com.au
1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, jeanbrown.com.au
Gray Rd, West End, subfusco.com
LaTrobe Tce, Paddington, apdesignhouse.com.au
|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…)
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|Prunella’s florist on Kyneton’s Piper St.|
Cafes and galleries open at a rate of knots, yet there’s still a tractor shop in Kyneton’s hip main drag. How groovy can one town get?
IT’S a windy, rainy night, yet one street in this wee country town is buzzing with a crowd sipping sparkling wine and snacking while making dinner plans. Obviously country Victoria has changed since I last stuck my foot past Melbourne’s city limits sign.
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Most people visit Cairo for the Pyramids at Giza, Sakkara and Dashur. Many do it also for the medieval mosques in Islamic Cairo. But Cairo as a shopper’s paradise like Hong Kong or Bangkok? Not quite.
However, we’ve spent the past couple of days exploring the underbelly of Cairo’s gold traders, in search of a wedding ring (no, not mine!) Jewellery is dictated by fashion, make no mistake. And the fashion at the moment in Egypt is for Seriously Big Bling.
So when Fee turned up in town with her little, white hands and a taste for the understated, it became immediately obvious we were in for a rough time. We visited the gold strip in Misr el Gedida (Heliopolis) near Midan Salah El Din, and also the gold traders of Khan al-Khalili and Sharia El Muizz.
The shops ranged from luxe emporiums to tatty offices where dealers pulled trays of diamonds out of secret compartments behind their knees and talked about the colour H and vvsi grades of clarity, princess cuts and claw settings. It was a learning curve for both of us.
We weren’t the only shoppers. While a few Christmas tourists poked their noses into the shops, Egyptian buyers were busy poring over the trays of gold, lured by enormous diamonds and rich yellow, 18-carat extravaganzas. None of Australia’s pale, limp 9-carat wanna-be gold.
Interestingly, it’s the ladies who wear the most gold in these parts. The precious metal is considered to be detrimental to men’s health, so most men wear a silver wedding ring. I’m ok with that. With gold prices at an all-time high as investors seek safe investments, grooms get off pretty cheaply. Not like the brides.
Rings ranged from pretty little trinkets from young men to their intended bride to no-holds-barred golden knuckle dusters that have you dragging your hands on the ground under their weight.
The main thoroughfare of El Muizz is lined with gold and silver shops (not to mention other businesses selling lanterns, plaster busts of Nefertari, pyramid fridge magnets, inlaid chess boards, chandeliers, tatty jewellery and a never-ending stream of tassle-laden shisha pipes). All through the night the cobbled street rang with the sounds of the zaghroota, the elated wail that Arabic women do when they’re celebrating. Weddings especially.
“It can make a man’s blood rise,” an old man confided to me once.
“What’s that woman screaming for?” asked a concerned Fee. Different ears, different interpretations.
Fifteen shops and three shopping sessions later, we have found the ring (a sweeping solitaire), negotiated the price (of course, more than the original budget) and organised for the resizing. The bling, my friends, is in the bag.
PS: If you’re jewellery shopping in Cairo and want some contacts, we had success finding the ring at the dusty, seemingly empty Ahmed Hosny & Sons at 99 Sharia El Muizz and are getting work and diamond done at the lovely Gouzlan, beside Naguib Mafouz restaurant in the heart of Khan al-Khalili.
Weird things spotted in a neighbourhood walk today: Entire buses full of red, white and black painted men geared up for the Egypt v Algeria match tonight. Cappuccino-mint flavoured toothpaste. A large caged ape for sale on the footpath. Ah, lovely Cairo.
Then we hit the naughty Dalmatian puppies, the Newfoundland hounds clipped to look like lions and last, but not least, three beautiful little dachshunds, one of which snuck through the bars for a casual wander around the little open-air zoo.
Later, the largest of the Newfoundlands would do the same, wandering sad-eyed through the café tables hoping for scraps of cooked ostrich. No wonder the ostriches looked so disturbed, pecking viciously at the paint on their bars.
The other lions were Samshoon and his wife Nancy (asleep), and Dollar and and his missus Farah, who is actually a tiger. They weren’t on display, Dollar was yelling somewhere in the background, but a sign told us they have had babies, who are ‘ligers’, a cross between tiger and lion, the first to have been born in the Middle East.
There were also signs up about a strongman, Ahmed the Crocodile, who puts his head in lions’ mouths while wearing tight pants. In all, an excellent diversion on the road to Alex.
Lion Village, Km 59, Alex-Cairo Desert Rd., Alexandria, phone 010 4976028 – 010 573086
Is anyone else getting bombarded by Turkish Airlines ads featuring Kevin Costner? It’s one of those weird ‘Lost in Translation’ famous-people-go-to-weird-places to make-a-lot-of-money scenarios, I think. Is it confined only to this part of the world?
The statement from Turkish Airlines says it all: they chosen Kev because he was a very good actor and that he was very famous and handsome. Nuff said.