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