Sydney often gets touted as Australia’s fashion capital, but Melbourne — long known for its vibrant arts, culture, and culinary scenes — is coming into its own in the style arena as well. The glossy, multinational designer shops on Collins Street, a tree-lined thoroughfare, sometimes get so crowded that people line up to get in their doors. Skip the chaos and check out Little Collins Street, one block away, one of Melbourne’s many laneways — the Aussie term for side streets, inner alleys, and arcades — that are chock-full of funky, independent boutiques, many showcasing the works of Australian designers. If you’re looking for edgy jewelry and woman’s wear, the two blocks between Russell and Elizabeth Streets are especially rich.
This Australian fashion designer’s two-year-old eponymous boutique sells cheeky, playful statement pieces, like neoprene sweatshirts printed with cats and gauzy button down shirts embroidered with cherries. (She calls her assemblage “affordable high fashion”; prices start at 60 Australian dollars, or about $46) Ms. Adler also designs the price tags, which look like credit cards.
140-142 Little Collins Street, tanzieadler1999.com
A cult favorite among Australia’s style cognoscenti, the husband and wife duo behind this brand turn out high quality, thoughtfully constructed leather goods and drapey clothes that frequently go on sale. Their flagship boutique, which opened in 2017, offers an array of sumptuous leather wallets for under 200 Australian dollars.
182 Little Collins Street, elkaccessories.com
Since opening her first boutique in Melbourne in 1999, Lisa Gorman’s self-named shop has cropped up in fashionable districts across the country. Expect party dresses in bold, 1970s-inspired prints at this four-year-old outpost around the corner from Little Collins.
135-137 Swanston Street, gormanshop.com.au
Pieces of Eight
Just off Little Collins Street, this gallery and shop showcases fine and costume jewelry from dozens of up and coming Australian designers — everything from skull pendants to diamond rings. They also sell cuff links and other finery for men.
28 Russell Place, piecesofeight.com.au
If you need liquid encouragement to make a purchase (or help rationalize something you just bought), sidle up to the white tiled Bar Americano, whose classic cocktails have won awards since the bar opened in 2011. Their Negroni is famous, their Brooklyn (“like a Manhattan but better,” proclaims the menu) is less known but still acclaimed.
20 Presgrave Place, baramericano.com