A fashion student’s guide to Melbourne’s boutiques

Guest blog post by RMIT Fashion Styling student Cameron Gibson.

Hear the words “fashion student” and you instantly think of someone with style, flare and most of all, a magical wardrobe that never seems to produce the same outfit.

There’s no denying that Retro Star is one of Melbourne’s most popular vintage stores. Hidden up two flights of stairs in the Nicholas Building, Retro Star’s too-good-to-be-true prices and seemingly endless collection of all things old school will have you lost in racks of 80s band tees for hours. Better yet, Retro Star holds regular warehouse sales where their masses of quality stock disappear in just hours priced at $5 and $10 a piece.

Retro Star

Retro Star

If you’re one to opt for something a little more high-end but still enjoy the allure of individuality that comes with shopping vintage, then second-hand designer boutique dot COMME is for you. Located on Level 3 of Curtin House (home of the famous Rooftop Cinema) dot COMME stocks one-off items from designers the likes of Bernhard Willhelm and Yohji Yamamoto. With garments from collections dated in the 80s through to the 2000-and-teens, I dare you not to reach into that savings account and walk out with a pair of your very own original Issey Miyake Pleats Please collection pants.

dot COMME

dot COMME

To the bookworms out there or anyone who’s in search of a little literary inspiration, Metropolis Books is worth checking out. I mean, you’ve climbed all those stairs to the third floor of Curtin House so why not catch your breath while browsing Metropolis’ unique collection of books on everything from architecture to film (to my personal favourite: fashion)

For something more glamorous or just plain out-there, venture down Centre Place to Shag, located just in the door of Centreway Arcade. Shag’s eccentric collection offers everything from vintage designer jewellery to retro Nike and Nautica pieces. This store is sure to tempt even the tamest of dressers.

Shag

Shag

If supporting independent and emerging local designers is as important to you as it is to me, then Manchester Lane’s Design a Space is the space for you.  With a range of unique designers spread throughout the store’s rentable racks, you can browse up-and-coming brands and (maybe score a few one-off pieces while you’re at it).

Design a Space

Design a Space

While you’re in Manchester Lane, why not stop for a drink or bite to eat at Shebeen. Inspired by traditional African street bars, and therefore sporting a super cool interior, Shebeen donates 100 per cent of profits of drinks sales to organisations that help the countries in which those drinks originated.

Being that I am merely a student and not yet a leading fashion journalist at Vogue, I often find myself drawn to stores of the thrift variety. Don’t get me wrong, you can catch me in Emporium at Topshop or in Zara stocking up on new season staples, but when your budget is limited to that of a student, you can’t go past a good old-fashioned Vinnie’s or Salvos to update your wardrobe.

Cameron Gibson in in her first year of Fashion Styling at RMIT. She loves fashion and Melbourne. Follow her on Instagram at @camerongib.