Thursday 14 April 2011

{city playground} melbourne

Following the red thread ~ here are the things that I did when visited Melbourne.

I pretended to be the woman in the ‘Lose Yourself’ ad navigating my way

through Melbourne’s intricate network of laneways, arcades and alleys

using a ball of vibrant red thread, discovering tempting bars, galleries, boutiques…

I love wandering Melbourne’s labyrinth of laneways,

discovering new artists and designers, boutique shopping,

and imbibing cocktails at amazing bars that hide behind nondescript doors…

Melbourne is one of my favourite cities ~ I didn’t have time to visit all of my favourite haunts,

yet I still had a lovely time with a mix of new discoveries and trusted places.

    laneway exploring

    Melbourne’s secret heart are the numerous laneways. These narrow enclaves are filled with one-off boutiques, unique galleries, tiny cafés and hidden bars. Here is a snapshot.

    • Manchester Lane: home to the Design A Space Retail Gallery showcasing 70 independent Australian designers, Equitable Place with cafes stand-outs Rich Maha (Indian) and Sotto e Sopra.
    • The Causeway: taste the delights from Laurent, a French-style patisserie; Sushi Monger, where the lunch time queue curls out the door and onto the street; and hole-in-the-wall Guavabean mini.
    • Howey Place: is a dedicated fashion laneway, featuring labels such as Nevenka, Alannah Hill, Oroton, Bisconte and FCUK.
    • Scott Alley: checkout Lady Petrova and Miss Lau.
    • Jane Bell Lane is synonymous with ‘street’ and ‘art’.

    shoooosh…… secret discovery

    Self Preservation = Cafe + jewelry. A wonderfully quirky store co-founded by jewellers Anitsa Connor and Line Paras with Con Christopoulos. Self Preservation stocks work by a range of Melbourne jewellers as well as pieces made in their own Self Preservation studio above the shop. Meander through the displays as you sip on a coffee or a glass of wine ~ take a moment in your day to enjoy this space. It’s on Bourke Street.

    boutique love

    • Le Louvre ~ the iconic Le Louvre was on Collins Street for 80 years, and has relocated to an old tramways building at Daly Street, South Yarra. The interior features a mirrored staircase with fluoro pink graffiti by artist Dan Wenn and the iconic ‘Le Louvre’ logo has been translated to pink neon.
    • GPO ~ the former Melbourne General Post Office was converted into a contemporary shopping experience. Visit  Campers, Mandarina Duck, Akira Isogawa, Lisa Ho, Leona Edminston, Belinda and LIFEwithBIRD.
    • Flinders Lane and the offshoot arcades ~ Explore the nooks and crannies of this arts and fashion strip with e.g.etal, Craft Victoria, Christine, Zambesi, Alpha60, Green with Envy and Alice Euphemia.

    cuisine love

    • Cumulous Inc. eating house and bar opened in 2008 in Melbourne serves Andrew McConnell’s acclaimed food. The Cumulous Inc. cup (below) is a handmade ceramic cup made by Melbourne artist Ingrid Tufts.  Each cup is individually hand thrown and glazed and fits a standard 8oz takeaway lid.

    • Mirka at Tolarno ~ swirling, omnipresent, nave and vividly coloured images are the trademark of Melbourne artist Mirka Mora, and around whom Guy Grossi has built a small, delightful shrine. Mirka located at St Kilda is a special dining experience with Grossi-branded cutlery and crockery, and mouthwatering food. I can testify that the prawn risotto is memorable.

    vintage love

    • Izzi & Popo ~ Importer of antique and secondhand furniture and objects such as French bread boards, garden chairs, linens, tables, china, zinc and murano glass at South Melbourne.
    • Empire Vintage  ~ One off vintage pieces all sourced and handpicked by the gorgeous Lyn Gardener at Albert Park.  Empire Vintage is the result of Lyn’s life long passion for collecting the eclectic, fossicking for the fabulous, and striving for the ultimate in glamour and design. You’ll find unusual, old, decorative & functional pieces from early rustic furniture through to industrial wood-wares.  It’s a seductive magpie shopping experience of pre-loved clothing and homewares.
    • Chapel Street Bazaar ~ A treasure trove of curious objects, antiques and all things vintage at Chapel St Prahran
    • Tarlo and Graham ~ An amazing collection of weird and wonderful objects and vintage finds.

    art + culture

    We went to Bill Henson’s new exhibition opening at Tolarno Galleries of 13 new works with the trademark naked teens nudes, as well as two landscapes and an interior.

    Chris McAuliffe, television critic and director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art, says that the catalogue of works in the show is a very deliberate survey of his classical scenes: the nude, the majestic landscape, and a gallery interior – ”people in the thrall of high culture”. ”My first reaction was a sense he has looked into his own oeuvre,” he say.

    Melbourne has a plethora of galleries and art spaces ranging from large public institutions to smaller commercial galleries and artist studios. 

    • Craft Victoria ~ find  a beautiful objects in this delightful store curated selection of craft objects, handmade accessories and homewares. It’s an institution that showcases and promotes the vibrant craft and design culture of Melbourne.
    • Pieces of Eight ~ Melbourne jeweller Melanie Katsalidis has created this jewellery gallery and unique retail space showcasing the work of various super talented local jewellers.
    • Federation Square ~ see the Ian Potter Centre, and cutting edge video art and new media see changing exhibits at ACMI. Then cross the road to the National Gallery of Victoria.

    When I visit Melbourne I pretend that I am the woman in the Red Thread ad navigating my way through Melbourne’s intricate network of laneways, arcades and alleys with a ball of vibrant red thread, discovering tempting bars, galleries, restaurants and boutiques at every turn. It’s so much fun.

    And as I reflect I am recalling all the things I didn’t have time to do and enjoy. I will be back soon Melbourne, xox

    {Images 1 & 2. montage 3.Le Louvre by Josie Withers  4.  GPO + Royal Arcade 7. Empire Vintage via whole lotta lovely 8. Bill Henson photograph}




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