Since the wee beginnings of Refinery29, we've had a thing for Down Under designers, so, it was with glee that we accepted an invitation to visit the land where all that Aussie fashion magic happens. So, two weeks ago, Philippe and I packed all of our best summery clothes and about 20 pounds' worth of reading material (long flight) and headed to Australia for a speaking tour of Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne as part of the online media Portable Presents series. We bought a straw hat at Bondi and checked out Melbourne Fashion Festival...and here's a peek at our adventure.
Beach Bumming. Our first day in Sydney, and we were up bright and early (thanks jet-lag). We headed right off to Bondi Beach where we spotted lots of cute boys and girls in their seaside best. We recommend the Bondi to Bronti cliff walk with a stop at Tamarama (know by locals as Glamarama beach thanks to the top-notch people-watching to be had there).
Shop Hopping. Next, we jumped on a bus to Paddington to scope out the local boutique scene. Corner Shop, Ksubi, Willow, and more great shops abound, and naturally there's great street style to gawk, too. If you're in the hood...go for all-day breakfast at Jackie's Cafe, across from the Ksubi store on Glemore Street.
Vintage Vultures. The Saturday thrift market at The Fringe Bar on Oxford Street was bumpin'. We ducked in and found a crowded space packed with locals shopping for vintage and designer wares while drinking beer with a DJ lending the soundtrack. Also check out Bondi Sunday Market and Glebe Market.
Park Life. One of our favorite things about Sydney was it's pristine and un-crowded parks. We loved our early morning walk through Hyde Park, visiting the bats at the Botanical Gardens, and having a late-afternoon read at the park in Elizabeth Bay.
Valley Girls. We had a free afternoon in Brisbane and headed to Fortitude Valley to check out the shops along Ann and Winn streets—We loved Ultra Suite, Akira, and The Outpost. Stop in at the brand-new cafe The Flamingo for a cappucino, and check out the murals by artist Stephen Mok.
Political Party. We arrived in Melbourne for the L'Oréal Fashion Festival opening party at the Governor's Mansion. It was spectacular weather, and there was lots of surreal style to go with the Elvis impersonator, Alice-in-Wonderland-themed fashion show, and bag-pipe procession (no fashion show is complete without one).
Good Grub. Melbourne is foodie paradise! We carefully plotted our meals...and they were all amazing. Some favorite spots were Batch in Saint Kilda (grilled halumi salad = maximum yummitude), Cookie in CBD (salmon and prawn salad and local beer Cooper's Sparkling), and Dainty Szechuan in CBD (the spicy prawns and sesame noodles).
Cute Crowd. Adorable audience members at our Melbourne presentation at the Penthouse Mouse pop-up space, including our former intern Natalie in the cute khakis! Click here to see our audience pics from all three cities.
Pier Queens. The Fashion Festival was held on a picturesque pier in Docklands. Before heading in, we snapped some pix outside.
Cat Walking. The Vogue presentation featured Friedrich Gray (designer Ben Pollin sitting front row, top left), Romance is Born, Arnsdorf, and Vogue/LMFF Designer Award winner Dion Lee.
Cliff Hanger. Our last weekend, we hit the road and drove up Great Ocean Drive outside of Melbourne. Spectacular views, pit-stops for ice cream, koalas in the rainforest, and the ultimate site seeing—The Twelve Apostles (top left).
The Outback. We headed inland to Grampion National Park to visit the Royal Mail Hotel, a culinary destination with a Frank Lloyd Wright feel. There we ate our hearts out at their renowned Grampions Restaurant and hiked in the park with some very bouncy companions.