8 Australian Designers, Boutiques And Magazines You Need To Know About

I don’t know if it’s the sea level down there, but Australians have a damn good eye. And in particular, the citizens of Melbourne. In general, they’re experimental and avant-garde in an Eckhaus Latta kind-of-way, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. Also, I accept (and am always grateful for) free swag.

1. Oyster Magazine.

To begin with Oyster feels fitting; it’s a biannual that started in Australia in 1994 and continuously puts out some supremely refreshing editorials. They seem to borrow much of their inspiration from the young, fashion crowd that worships streetwear, and yet their photo shoots and styling never feel cheesy or trite.

And it’s not all fashion either; Oyster covers art, culture and music too; a couple days ago they published “Research: Lesbians Have More Orgasms Than Str8 Girls.” And they slay the Instagram game too. They even make sure to credit as often as possible, which means you can almost always find out where the featured clothes are from.

2. Pitch Zine.

Pitch Zine is an independent, online publication that focuses on emerging designers. Now I know what you’re thinking: who isn’t focusing on emerging designers these days? But Pitch Zine is one of the only platforms I’ve seen that really manages to stay one step ahead of everyone else. If you’re looking for the best Australian-based brands, Pitch is a wealth of resources.

They encourage contributors from all over the world too, which is always appreciated in the typically-exclusive world of fashion.

3. Monk House Design.

They’re a concept store based in Melbourne that started in 2005. And their philosophy is based on a less-is-more type of model.

While they mainly focus on womenswear, they also hand pick their selection of accessories, art, books, jewelry and homeware.

4. Pageant.

It’s always nice when a brand takes our comfort into consideration. And that’s exactly what the Melbourne-based label Pageant has done: taken the idea of wearable comfort up a notch. Their stuff feels almost like a new movement. And it’d be cool if some other brands could take some cues from them.

For their debut womenswear collection in Spring/Summer 2013, they seemingly rolled right out of bed and took their really soft sheets with them for inspiration. And You know that really comfortable, usually nylon, down fabric used for North Face puffer coats that always seems to stay cool? Pretty much their entire Autumn/Winter 2014 collection “Fiber Optics” is made out of that.

When I found out they did a collaboration with HTRK I was all “Phew!” It’s good they’re cool, or else I would’ve been in a pickle.

5. P.A.M. (Perks and Mini).

P.A.M. is the lovechild of Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey, and since its inception in 2000, they’ve generated quite a cult following. They like to think they’re blurring the lines between fashion and art, and with their inventive silhouettes they pretty much are.

P.A.M. can be found online at Someday Store, another Melbourne-based store that was actually first opened by the P.A.M. designers to showcase their new label and has since expanded tremendously.

6. Dress Up.

Many brands fancy the construction of their clothes to be “thoughtful,” but Dress Up is one of the few brands out there that actually lives up to this claim.

Started in 2006 by Stephanie Downey, Dress Up is elegant, detailed and casual all at the same time.

7. Dagmar Rousset.


It’s another concept-ish store and probably unlike anything you’ve ever encountered. By day it’s a shop and, by night, a French school.

They stock an impressive cohort of experimental designers too, including 69, Bonne Maison, Eckhaus Latta and others that you probably haven’t heard of, but definitely want to know.

8. dot.COMME.

I’ve mentioned them before (in my 14 Best Online Stores piece), but I think they’re worth mentioning again, in part because, until now, I did not know that they’re based in Melbourne.

Not that I’m surprised or anything. Their collections of pre-owned Commes des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamamoto, Issey Miyake, Bernhard Willhelm and Walter van Beirdendonck are on the cheap(er) side and will leave you drooling. TC mark

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