The waterfront neighborhood houses the original Belinda store (8 Transvaal Ave., Double Bay; 61-2-9328-6288; www.belinda.com.au) as well as an outpost that focuses on shoes and accessories. Bulb (10 Transvaal Ave., Double Bay; 61-2-9328-5900; www.bulblifestyle.com) sells adorable loungewear and lacy camisoles, and Jan Logan (36 Cross St., Double Bay; 61-2-9328-5900; www.janlogan.com.au) is a fine-jewelry store that carries covetable gems with a bohemian flavor, such as leather bracelets that highlight a single exquisite pearl. Milliner Neil Grigg (40 William St.; Paddington; 61-2-9361-5864; www.neilgriggmillinery.com) supplies the ladies of Sydney with hats for every occasion, whether it’s a pinwheel for the horse races (an Australian society tradition) or a fancy wedding.
William Street: William Street is still the avant-garde heart of Sydney shopping. For the first-time visitor to Sydney, a ramble along William Street is a rite of passage. Here, you’ll find the feminine, glamorous confections of Collette Dinnigan (33 William St.; 61-2-9360-6691; www.collettedinnigan.com)—the stuff of every stylish woman’s dreams. Leona Edmiston (88 William St.; 61-2-9331-7033; www.leonaedmiston.com) features the sexy jersey day dresses that have made her Australia’s answer to Diane von Furstenberg. Cutting-edge boutique Poepke (47 William St.; 61- 2-9380-7611; www.poepke.com) stocks Belgian designers Dries Van Noten, Bernhard Willhelm and Walter Van Beirondonck, among others. Belinda Seper’s growing empire reaches its nexus on William Street with Belinda (39 William St.; 61-2-9380-8728; www.belinda.com.au), a great edit of big international names such as Marni and Costume National. The Corner Shop (43 William St.; 61-2-9380-9828; www.belinda.com.au) offers a younger, funkier mix that showcases local designers like Alice McCall and Marnie Skillings, and a Belinda store devoted to menswear. And don’t miss Ginger & Smart (27 William St.; 61-2-9380-9966; www.gingerandsmart.com); the homegrown brand has parlayed a collection of superchic accessories (their tote bags are a big hit) into a hot fashion line.
Oxford Street: Paddington’s main drag, it runs from the fringes of the city center to the leafy eastern suburb of Woollahra, has undergone something of a transformation in recent years. Fashion powerhouse Scanlan & Theodore (122 Oxford St.; 61-2-9380-9388; www.scanlantheodore.com.au) has had an enormous influence on Australian women’s style—every fashion-forward girl in Melbourne and Sydney owns at least a few pieces by the designers, be it their soft, flattering knits or slinky day-to-evening dresses. The label is hard to find overseas, so stock up while you’re here.
Five Ways: Just off Oxford Street is a quaint little shopping village called Five Ways, home to Parlour X (213 Glenmore Rd.; 61- 2-9331-0999; www.parlourx.com). Owner Eva Galambos is forever globe-trotting to discover party frocks and fashion-forward labels for her stylish clientele. Along with international designers like Vivienne Westwood and AF Vandervorst, local talent such as Tina Kalivas, Willow, Josh Goot and camilla & marc are represented.
Queen Street: Located at the northern end of Oxford, a five-minute cab ride from the city center, Queen Street showcases Lisa Ho (2A–6A Queen St., Woollahra; 61-2-9360-2345; www.lisaho.com), an Aussie designer known for sweet, bohemian dresses. Her celebrity following includes Elle Macpherson and Sarah Wynter. Just down the road is Akira Isogawa boutique (12A Queen St., Woollahra; 61-2-9361-5221; www.akira.com.au), featuring delicate, architectural pieces that are sought after by avant-garde women everywhere, especially fans of Issey Miyake. Nicola Finetti (Shop 2, 92 Queen St., Woollahra; 61-2-9362-1685; www.nicolafinetti.com) does a great line of cocktail dresses and embellished tops. The high-end housewares store Orson and Blake”:/destinations/11/departments/73 (83–85 Queen St., Woollahra; 61-2-9326-1155; www.orsonandblake.com.au) is a good source for scented candles and exquisite leather-bound journals, plus an assortment of local and international designers’ home products.
A short cab ride away in Surry Hills is the trove-like david met nicole (382 Cleveland St., Surry Hills; 61-2-9698-7416; www.davidmetnicole.com). A collector’s paradise, the shop sells everything from antique and made-to-order club chairs to Chinese festival lanterns, pillows made out of vintage Union Jack flags, antique school accessories and vintage chess pieces. It’s truly a grab bag of curios of all shapes, sizes and eras that have been amassed by someone with a profound aesthetic sense.
The City Center
The Strand (412–414 George St.; 61- 2-9232-4199; www.strandarcade.com.au) is a hub for great Australian design, with boutiques from designers such as Bettina Liano, Alex Perry, Wayne Cooper and Zimmermann. The two big department stores—Myer (436 George St.; 61-2-9238-9111; www.myer.com) and David Jones (65-77 Market St.; 61-2-9266-5544; www.davidjones.com)—have been battling it out in the fashion stakes to see who can claim the best selection of designer clothing, which means an excellent mix for discerning shoppers. Be sure to check out both their offerings; the two stores are within walking distance of each other.
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