Collins Street Style


Where Melbourne - - Contents -

COLLINS STREET ex­udes style and glam­our. It's a boule­vard of chic de­signer shop­ping, five-star ho­tels, ex­clu­sive jewellers, grand her­itage build­ings, churches, the­atres and pri­vate clubs. It's Mel­bourne's pre­mier com­mer­cial streetscape with a number of Australia's largest cor­po­ra­tions call­ing Collins Street home and it has also been the set­ting for some of Australia's best known paint­ings.

While there have been many changes over the years with the con­struc­tion of a number of mod­ern build­ings, its fine nine­teenth-cen­tury her­itage is still strongly ev­i­dent. Then there are the won­der­ful plane trees, which line the street look­ing par­tic­u­larly stun­ning at night un­der lights. One of the rea­sons for Collins Street's con­tin­ual ap­peal is its abil­ity to change with the times. Since 1837 it has been re­built sev­eral times. It's also been ex­tended—the last oc­cur­ring with the con­tin­u­a­tion of the street across Spencer Street rail­way lines and into Dock­lands.

However what hasn't changed is the street's ap­peal as both a business and leisure hub. A Collins Street ad­dress is still cov­eted by ma­jor busi­nesses and pro­fes­sion­als. The Re­gent and Athenaeum The­atres con­tinue to at­tract the­atre­go­ers from around the world while wor­ship­pers flock to its three his­toric churches—the Collins Street Bap­tist Church, St Michael's Unit­ing Church and Scots' Church.

Given the qual­ity of their neigh­bours, sev­eral lux­ury ho­tels fit per­fectly in the mix in­clud­ing Novo­tel Mel­bourne on Collins, Sof­i­tel Mel­bourne on Collins, Grand Hy­att Mel­bourne and The Westin Mel­bourne.

De­li­cious food is on offer on Collins Street. For pra­lines, gelato, gateaux and choco­late, you won't go past Gâ­nache Choco­late Lounge. With its Euro­pean am­bi­ence and im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice, they have the widest range of hand­made choco­late

prod­ucts in Mel­bourne. The sec­tion be­tween Swanston and El­iz­a­beth Streets fea­tures a number of his­toric and more re­cently built ar­cades which are home to a huge se­lec­tion of chain and concept stores sell­ing cloth­ing and home­wares. Here you’ll also find the Block Ar­cade. This ar­cade be­tween Collins and El­iz­a­beth Streets has been one of the places to go shop­ping since it was built back in the 1890s.

It comes as no sur­prise to discover the Block is clas­si­fied by the Na­tional Trust and is on the reg­is­ter of the Na­tional Es­tate. There’s so much interest in the Ar­cade that guided his­toric tours are on offer.

The Block is also home to one of Mel­bourne’s most his­toric tea­rooms. Lady Hopetoun, haughty wife of the pop­u­lar Vic­to­rian gov­er­nor Lord Hopetoun, founded a Vic­to­rian Ladies’ Work As­so­ci­a­tion which es­tab­lished tea­rooms at number 6 Block Ar­cade in 1893. The as­so­ci­a­tion dis­banded in 1907 but the tea­rooms named after its founder have sur­vived in their orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion to this day. Hopetoun Tea Rooms is one of more than 30 fas­ci­nat­ing out­lets within the ar­cade, of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing from the lat­est fash­ion to unique gifts.

Then there is the shop­ping. From as early as any­one can re­mem­ber, Collins Street has been the place to

shop. To­day it's no dif­fer­ent, the only change be­ing the sheer number of op­tions. Se­ri­ous fash­ion buy­ers with few bud­getary re­straints can be found brows­ing the many stylish bou­tiques at the top end of Collins (also re­ferred to as the Paris end) be­tween Spring and Swanston Streets.

La­bels such as Prada, Gior­gio Ar­mani, Max Mara, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lau­ren, Gucci, Louis Vuit­ton and Her­mès await their lov­ing fans in their sig­na­ture stores. Shops such as Made in Milan and Cose Ipanema are must vis­its for those in search of a per­fect out­fit while Paul Smith has cho­sen to open his first Aus­tralian store here. Hugo Boss and Kookai also have many fans.

Visit Rox­anne Fash­ions for an af­ford­able and ex­clu­sive range of de­signer mix and match co­or­di­nates that have a mod­ern point of difference. The Rox­anne brand prides it­self on hav­ing ex­clu­sive Aus­tralian made gar­ments. They also sell other lead­ing brands in­clud­ing Verge, Not Your Daugh­ter's Jeans, Seven Sis­ters and Joseph Ribkoff.

Shoe lovers are equally well catered for, with Peter Shep­pard and Dolce and Gab­bana all pop­u­lar with vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike.

Many top jewellers also call Collins Street home in­clud­ing Ge­org Jensen, Bvl­gari, Mont­blanc, Pas­pa­ley, Tif­fany & Co. and The Hour Glass, which stocks a fine collection of lux­ury watches.

Stop by Franco Jewellers for a great range of high qual­ity watches, in­clud­ing U-boat time­pieces from Italy, and Effy Jew­ellery from New York.

The Gray Reid Jew­ellery Gallery lo­cated in a her­itage listed show­room dis­plays and re­tails an ex­clu­sive collection of an­tique and con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery. The Gallery also deals in in­ter­est­ing col­lecta­bles and ob­ject d'art.

As a mem­ber of the Gold and Sil­ver­smiths Guild of Australia, Gray Reid Gallery show­cases and sells the di­verse work of fel­low jewellers. En­gage­ment rings, cel­e­bra­tion pieces and fine Aus­traliana are a spe­cialty. Many of Australia's finest jewellers are avail­able. The Gallery truly have some­thing for ev­ery­one. The on­site work­shops al­low for a per­son­alised ser­vice in mak­ing, re­pair and re­mod­elling. With con­tin­u­ally chang­ing ex­hi­bi­tions, there is al­ways some­thing new and ex­cit­ing to buy. Treat your­self to Mel­bourne's finest lo­cally made lux­ury.

Ash­ley Jewellers, lo­cated at the 'Paris end' of Collins Street, is recog­nised lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally for its jew­ellery of dis­tinc­tion with a unique style and rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity and in­di­vid­u­al­ity of de­sign. They spe­cialise in Aus­tralian white and gold South Sea pearls, black Tahi­tian pearls, di­a­monds and pre­cious gem­stones, and high qual­ity Aus­tralian opals fea­tured in con­tem­po­rary trend­set­ting de­signs which cre­ate mod­ern day mas­ter­pieces that will be cher­ished for eter­nity.

An­other wel­come ad­di­tion to the ‘Paris end' of Collins Street is Pas­pa­ley's el­e­gant new bou­tique. Fea­tur­ing their dis­tinc­tive ‘pearl cas­cade' and glow­ing light box, vis­i­tors can ex­pe­ri­ence the beauty of Aus­tralian South Sea pearls.

Cen­tre­way Ar­cade fea­tures nu­mer­ous high-end bou­tiques and book­stores. If you're after a spe­cial gift, then you can't go past Temelli Jew­ellery. They offer a beau­ti­ful range of en­gage­ment rings, fine di­a­mond jew­ellery and rings, nat­u­ral coloured gems, Wil­lie Creek Aus­tralian South Sea Pearls and Aus­tralian Ar­gyle Pink Di­a­monds. Temelli also show­case a range of Swiss Watches in­clud­ing 88 Rue Du Rhone, Aerowatch, Ro­tary Watches and Edox Swiss Watches With eye-catching pieces, and a pas­sion for qual­ity, we guar­an­tee you will love your Temelli cre­ation.

It's this mix­ture of old and new, whether it be ar­chi­tec­ture or fash­ion la­bels which makes Collins Street so fas­ci­nat­ing to ex­plore, no mat­ter what your bud­get, age or interest.

A hand­made 18ct. yel­low gold and plat­inum, onyx and di­a­mond plaque ring, a triple strand neck­lace of Tahi­tian keshi pearls on a white gold clasp and a pair of ster­ling sil­ver owl cuff­links set with sap­phire eyes. From a se­lec­tion of Aus­tralian fine jew­ellery by Gray Reid Gallery.

Collins Street. Photo: Josie Withers Pho­tog­ra­phy/visit Vic­to­ria.

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