Collins Street Style
ENJOY COLLINS STREET’S STUNNING ARCHITECTURE, AND FASCINATING HISTORY, AS YOU SNAP UP STYLISH BARGAINS AND TERRIFIC TREATS.
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.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, Collins 234 is home to iconic local and international brands such as Braun Büffel, Hannii, Indigo and SABA, as well as indulgent health and beauty stores like Skin Deep Beauty Therapy.
St. Collins Lane is one of Melbourne’s premier shopping destinations. Edgy and fashionable, it is home to international and local designer brands such as Coach, TAG Heuer, Sandro, Maje, DÉCLIC, Calibre, Birkenstock, and Debenhams.
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 speciality. 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.
Photo: Josie Withers Photography/visit Victoria.
Gray Reid Gallery specialises in creating exceptional fine jewellery and object d’art from their collection of precious gemstones; a carved opal from Lightning Ridge in the form of a jellyfish and a plique a jour enamel, diamond and opal brooch by Tony Williams.