Melbourne: Shop 'til you drop

Melbourne Insider
Some of the Melbourne CBD's best shopping ops are secreted up anonymous flights of stairs, tucked away in 19th-century arcades or down obscure laneways.
Alice is always ahead of the curve with scarily hip, freshly discovered designers and unusual accessories and jewellery.
Ceramics glazed in a rich rainbow of colours make for the perfect present when an AFL scarf just won't do.
When you're all out of gift giving ideas, this Fitzroy design studio not only produces limited-edition linen tea towels, but brings together an often hilarious collection of design objects in their Museum of Art Souvenirs Store.

Christine

(181 Flinders Lane, phone 03 9654 2011)
Follow the tartan carpet down into this basement of wonderfully individual style — the world's best accessories and the odd rack of cashmere jumpers, silk knickers and perfectly cut jackets.
The one-time lair of '70s fashion greats, John and Merivale, is home to this local label that's loved by cool kids of both sexes, with to-die-for leather and great denim.
Bikes are big in flat old Melbourne town, and Northside Wheelers (no relation, and it's actually on the southside) is where the best-dressed city cyclists get their gear. Lycraphobics will love the classic Campagnolo and Brit-style Rapha threads.
Gorgeous Douglas & Hope stock a range of interesting Australian fashion alongside their own far-from-fussy handmade quilts and cleverly curated homewares.
Hip and home-grown darlings Fat and Gorman are joined by a grab-bag of Australian and international fashion heavyweights, including Belinda, Willow, Camper and Acne.
(1a Crossley Street, phone 03 9663 7921)
Hidey-hole treasure trove of highly covetable vintage jewellery and accessories.

Captains of Industry

Captains of Industry (First floor, 2 Somerset Place)
One for the gentlemen. A bespoke tailor and shoemaker that could do Cary Grant proud; if you're not in the market for worsted, you're more than welcome to sit and sip an espresso or single malt.

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