Perth's urban villages, each with its own distinct personality, make for an engaging shopping adventure.
By Fleur Bainger
By day, Perth folk are fine exemplars of the beachy casual-chic look. But at night the designer threads emerge. Fashion stores throughout the city reflect that eclecticism, with local and international designers hanging their garments alongside not just fringed leather bags and geometric-form jewellery, but vinyl records and specialty sneakers. Here's our guide of what to buy, and where.
The streets of Perth
Cool and eclective: Oxford Street, Leederville
Leederville's shopping and cafe strip along Oxford Street has one of the best women's shoe boutiques around: Hunter Store, which also sells leather bags, fashion-forward jewellery and statement sunglasses. Check its Instagram page for news about sales. About 20 steps away, Varga Girl’s creative window displays draw people inside to check out the racks of well-curated women's fashion that blend international labels with local designers. Urban Records is a vinyl and CD store with a split personality – at the back of the shop Urban Depot has edgy men's and women's clothing, as well as quirky gifts. Next door Oxford St Books stocks titles on all topics; its design and cookbook sections are particularly good. Nearby, Black Plastic is packed with weird and wonderful curios. And if all that makes you hungry, grab a bite at excellent eateries such as Sayers, Duendé or Pinchos.
Well-heeled and designer driven: Claremont Quarter
Claremont Quarter is a light-flooded, undercover, one-stop shop for designer fashion mixed with a department store and other high-end boutiques in one of Perth's most well-heeled suburbs. Parking is a cinch, leaving you plenty of time to check out Australian fashion brands such as Marcs, Country Road and Morrison, handcrafted bootmaker RM Williams, make-up stores such as Napoleon Perdis and Mecca Cosmetica, and swimwear brands including Seafolly and Camilla. David Jones is an upmarket department store with huge variety, and there are two supermarkets, with Farmer Jack’s focusing on West Australian fruit and vegetables.
Luxury brands: King Street, Perth
King Street is the home of high-end fashion labels, with Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Tiffany & Co all represented. The black cobbled street, beautifully lit with giant garlands at Christmas time, hosts a cluster of glamorous international boutiques at the southern end. The quieter, northern stretch is largely home to Australian stores and some of the city's coolest small bars and cafés. Having lingered in Gucci, Bally and Miu Miu, make sure you stop in at Zomp, a shoe store that you'll find impossible to leave empty handed. Cult Status is a luxury label shop, while Highs and Lows focuses on sneakers and street fashion. Get lunch – or a haircut – at Uncle Joe’s Mess and dinner at Varnish on King.
Homegrown designer hotbed: William Street, Northbridge
William Street, Northbridge, has a cool, one-off and locally made vibe. This has long been the grittier part of town, making it affordable for young, up-and-coming designers to get a start, so it's full of things you won't find elsewhere. Periscope has an excellent line of tailored women's fashion, Ruck Rover has street threads, bags and eclectic gifts for guys and girls, and Merge has local designer garments and rare objects. Starting at the city end, visit Chicho Gelato where everything is handmade from wholefoods, and flavour mixes include malted milk and cornflake cookie. Eventually you will come to William Topp, which sells creative gifts and jewellery at the northern end of the street. For lunch, hit Young Love Mess Hall and do dinner at Shadow Wine Bar. Find accommodation in this hip hood at the suitably cool and highly recommended Alex Hotel.
Mainstream marques: Murray Street Mall, Perth
In the heart of the city, the parallel pedestrian shopping malls of Murray Street and Hay Street jam in more than 900 shops, ranging from high street brands to shoe emporiums, telecommunications flagships, souvenir shops, department stores and micro-store arcades. Enex has a well-curated mix of food and high-end fashion including Guess, Mimco and Gorman. On Murray Street there's the ubiquitous Zara and H&M side by side. Don’t miss the flagship Jurlique skincare store on the corner of Murray and William streets. Grab a bite at 140 or one of the fast-but-flash restaurants down art-decorated laneways.
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