Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia © Adelaide City Council
How to shop Adelaide, with Melissa Zahorujko and Kristen Byass
Adelaide punches well above its weight when it comes to style and design, with local fashion flavour stealing the scene.
Interviewed by Natasha Dragun
Founders of fashion and lifestyle website The Adelaidian, duo Melissa Zahorujko and Kristen Byass are passionate about their home city – and its style scene. “Adelaide may be small, but its precincts have their own distinct style vibe and personality,” Melissa says. “There are lots of interesting neighbourhood bubbles.” From the beachside suburb of Glenelg to inner-city arcades, here are the pair's top picks on where to take the South Australian capital’s style pulse.
Browse the mall with it all
You can’t talk about Adelaide’s shopping scene without mentioning Rundle Mall in the heart of the city, a pedestrian-only strip of more than 1,000 outlets, from well-known department stores such as Myer and David Jones to chain stores and independent boutiques. “The mall is known for its quirky art landmarks: two enormous balls and pig statues,” Melissa says. “It’s a real meeting point. Everything revolves around Rundle.”
The precinct comprises a number of historic arcades (including the heritage-listed Adelaide Arcade), which Kristen says often attract smaller designers and artists. “You’ll often find hidden gems in Rundle Mall’s arcades,” Kristen notes. “The local government encourages independent brands to use empty areas in these arcades for pop-up shops and art exhibitions, to give local talent a voice. It’s a great way to keep the city’s design scene dynamic.”
Explore the East End
Away from Rundle Mall, Rundle Street comes with its own distinct shopping personality in the East End, Melissa and Kristen say. “Outside the mall, the street’s shopping options are much more upmarket,” Melissa says. “You’ll find luxe Australian brands like Gorman and Zimmermann, as well as up-and-coming boutiques like Seeker Store. The clothes here are so wearable – they have a lot of multi-wear designs that are really playful.”
While in the area, be sure to spend some time in Miss Gladys Sym Choon, a legendary three-storey fashion emporium that Kristen says is: “quirky and packed with everything you can imagine.”
"This is the kind of place you go into with a friend and say: 'Let's try everything on'. There's no one style - think bold colours and statement pieces that are fun and funky"
For a contrast, head to Dérma Department, “which has clean, minimal fashion pieces that are very flattering and super cute.”
Melissa recommends visiting Urban Cow Studio, just off Rundle Street on Vaughan Place, “to check out South Australian artists’ works and to find innovative gift ideas. The upstairs gallery showcases a new art exhibition each month.”
Exploring Rundle Street, you’ll also find al fresco art: “There are a lot of cool murals to discover in different nooks and crannies, which makes shopping here even more exciting,” Melissa says.
Join The Parade
The duo recommends pausing at Argo on the Parade for coffee and smoothie bowls between stores – complete with outdoor seating in the sunshine.
A long street running from east to west out of the city centre to the base of the Adelaide Hills, The Parade is best known for its section in the leafy neighbourhood of Norwood, a 10-minute drive east of the city centre.
“The shopping here is at once suburban, but very sophisticated,” Melissa says. “There are a lot of big-name international and Australian stores, but also some incredible local brands like Couture + Love + Madness. Designer Cristina Tridente’s creations are really unique, and quite bodacious. She’s recognised for her big tulle dresses in both soft pastels and bold colours. She dresses us regularly for events and appearances.”
Here you’ll also find colourful creations by Australian designers among a riotous mix of homewares at the Bauhaus store (there’s another Bauhaus store on Rundle Street). “Bauhaus sells a really cool assortment of homewares, art, gifts, clothing and jewellery,” says Kristen.
Soak up some beachside bliss
From Adelaide’s city centre, jump on a tram for the half-hour ride to the beachside suburb of Glenelg (otherwise known as “The Bay”). Here you can stroll on the beach and shop along Jetty Road. There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants along the water in which to linger between purchases.
“The neighbourhood has some really lovely ‘beachy’ boutiques and smaller designers,” Kristen says.
"Everything is really affordable. A great stop is Adelaide Instyle, which has pieces in bright colours that are perfect for days by the water."
And you can browse for homewares such as funky eyeglass stands and divine scented candles at Homebasics & Design.