There's fashion gold for the intrepid shopper in Melbourne Central's basement. In particular, we're huge fans of 316 Melbourne. It's a super cute boutique stocking women's wear from South Korea – specialising in structurally interesting garments, everything's of super high quality in terms of fabric and construction. Right now, we're digging on their plaid swing coat and desperately hoping that the long-sleeved Mickey Mouse tees are available when we head back.
316 Melbourne's other draw card is Cynthia Youn's fashion illustrations. Youn, who's also the store manager, has been a drawing obsessive forever, but she backs it with academic rigour – she's got an RMIT Bachelor in Design (majoring in fashion illustration) under her belt.
Primarily, Youn works in blank ink on paper and cloth, although some of her stuff pops with colour, and she draws her inspiration from real life. In fact, a lot of her pics represent store customers. In that regard, her eye is drawn to peeps "trying to wear their best". Note to customers: Youn won't wait for you to smile to draw a likeness – she's whipped up pics of people who're grumpy and tight lipped – it's like the drawing equivalent of pulling a face and getting lumped with it when the wind changes.
When she's not drawing, Youn's handpicking the limited run stock for 316 Melbourne. Guided by the premise that homogeneity is boring, the items are eclectic and beautiful, while being entirely wearable at the same time.
|Venue name:||316 Melbourne|
Cnr Swanston and LaTrobe Street
|Opening hours:||Sat-Wed 10am-7pm; Thu, Fri 10am-9pm|