Local designers, international brands and vintage treasures: you'll find it all that and more on Chapel Street, a famous Melbourne shopping strip which spans from Windsor to Prahran towards the more upscale South Yarra. The street may have changed a bit over the years, but these days it's seen a resurgence of young Australian designers as well as some top-notch bars and restaurants. Take a stroll to find some hidden gems – you won't be disappointed.
The best shops on Chapel Street
Apartment need a bit of a spruce? Head to the peachy-hued Lounge Lovers in South Yarra, just opposite from Jam Factory. Lounge Lovers is a Sydney-based retailer of designer sofas, sofa beds, and dining and living room furniture. Their designs are fresh and the quality is top grade – think of them like a step above Ikea, but not as wallet churning as the high end stuff.
Gorman’s bright, print-heavy wares are a signature part of the Australian fashion scene. Whether it’s a pair of groovy socks, slick leather jacket or flamboyant jumpsuit, Gorman brings some much needed colour to Melbourne’s all-black-everything stereotype. Bonus: Gorman has two stores on Chapel Street – one in South Yarra and another in Prahran.
In 1954, Daniel Francis Murphy realised his dream of running his own liquor store. More than 60 years later, Dan Murphy’s reclaimed its original stomping ground in the heritage-listed Prahran Arcade building with the upmarket Dan Murphy’s Cellar. Returning to the brand’s original location means the retail offering is a little more cellar door than bottle-o – think rare spirits, back vintages and hard-to-find Australian and international wines, with a focus on boutique local producers.
Looking for something floral? Dragonfly has it in droves. Located on the corner of Earl Street, this Windsor florist makes beautiful flower arrangements for every occasion. Browse the greenery parked on the sidewalk or hop inside to view their wide range of indoor plants and funky terrariums too.
Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs make distinctively chunky and colourful resin jewellery. Head along to their bespoke boutique and scoop up one of their signature bangles in a sea-glass shade, a chunky, faceted ring, cobalt-hued dinner plate or a pair of tangerine serving spoons.
Handworks is a craft-lover’s dream. They sell a huge range of paper, journals, cards, posters, ribbons, boxes, bags, organisers, travel accessories, candles and all the pens and all the pencils you could possibly imagine.
Starting as a studio in Melbourne in 1998, Nique have brought their minimalist fit out and clean cut threads to Chapel Street’s Prahran end. The flagship store for this local label is known for its muted, effortlessly cool designs that are both innovate and affordable. Men and women are equally catered for here, with patterns and graphics kept to a minimum.
The ultimate in vintage shopping, Chapel St Bazaar has anything and everything you could think of. Make your way through the maze of nooks crammed full of goodies. Prices will vary depending on whether you purchase a vintage shirt, a couch, or a garden gnome, but there’s an hidden caves worth of clothing, china, ceramics, memorabilia, furniture, paintings, jewellery and more to keep you digging for an entire afternoon.
Looking for luxe? Modern elegance is at the heart of this independent Australian women's label. For the past 25 years, Scanlan Theodore have cultivated a reputation for understated European class, with a touch of the unexpected. Their stores are intimate, quietly luxurious and showcase the brand's unstintingly elegant collections.
Walking in the big glass doors of Zomp, you know you’re in for a treat when you scan the large rectangular wooden shop’s floor and see a seemingly endless line of shoes. Luxurious leather shoes from Italy and Spain feature as well as some of Australia’s top designers. Come winter, this is where you’ll find your next pair of boots. The price tag may be a little hefty, but the shoes are chic and timeless. Never fear though – there’s always something on sale at Zomp.
Starting out in 2007 with the simple idea of understated clothing, Plane have stuck to their promise and are still filling their racks with good-quality basic clothing. With their basic T-shirts and button down shirts for both men and women, plus jackets and dresses that are a little bit more fancy, it’s best to avoid Plane on payday because it’s difficult to keep spending to a minimum.
It’s all about the casual look at Dakota, and with a huge range of jeans from local and international brands, you’ll be able to find the perfect pair to get that laid-back but stylish feeling. With brands ranging from Dr Denim and Nudie Jeans Co. to Levi's (plus many more), you won't be at a loss. Shirts, shoes, and dresses also feature, but it’s the jeans that shine here.