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Melbourne Mania

On a recent trip to Melbourne, I made it my mission to finally discover just how good Melbourne shopping really is.  Word on the street is that Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia..  
Chapel Street and Toorak Road 
I was fortunate to stay in South Yarra, right near Toorak Road and Chapel Street!  Melbourne is renowned for Chapel Street, not only as a place to shop, but as a place to be seen. (Yes I was fortunate to see the crew from Neighbours!) Chapel Street consists of amazing cafes and gorgeous shops.  This includes the original flagship Bettina Liano boutique, Sass and Bide, a two level spectacular Kookai boutique, a Tony Bianco store (which you cannot find in Sydney), Wittner, a massive Country Road, two Sportsgirls, Alannah Hill, Witchery and the list continues!  Chapel Street to me is the equivalent of Paddington.  However, Paddington has more shops, whereas Chapel Street has more cafes and has the 'social' scene. And Toorak Road, the place with exclusive, up-market boutiques, consisting of high end international designers.
The original flagship Bettina Liano boutique on Chapel Street
Level 2 of the Kookai store on Chapel Street
The City 
I loved Melbourne's City that much, I went back for a second time!  Whilst Sydney has the amazing new Mid City Centre, Strand Arcade, QVB and Galleries Victoria, Melbourne has Collins Street, Little Collins Street, Arcades, Lanes, Centres and the list continues.  Starting with Collins Street.. the street with the International Designers including Chanel and one of two Tiffany and Co stores in Melbourne. 
The Tiffany and Co store on Collins Street
Little Collins Street...the street with the local designers such as yes another Bettina Liano boutique! 
Bettina Liano boutique on Little Collins Street
Bourke Street... Centrepoint Mall which is pretty much the equivalent of Pitt Street Mall in Sydney.  This is where Myer originates from, not to mention a huge David Jones and retail stores like Sportsgirl, Forever New and the list continues!  This then joins and leads us to Lonsdale Street which consists of Melbourne Central another amazing shopping centre. 
Myer and David Jones on Bourke Street
Sportsgirl on Bourke Street
But.. of course you knew I'd leave the best place for last....the corner of Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street..Melbourne's GPO!  I entered Melbourne's fashion heaven!  This is an exquisite federation building with never ending Australian designers...Zimmermann, Sass and Bide, Wayne Cooper, Lisa Ho, Willow, Manning Cartell, was a place I will never forget!   What I also love about Melbourne's City are the little arcades and lanes, which consist of the cutest little cafes and stores. 
The corridor to fashion heaven!
The Zimmermann boutique - GPO
The Akira display - GPO
Bridge Street Melbourne... The outlet shopping place, which consisted of pretty much every retail store you can think of.  Witchery, Country Road, Bardot, Sportsgirl... Definitely a must in outlet shopping.
I'm guessing you were all waiting for Chadstone!  Pretty much the biggest shopping centre in Australia.  It reminds of Sydney's Chatswood and Bondi Junction.  What I love about Chadstone is the size of the stores and the 'areas.'  The biggest Witchery store I have ever seen.  When I mean areas, I mean stores are segmented according to their target market.  There is an area for Australian designers such as Bettina Liano, Zimmermann and Lisa Ho, another area for international designers such as Prada, Chanel and the second Tiffany and Co and another area for retail stores such as Witchery, Sportsgirl and Kookai. 
The entrance to the Sportsgirl (The size and detailing of just Sportsgirl is amazing!)
What to look out for!  
Tilkah, Tilkah, Tilkah!!! Why does Sydney not have one of these stores?  It reminds me of Mimco, but better!  Gorgeous and feminine bags and amazing jewellery.. I visited everyone of these stores and had to resist buying the whole store.  Every time I head to Melbourne, I head straight to Tilkah.  Where can you find Tilkah?  One on Chapel Street, Chadstone, and Melbourne Central.
Tilkah store Chadstone
Green With Envy.... If you love Australian designers then you will love Green with Envy.  Pretty much any Australian designer you can think of.. Rachel Gilbert, Nicola Finetti, Dion Lee... I loved this store and we need one in Sydney!  Where can you find it?  There are only two stores, Bridge Street Richmond and Flinders Lane in the City. 
Green with Envy on Bridge Street
Green with Envy on Flinders Lane
Feeling a little hungry after all that shopping?  Be sure to check out Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie, especially if you are like me and have a sweet tooth!
The Crown...  This place is its own little city.  Restaurants, bars, pokies, nightclubs and another whole area of shopping!!
The Trams.. Don't catch a cab or train, get on a tram for the ultimate Melbourne shopping experience!
What I love about Melbourne's shopping, is that I always find what I want!  Half the time I'm shopping at the same stores I shop at in Sydney, but in Melbourne I find everything.  The size and architecture of the stores is exquisite, not forgetting to mention the quantity of stock.  I finally purchased the Ellery jacket, I've looked everywhere for!  A shopping experience in Melbourne is definitely a must!