Aimie Cronin heads to Sydney to check out the fashion hot spots.
Five days in Sydney, hundreds of shops, a huge dent in the credit card, a very heavy suitcase on the trip home, a newly founded addiction to shoes and it's fair to say I'm pretty good at this mini-break-in-Sydney-to-shop thing.
I figured something out when I was there: I like Australian fashion. I just don't like it.
Take Sass & Bide, for example. It's a very cool label that's been around for an age (in fashion time) and to me it epitomises everything that's annoying about trendsetters across the ditch. The clothes only look good on rake thin Aussie babes who spend all day on the beach, and the rest of us look like a character from Kath and Kim.
"They are about to open a pilates space above the shops," says chirpy young blogger Montarna McDonald who is taking me on a tour of The Intersection. She's the Sass & Bide-looking type.
The Intersection is a very glamorous shopping spot smack in the middle of Paddington. And I guess it makes sense, doesn't it? Fitness and fashion. But it's irritating all the same. That all these gorgeous clothes require pilates. And money.
We head into Ginger and Smart and admire fluoro, fun outfits, and do the same in Zimmerman. Aussie label Willow sits in the heart of it all. The clothes are exceptional, heart-breakingly beautiful and expensive. There's no fluro in sight. If anything, there's a more Parisian, classic feel.
And just walking into Josh Goot is worth the trip. It's kind of futuristic (like the clothes), and down the back live a water feature and a skylight. Legendary denim label Ksubi has huge digs just along on Oxford Street, and it's the labels only store that houses Ksubi Kustom, which means you buy your denim and send it out back to get extra rips, studs, or graffiti. A must for any Ksubi fan, and a confusing state of affairs for people who can't get their head around distressed denim.
Kiwi designer Kate Sylvester is just along from The Intersection,
and I visit with Montarna McDonald, who confesses she's never been to the store before.
The clothes are different from those of their neighbours up the way. I buy a dress that I could have purchased back home, and swing the bag proudly all the way back to the hotel.
The Intersection is worth a visit, even if it's just to window shop. Jackie's Cafe (1c Glenmore Rd) does a decent coffee, and according to McDonald, it's packed with celebs at weekends.
Next up, Surry Hills. Swoon! This little suburb stole my heart. Melbourne lovers would feel right at home here, as the shops are one-offs and a mixture of vintage and brand spanking. A trip to Westfield Sydney to peruse Miu Miu, Chanel, Prada and the like, then over to Bondi for the Sunday markets and it's safe to say it's been a shopping trip well spent. God bless the credit card.