Shopping and Fashion in Sydney

Sydney is a fantastic place to shop, with many Australian designers being based there and loads of shops to try! This article will get you started on where to shop when you visit Sydney, Australia

Firstly, it needs to be said that Australia’s not the best place to buy your big foreign fashion brands. All the major labels have stores in Sydney – like Gucci, Prada, Dior etc, but with the exchange rates and Australian goods and services tax, they aren’t really that cheap. Most travelers agree the best place to buy these brands is the outlets in the countries the brands are based – usually Italy.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way – let’s talk about what is great to buy in Sydney. Namely, Australian designers! Australia has loads of great local fashion designers, many of which are making big names for themselves internationally. One of these brands is Collette Dinnigin – the first Australian designer to show at Paris Fashion Week. Her simple, yet elegant designs have made her one of the darlings of Australian fashion, and you can find her stores in a couple of locations in Sydney.

Other fantastic Australian designers making waves on the international fashion area include Sass and Bide, and Zimmerman. Sass and Bide has gone from being known for great jeans, to now a large women’s range of modern dresses and elegant semi formal to cocktail party wear.

In terms of where to shop – the best stops are right in the Sydney City itself. The city is dominated by three major shopping centers – QVB, Westfield Sydney and Strand Arcade. Many of the best brands are found there like those mentioned above. But Sydney also has many great suburban street shopping – especially in Newtown and Paddington. There are also major shopping centers in Chatswood, Paramatta and Bondi.

To help navigate your way around Sydney’s best shops, and get the most out of your shopping experience, I recommend buying a shopping guide book. There a many available on the market that will suit your needs.

Good luck with your shopping adventures in Sydney!

Online Designer Shops Abound

Looking good is one of a strong desire among human beings, whether men or women. The kind of clothes and shoes we wear go a long way in helping us attain this desire. There was a time when very few people could afford to buy designer shoes. But lately, the internet has become proliferated with a number of designer shops and has become the preferred clearing house for all the top brands. Despite recession, the world economy has been continuously growing. The designer shoes which used to be available only at selected outlets in specific countries are now easily available online at reasonably good prices. This means that even if you reside in a small town with no fashion outlets, you can simply turn to the web for your footwear solutions.

Let’s face it. All of us have yearned for shoes that we find our favourite celebrity wearing. Those shoes have no doubt always formed an important part of our fantasy but most of the times they have been out of our pocket’s reach. Well, not anymore! Designer shops offer a wide range of affordable footwear for both men and women and abound with brands that are renowned the world over. There are some which offer only the high-end brands like Prada, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Ferragamo, Manolo Blahnik, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, and the like. On the other hand, there are others which offer a mix of these and the standard ones. But the most visited sites remain the ones which offer the latest styles at bargain prices. The brands that are great on style, quality and price quotient are Jeffery west, Toms, GH Bass, Wrangler, Ksubi, Iron Fist, Diesel, Caterpillar and Surface to Air.

All of us desire the latest styles. But nothing can be worse than compromising on comfort. Shoes designed for special occasions cannot be worn on a regular basis because they are not built that way. So, one needs to be sure about the utility of a particular designer shoe. There are brands which specifically cater to sports and outdoor activities while there are others which specialize in office wear. Then there are still other extremely expensive ones meant for special occasions like wedding. Some people like to go for shoes that are versatile enough to be worn at multiple places.

An important thing to keep in mind while shopping is the shoe size. Designer shoes can at times vary in size. So it’s important to familiarize yourself with the brand’s shoe sizing and fit. After all you do not want to end up with a shoe, which is even slightly small or big.

With a number of watchdogs, shopping online has become very safe and enjoyable. But one still needs to exercise caution while shopping at designer shops.

Top Names in the Fashion Industry Face the Crisis Head-On

Although many might not want to admit it looks like the recession is here to stay and the tables have turned on the fashion industry. The designers are known for setting the scene when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not but interestingly with cutbacks and curbed spending habits the big fashion houses are the ones who are having to responding to the economic crisis to ensure their survival.

What has been classified as recession fashion has seen a return to classic traditional lines and a focus on more traditional investment pieces. Even the most flamboyant of consumers are tightening their purse strings and chopping up the plastic. Even style advisors are encouraging their clientele to revamp and combine old garments from their wardrobe agreeing that accessorizing is the key this year. So, how are the top names in the fashion industry coping with the current cautious climate?

Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfield, Gucci and Prada, all known for their luxury and forward thinking designs are now returning to the past years of economic crisis for inspiration and although sales are down the fashion savvy are still buying. The big fashion houses are confident of their survival, but why?

Both male and female outfits have switched to minimalist, straight, crisp, vintage and traditional lines and neutral palettes. Scaling back, downsizing and getting back to basics seems to be the key elements of collections.

Military and aviator themes are commonplace as collections seek to symbolize not only a seriousness but strength. Slick, tailored suits are present in many collections and recent reviews have seen cufflinks and ties for both men and women have a renewed popularity. Interestingly ties are thinner and cufflinks less embellished and simplified. Individual pieces such as jumpers, trousers and shirts have been broken down and created with combination in mind.

It should be noted that not all designers have followed this trend, notably Dior opted for exaggerated and excessive styling in their summer collections and consequently received very mixed reviews but neon colors, short hemlines and ruffled sleeves are clearly popular with consumers. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, has recently stated that the fashion industry should not run scared and stick to the expected but not many consumers are looking to overdress. The male fashion industry has, understandably taken a lesser knock as most designers consistently to stick to traditional conservative lines no matter the economic situation.

Designer garments are also going on sale a lot earlier than previous years and downgraded pieces are up for grabs. Retail outlets are reporting that dresses are being put on a back burner while more conservative pieces that blend and last for several seasons are selling well. The big names in fashion are facing the crisis head on but it has been reported that many now realize the intense consumerism of previous years will not be making a return anytime soon.

Fashionable Holidays in Tuscany – Ferragamo, Gucci, Pucci and More

If fashion is your passion, there’s no better place to visit on holidays in Tuscany than Florence. Offering myriad attractions and shopping opportunities for the dedicated follower of fashion, the Renaissance city is home to cutting edge trends as well as renowned classic design houses. The city has been a fitting rival to Europe’s fashion capital of Paris since the 14th century.

Designer Tours – Just Looking, Thanks!

With big-hitting names in fashion like Gucci, Ferragamo, Pucci and Cavalli, Florence is definitely a major draw for devoted fashionistas on holidays in Tuscany. Of particular interest is the Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Museum, housed in Palazzo Spini Ferroni along Via Tornabuoni. It serves as the repository of the works of the design house founded by the world’s celebrity shoemaker, Salvatore Ferragamo.

A visit to the House of Gucci Museum, in the beautiful 14th century building Palazzo del Merchandise in Piazza Signoria, is another pilgrimage trendsetters are often keen to make. It’s relatively small as museums go, but for the student of fashion, the array of red-carpet Gucci gowns, shoes and bags are well worth the entrance fee. The Gucci CafĂ© on the premises is a great place to end a tour and spend some time people watching.

For a more comprehensive view history of art and fashion in Florence, the Galleria Del Costume at Palazzo Pitti has a collection of over 6,000 artefacts representing examples from famous Italian and foreign designers, such as Armani, Valentino, Versace, Missoni, Pucci, Margiela and more. A visit here is like a crash course on the history of Italian fashion.

High-End Shopping

Serious fashionistas may forgo the usual souvenirs and head straight to the good stuff on their holidays in Tuscany, as the centre of medieval Florence is true “Fashion Heaven”. The most famous streets are Via Tornabuoni, where visitors will find the Ferragamo Shoe Museum, and Via della Vigna Nuova, which is lined with designer boutiques and high-end ateliers.

For jewellery, Ponte Vecchio is the place to go. Long the centre of the city’s ancient jewellery trade, the bridge is lined with shops displaying their glittering wares – be prepared to pay a pretty penny, however. Reasonably priced leather goods, on the other hand, are to be found around the Santa Croce square or the market of San Lorenzo, where you’ll also find a host of other interesting fashion accessories.

Designer Goods For Less

For outlet store aficionados, Florence can yield plenty of wonderful designer clothes, bags and shoes for far less than in the mainstream shops. While these famous outlets are all a little out of central Florence, they are well worth the trip.

One of the most popular shop-till-you-drop stops is Prada Outlet Space, where one can find designer clothing and accessories at huge discounts. Prada, of course, can be had here for up to 30-50% off, but other big name designers are represented as well.

The largest of the outlet malls is simply called The Mall, and is home to such brands as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Stella McCartney. The third outlet of mention is Regello Fashion Valley, an outdoor shopping centre where one can find excellent bargains on original Versaces and Scervinos.

For those into fashion, Florence is an excellent place to spend some time on holidays in Tuscany. With so much on offer, it’s no wonder it’s becoming every fashion lover’s dream destination.