Since I have arrived here in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy and set up Ixtlan Melbourne I have fallen in love with this area…
I have found the way Melbourne’s slick style secrets and high-class bohemian culture nestle in amongst Fitzroy’s ‘Fringe Festival’ hipster cool and urban chic here in Fitzroy deeply charming. Brunswick Street and it’s surrounds host a wonderful mix of unique designers and affordable quirky elegance that I have found hard to find anywhere else in Australia.
With the waves of urban renewal and gentrification that Fitzroy has undergone the shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment venues here seem to have polished up their grime without losing their edge. This has made Fitzroy a top destination for ‘cool’ hunters who want a stylish designer experience. But for me it has also made this area one of the friendliest, most accessible, most enjoyable places to get truly original items.
Since being here I’ve found out that the suburb of Fitzroy is home to many small commercial art galleries, artist-run spaces and artist studios, and the fashion and cuisine on offer reflects this cultured atmosphere. With a thriving street art community and music scene, and the high culture of contemporary art – including the Centre for Contemporary Photography – Fitzroy boasts creativity and style across the board.
In my opinion the hidden gem of Fitzroy is Gertrude Street, our tucked away side street which comes off Brunswick Street, the main drag here. ‘Gertrude Contemporary’ is to be found here in Gertrude; the Non-profit gallery and art complex supporting emerging Australian contemporary artists. I see the jewellery in Ixtlan Melbourne as works of art and contemporary design so I feel in really good company here.
Since ‘Ixtlan Melbourne’ opened it’s doors here in Gertrude Street, our rare and opulent jewellery has found a natural home among the street’s other inhabitants. I have discovered a thriving community of owner-operator small businesses which gives the street a friendly yet exclusive feel.
Boutiques and cafes abound, making Gertrude Street a ‘take your time, explore the designers, and stop for coffee somewhere chic’ kind of shopping experience, which is exactly the type of neighbourhood I enjoy retailing in, and hanging out in.
I’m getting to know the other small businesses and boutiques along Gertrude Street, and I’m so enthusiastic about these people and their amazing shops I thought I’d introduce you to them…
Some of the rich characters that people the street are Tatsuyoshi and Hoshika Kawabata, who design the high fashion for their store ‘E.S.S’ which has been running for seven years in Gertrude Street.
‘Metal Couture’ has been here for eleven years – its’ owner William has built a worldwide reputation for his unusual jewellery design, so different from Ixtlan Melbourne’s style but so inventive.
For collectors and art fetishists ‘Tarlo & Graham’ is an Aladdin’s cave of objects of desire. Phillip Graham, the proprietor, has decided to close his Chappel Street store and focus his attention in Gertrude Street because he loves the feel of the area so much.
Sam from ‘Handsom’ – a contemporary boutique for men and women’s fashion – does all the design and textiles in-house, making yet more one-of-a-kind finds available in Gertrude Street.
Designer carpentry is the passion of Ceren and Jeremy, owners of ‘El Lobo’ where Ceren creates exquisite handmade furniture and home-wares from re-claimed timber.
The shop ‘Akira’ is named after the Japanese designer whose unusual fabrics, unusual beading, and luxurious everyday clothing has brought him and the shop a great deal of attention.
If you’re looking for European designer labels ‘The Standard Stone’ has plenty, many of them exclusive to their Gertrude Street store, and their shop of the same name in Sydney. The couple who own the boutique love providing ‘English style’ to Australians, and also import from America and Japan.
If you get exhausted from the excitement of all these delights you can drop into one of the friendly, trendy, coffee shops. ‘le Clieu’ and ‘Arcadia’ are old-timers and favourites. New kid on the block is ‘Archie’s All Day’ – whose coffee and food have made them extremely popular and busy.
All-in-all I feel right at home here in Gertrude Street and I know it makes a grand day out for shoppers. Now you know everyone’s names you can explore the shopping here with a personal feeling, and do drop in and say hi in person to me, Paris, at Ixtlan Melbourne.
We’re the newest jewellery shop on the block but we bring over twenty years of experience of creating beautiful designer jewellery with us to offer in this amazing shopping street I am growing to love.