Actually, make that fashionable things to look forward to when visiting Melbourne City for the first time, whether Australian or from overseas. I initially thought I’d be talking only about clothes and the latest fashion trends and stuff but then I had a look at the time and realized I wouldn’t have much time available to do thorough and intense research in order to produce a fashion blog post worthy of the professionals. I say, leave that up to the professionals then.
But I am going to start with a question.
What is your impression of the latest fashions and trends? I can only relate to what’s been done, seen and heard in Melbourne these days. Like most top cities from around the world, Melbourne has its top designers too. And every year they make their mark with new collections for their fabulous models to wear on the boardwalks during the famous annual Australia Fashion Week, hosted only in Melbourne, each and every year.
Australia’s big fashion names include such luminaries as Ellery, Scanlan and Theodore and Michael Lo Sordo. When these big guns come to town, the whole city landscape is fashionably transformed for a whole week. Apart from the national event hosted in Melbourne, there’s also the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week to look forward to. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, would you, particularly if you’re in to fashion.
But do come here any time. Melbournians like to dress up smartly. Some days I stick out like a sore thumb rocking up in the city on a late Saturday morning wearing my favourite tatters and tee with comfortable Roman sandals. Most days, of course, I fit in. It’s almost coincidental really, but apparently there’s a majority of blokes and girls who fancy walking about in black. Black just happens to be me, and I’ve been wearing it since my school days.
The thing I don’t like about fashion trends and city dress habits is that people are all doing the same darn thing. Oh, how boring, but what can you do when you’re in like mind with your fellow Melbournians. Let me just remind you that fashion and trends are not just confined to the latest clothing cuts you’re wearing. Where you go and what you do is also a fashion statement. For instance, once upon a time, many years ago, it was just old geezers in pin-striped suits sitting in coffee shops reading the morning papers.
Now, everyone’s doing it, all day long and well into the night too.
And if they’re not reading the papers, they’re on their tablets or mobiles. There are coffee shops all over Melbourne. You’d need a few months to visit each and every one of them if you could only spare one or two visits a week. I’d like to recommend you try a piping hot Americano for a change. Do it my way and ask the barista to fill your coffee cup almost to the brim and then only add a dash of sweet cream sprinkled with dark chocolate-like cinnamon. It’s divine and decadent, all rolled into one, and its ideal for any time of the day you need a good kick up the backside.
Of course, there’s a coffee war going on. Who can make the best latte or cappuccino or espresso in town? Don’t ask me, I only serve them at the tables. Do yourself a favour and you be the judge. It’s spring. Soon it will be summer. If you’re over here in summer, ask your waitress to organise you this iced coffee. It’s also decadent and it’s indulgent in the extreme. You serve this caffeine delicacy with ice cream and whipped cream. The sweet stuff is then poured over espresso on ice. Chill, baby! Yeah, that’s the spirit.
So, if you’re going to chill with a cuppa, you may as well have a good bite to eat too. If you can afford to, the in thing is to visit one of the many top class Melbourne restaurants at least once a month. Life is expensive here in Melbourne. Visiting a top notch restaurant in the city is not cheap either. As a tourist, you owe it to yourself to taste something wonderful from any part of the world that touches you.
I say this deliberately because if there’s one thing I’m really proud of where my city is concerned, it’s the burgeoning cultural diversity. Forget about what you read in the papers about illegal and stranded migrants. Forget about our colonial past. Migrants from Southeast Asia, Africa, South Africa in particular, and Europe continue to make their passage to our shores and settle down quite nicely to their own business, bringing with them their traditional customs and, of course, their preferred dishes. We have many inter-continental restaurants dotted all over the city. Try one and you’ll see what cultural enrichment is all about.
And do you know what’s really an unusual trend in Melbourne? Dressing up as if you’re going out for the night to go and watch your favourite Aussie Rules team in action.