Style Atlas: Melbourne, Australia by Jennifer Micó

To be updated with the latest trends implies knowing what’s in fashion in different countries. If you don’t want to be left behind the seasons’ news, take this Style Atlas as a valuable tool to enhance your own style. Today, a glance at Marvelous Melbourne 

IMG_8639Street fashion Melbourne. Ph: Jennifer Micó

Black&White, long hair and layered clothing:​the keys to recognise a woman from Melbourne. Two design experts – Amanda, the Store Manager of Marimekko, and Olga de Polga, an Australian fashion designer – explain us why Melbournians wear the infallible duet of colours from top to toe, how much money and time they spend on personal grooming and also they try to guess why many women prefer a sporty outfit, even when they don’t go to the gym.

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Colors and textures festival at Olga de Polga’s store. Ph: Jennifer Micó

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“They do black”

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Marimekko

“(Women from Melbourne) love black and white”, says Amanda from Marimekko.

Amanda could quickly understand that ​the bright colours customers like in Finland – Marimekko’s country of origin – wouldn’t be well-accepted in Australia.​“They love black and white.”

Although Amanda doesn’t know Olga, they’ve made the same observation: “​I’m not sure if they like wearing black but they just do it: they always buy black, local shops sell black, they keep on doing it. They don’t want to think too much and black is easy.” Maybe, the time they don’t spend on matching colours, they spend it on other things such as having their nails done.

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Socks by Olga de Polga. Ph: Jennifer Micó

Sporty outfit: Why?

“About five years ago, there used to be more boutiques around Melbourne, and so ​there was a stylish presence on the street we can’t find anymore”​recalls Olga. “Now, women would wear leggings and sporty clothes even if they don’t jog.”

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Marimekko

What did it happen? Was it a fashion caprice? Not necessarily. We should consider Economic factors. On one hand, r​ents went incredibly high​and, on the other hand,​big brands such as Zara and H&M arrived. This exterminating combination made the situation unsustainable for independent designer.

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A sample of local’s layered outfit. Ph: Jennifer Micó

Regarding the multilayered style, there’s no other reason than the weather. When climate is unpredictable and you’re about to face one of those never ending days, you can expect anything to happen.

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“My customers come here looking for something to impact”, says Olga de Polga. Ph: Jennifer Micó

Is Melbourne a follower or a leader?

Known as Australia’s fashion capital, Melbourne attracts people from other parts of the country as well as foreigners seeking for the new season’s arrivals.​But, the question that pops up when considering that the city touches that last, forgotten corner of the map is whether it’s a fashion trend follower or a leader. Designer Olga de Polga recognises she was mistaken: “I thought Melbourne was a follower but I realised it’s more like a fifty-fifty .”

“While looking around the clothing racks, customers say: ‘I love this’, ‘I love that’ and after listening such phrases all day long, l​ove ​is what you get.’”​- Olga de Polga.

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Season trends

Street fashion Melbourne. Ph: Jennifer Micó

Though Olga de Polga knows that it’s important to have new designs for every new season, she says: “I​only have a Summer collection and a Winter collection! Actually, as I work with many tourists, I must have Summer and Winter clothes all year long:​it might be Summer in Melbourne but, if a German girl comes to the store, she might be excited to find some Winter items she’ll be able to use once she’s back home.” Also, Olga claims that some of her bestsellers were designed 10 years ago​!

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Marimekko

As Marimekko has stores in both hemispheres, it must have a Summer and a Winter collection at the same time. Thus, for the cold days ​in Australia, warm and cozy tones will predominate.​On the other side of the Globe, ​Finland’s Summer will be colored with bright pinks and provoking, yet sophisticated turquoises.​Monochromes and prints – the brand’s signature elements – won’t be missing. Finally, among this season’s arrivals, Marimekko promises k​nitwear and silk designs.

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Prints and high quality fabric.​To keep things cool is to keep them simple,​says Olga de Polga. Ph: Jennifer Micó

“People like to know there’s a new collection. They’re always looking for new staff.”​- Olga de Polga

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Who is who?

Olga de Polga

 

Inside Olga de Polga’s store at Prahran, Victoria. Ph: Jennifer Micó

“People really like following fashion trends, but they also must wear what suits them (…) O​nly few women know their body shape: and that’s a key when choosing what you’ll wear. When I’m at the store, part of my job is to tell them how their body shape is, what cuts will make them look better. I guess that’s why people come back to our stores.”​- Olga de Polga

●  Olga: the designer, a manufacturer, she assists customers at the store… she does a little bit of everything.

●  Brand’s concept in one word: “Eclectic”. Everybody entering to her shop, should find something.

●  Target: women who don’t want to get lost in the crowd. “My customers come here looking for something to impact, made with good quality fabrics.”

Marimekko

●  Amanda is the Store Manager

●  Brand’s concept in one phrase: “Be yourself.”

●  Bestseller: the A-Line dress

●  Target customers: women between 29 and 40 years old, as well as the first customers that keep choosing Marimekko since its beginnings, in the Mid-Sixties.

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Marimekko

Still curious? Do some online window shopping @ w​ww.olgadepolga.com.au​and http://www.marimekko.com

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