Friday, May 9, 2014

Fabulous Local Businesses, Part 1: Clothes, Shoes & Jewellery

Greetings fellow darklings.

In the spirit of getting to know each other better, I have decided that it is time to take you on a little journey around my hometown - Melbourne, Australia.

There are many things to love about this city - the cobbled laneways, the hidden bars, the arts and music culture - but to begin our journey, allow me to introduce you to some of my favourite local businesses, starting with those in the clothing and jewellery trade.

Victorian Gothic - Situated at the top end of Brunswick Street in fabulous Fitzroy, Victorian Gothic has been around since 1999 and is my favourite Goth store in all of Melbourne. Owners Louise and Alan are two of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet. I always feel very welcome when I visit, as though popping in to see old friends. Not only do they stock all the darkly beautiful clothes, jewellery, shoes and bags my black little heart adores, their service is second to none. I once found myself with nothing to wear to an event that same night, angry at myself for not having tried things on sooner and becoming more and more worried as the afternoon went on that I wouldn't find anything in time. I needn't have worried. I popped in to Victorian Gothic, and with Louise's wonderful (and very patient!) help, walked out with the perfect dress (pictured below), petticoat, belt, hooded lace bolero and shoes, just in the nick of time. Thank you Louise! Pop in for a visit if you are ever in Melbourne, or check out their online store.

Hell Bunny Eva dress, covered
in tiny crosses
Re-Style bat cameo kisslock bag - my
current everyday handbag
TUK Monster Stitch Mary Janes - love
them, Burton-esque and comfy  
Pleaser USA Taboo heels - you can see why
 I just had to have them
Devil Kitty - Only two doors up on Brunswick Street lives Victorian Gothic's sister store, Devil Kitty, opened in 2008. Devil Kitty is this little flamingo's go-to store for all things gothabilly, particularly jewellery, bags and shoes. It was actually my shoe fetish that lead me to discover that Louise and Alan own both stores. While out shopping one day, I spotted an amazing pair of heels (the 7 1/2 inchers pictured above) in the window of Victorian Gothic, but it was Sunday and they were closed. I popped next door and got chatting with the lovely Alan while trying on cardigans and creepers. In passing, I mentioned the heels next door, and bemoaned the fact that they would not be mine for another week. To my surprise and delight, Alan replied, "Oh yes, I know the ones, they're great. I could open the store for you now if you wanted to take a closer look at them?" Bless your cotton socks Alan! See what I mean about their service? Do yourself a favour and check out their store, either in person or online.

Demonia Wingtip Two-Tone creepers - 
versatile, comfortable, and oh so fabulous
TUK Monster Bride Mary Janes -
the perfect little all-rounders
Lucky 13 Swing Shift bandana skirt - 
skulls, booby playing cards, snakes 
- what's not to love?
Kreepsville 666 cleaver earrings - 
cheap and cheerful current favourites

Vintage Pip - While technically not a local Melbourne business, Vintage Pip is based in Australia (Queensland) and stocks items made by two fabulous Melburnian artists / designers, Jubly-Umph and Erstwilder. The lady behind the online store, Pip, is a sweetheart and her service is brilliant. All of my orders have been posted out the same day payment has been received and have been presented beautifully. While recently browsing in her store - on Anzac Day long weekend - my hubby spotted something perfect for his mum for her birthday, and sent Pip an email asking whether she could ship internationally. Imagine our happy faces when Pip replied within the hour, and advised that this would be no problem. Another order I placed was held up by our blessed postal service. This meant poor Pip had to deal with silliness from Australia Post, for something that was neither her fault nor her problem, but for which she apologised profusely and sorted out for me within the hour of receiving my email. Thank you so much Pip! A lovely lady with a great store - have a browse, you'll see cuties like these:
Erstwilder Flamboyant Flamingo Funk 
brooch - my favourite (obviously ;)) 
and pinned to my lapel right now
Erstwilder Terrence Toucan brooch - there
appears to be a theme here 
Jubly-Umph Frida Kahlo pendant -
Frida AND a parrot? LOVE
Jubly-Umph librarian pendant - my favourite
Jubly-Umph piece, and the perfect accessory
for the Betty Le Bonbon book skirt
Betty Le Bonbon - I first discovered Betty Le Bonbon's delightful creations about a year ago, when the classic book skirt (pictured right) appeared in my Facebook newsfeed - I have been a fan ever since. The lovely lady behind it all is Jasmine, who, in starting the business, sought to "bring a nerdy, playful and bookish bent to more classic modes of pinup and vintage styling." She sources a fantastic range of fabrics, the focus of which changes from week to week - this week it was superheroes. Jas offers payment plans while the skirt is being custom made (by her mum) to your measurements, and has recently expanded her offering to include custom winter swing skirts in varying lengths, available with pockets and optional lining, in a gorgeous array of tweeds and woollens. A feathered high-five to you Jas, Betty Le Bonbon is fabulous! Peruse the latest fabric offerings at the Betty Le Bonbon Facebook page - here are some of my favourites:

The famous Betty Le Bonbon book skirt, paired with 
the Jubly-Umph librarian pendant - for foxy 
bibliophiles everywhere
A selection of the tropical fabrics on offer
recently - not hard to see why I love these :)
This fabric is called Ravens - Gothic perfection  
This one is Peacock Plumes - I can never resist 
a good peacock print
Hellpixie - Hellpixie is responsible for one of the best ideas now hanging in my wardrobe - reversible wrap circle skirts. Beautifully custom made in Melbourne by the lovely Miss Hellpixie herself, Skye, these skirts have become firm favourites of women all over this fair city for their gorgeous style and versatility. Being a wrap design, each Hellpixie skirt can fit waists from sizes 6 to 20 (mine handled after-Christmas-lunch-loosening in style), and can be made larger if required. Being reversible means there is an excellent chance that I am the sole owner of this particular fabric combo, and I love that. The fabric choices are excellent, frequently updated, and can now be made into single-sided circle and 1 1/2 circle skirts with zipper closures as well. My Hellpixie skirt (pictured below) receives compliments each and every time I wear it, with or without a petticoat.  Thank you for your beautiful creations Skye! Hellpixie is exclusively on Facebook - if you pop over and have a browse, you'll see fab combos like these:  

My custom made Hellpixie skirt, 
with actual gothic flamingo fabric!
One of Hellpixie's new single-sided circle skirts
with zipper closure in globe fabric
Pirates and polka-dots

Classic black / leopard print combo 

And there you have it darklings, some of my favourite local businesses. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know them and the lovely folk behind them. In our next stroll through marvellous Melbourne, I shall introduce you to my favourite restaurants, bars, and other late night haunts. I had best make sure I visit them all to ensure they are still my favourites - all in the name of research for you, of course ;)


  1. I was over in Melbourne six years ago visiting mu uncle for his wedding, I would love to go back someday now that I have insider knowledge courtesy of yourself ;) I love to hear about cities from the people who live there, especially if I have visited in the past. Loving the Re style handbag, I have owned two and love them! Can't wait for the next instalment! :)

    1. How cool that you were in my hometown Lexi! Did you love it? Which part did you stay in? I'm looking forward to the next instalment too, especially researching for it ;p

  2. Oh, I'm so envious. My town has nothing like fact it's becoming a ghost town with so many shops boarded up now. I'd absolutely love a shop of my own...but alas, the internet will be my shopping centre for now.

    Thank you for sharing, have a wonderful weekend :)

    1. We are pretty lucky here Winter Moon, I'm sorry to hear your town is losing so many shops. The great thing about you having an internet store though is that people like me can purchase your lovely wares from the other side of the world :)

  3. I think it's really neat that you have two goth stores in your city. I would like to see one here but it's not likely to happen, considering that the local goth community is relatively small.

    1. It's pretty cool isn't it Nightwind? We're very lucky. We actually have quite a few Goth stores, there's a great alternative scene here. You should pop down for a visit some time!

  4. Love Vic Gothic.

    1. Me too Nadee! Great store run by lovely people.

  5. I love this post so much! Thanks for showing all these amazing items from these great shops! I am in love! ;o) LOL!

    1. My pleasure Magic Love Crow! I'm glad you enjoyed it - we both clearly have excellent taste in these sorts of things ;D

  6. First off, let me say how impressed I am that you can walk in those 7-1/2 inch suckers! :)

    Secondly, quite jealous that you have so many options for cool clothes and shoes! We have to travel to Vancouver to find much of any interest. Not that that's a hardship or anything. Much better weather out there, LOL

    1. Walk, totter, stand completely still and hold on to the bar - it's all the same thing right? ;)

      We are pretty lucky here in Melbourne, but having shopped in Vancouver myself, I think that makes you pretty lucky too :)

  7. I've only recently become aware of a fascination with Mary Janes (though I'm too old and crotchety to wear them death-defying platforms, so kudos to you, gurl). LUUUUURVE that Ravens cloth! The bandana skirt and little cross dress were fab as well.

    1. Death-defying is right - it's a miracle I haven't broken something wearing those babies. Unsurprisingly, the other Mary Janes in this post get a bit more of a workout. We both clearly have excellent sartorial taste ;D

  8. What a fun post! Chock-full of eye candy! Everything is adorable, but my favourite is the Raven fabric!

    1. We are very lucky in Melbourne aren't we Emma?! That gorgeous Raven fabric is currently being made into a custom skirt just for little old me - it recently became available again so I popped in an order straight away! I'll post pics as soon as I receive it :)

  9. My daughter would go mental for some of that. The heels especially. I'm afraid that back home in Saint John, New Brunswick, exotic garb like that is very hard to find.

    Ali @

    1. Your daughter sounds like a gal after my own heart! I believe all of these stores ship internationally, so she could wear a little piece of Melbourne all the way over on the other side of the world :)

  10. I loved looking at this blog. I have been looking to get my wife some clothes for her birthday coming up. She is someone who likes her clothes to stand out, and totally unique.

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