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Familiar with the names Bettina Liano, Saba, Scanlon & Theodore and Alannah Hill? They all began in Melbourne and are now Melbourne’s Big Four, with large stylish stores in the heart of the city, frequented by international rock stars, and stocking labels that are now sold around the world.

The city is bursting with shopping precincts each with their own flair – from the elegant fashion stores of riverside Southgate to the world-class designer boutiques of South Yarra, Melbourne is a celebration of style and sophistication.

Not all of Melbourne’s fashion hotspots are easy to find. Today you have to be



Saba’s luscious signature knitwear.




in the know to find many of the enclaves of boutiques, fashion houses and outlets tucked away in laneways and arcades. Flinders Lane, the heart of the Flinders Quarter is reminiscent of New York’s SoHo district, once home to Melbourne’s rag trade Flinders Lane now houses cutting edge fashion and glam get-up of international repute.

For a more bohemian shopping experience jump on a tram to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy where you can easily while away the day rummaging through funky streetwear shops, stunning beauty products, music, books, designer homewares and original art pieces. You may even see a celebrity or

Luxury shopping at its best.

two sipping a coffee in one of the many eateries that line the strip.Step out in style in Collins Street the home of international haute couture. Collins Street is class with its beautiful avenue of trees, grand hotels, steeples and serious retail. At the ‘Paris’ end of Collins Street it’s exclusive with gorgeous shops with gleaming facades and labels including Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Polo Ralph Lauren and the recently launched Chanel. In Collins Street you can buy everything from a tiara to a ticket on the QE2!

Southbank is Melbourne’s vibrant, cultural heart that sits on the south side

The Secret Life of you and me…

the Yarra River. It’s home to the very best of Australia’s cultural expression: the Victorian Arts Centre, the soon to be re-opened National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Ballet, the Melbourne Symphony orchestra, the Victorian College of the Arts and the Play Box Theatre. Also in this precinct is Southgate which boasts breathtaking views of the city from 20 restaurants, 39 stores as well as five star accommodation including the ultimately elegant Sheraton Towers Southgate.If you’re in need of a fast fashion fix, why not grab your best girly friend and get down to Melbournewith a

four day three night package deal from UTAG Travel.Of course a woman cannot live on shopping alone, (although there’s no harm in trying) there has to be time to enjoy some fabulous food and drink too. Like Melbourne’s shopping reputation it is also a city that takes its cuisine very seriously. That means good quality produce and presentation, atmosphere, excellent value, diversity of cuisine styles and friendly service.

Head to famous seaside St Kilda, home to the likes of Alex and Evan from the Secret Life of Us. Apart from the fact that you just may spot the odd cast

Acland Street restaurants buzzing with activity.

lurking around, there is a treasure trove of cafes, patisseries, noodle houses, funky bars and seaside vistas to enjoy. On Sundays you can wander the length of the Esplanade and pick-up a memento of your Melbourne visit.Right next to the city is the famous strip of Lygon Street, this is Little Italy literally overflowing with restaurants, bakeries, bistros, bars and cafes serving delicious coffee, the finest Italian ice-cream, pasta, pizza and much more. Lygon Street hums along 24 hours a day, so no matter what time of day or night you will always find something open.

Or there’s the Greek restaurants of Swan Street, the Vietnamese eateries of Victoria Street, the Asian specialists in Chinatown and of course the famous Queen Victoria Markets the source of many Melbourne chefs fresh produce here you can shop until you drop at one of the world’s best bazaars.