Trend Safari – Degraves Street Melbourne

Melbourne can be said to be a melting pot of culture and arts, making it the perfect backdrop to identify the trends that are already living in Melbourne and some that will hit us in 2016. Focusing more on the individually styled, we found trend setters in the area of Degraves Street.

Degraves Street. Melbourne CBD. A diverse area with Cafe-Restaurants and boutique stores.

We chose this area because we believed it reflects the true Melbournian; this being the individually minded and styled inhabiter of Melbourne. We have identified two major style tribes within Melbourne, both of which overlap. The tribes consist of both ‘indie’ and ‘vintage’ styling, yet utilised in a way which is unique to our city.

‘fashion leader who inspires others to follow a trend’ – Mackinney-Valentin , 2010.

In talking to the trend savvy of Melbourne, they all shared that their inspiration came from numerous sources. Answers varied from travel to TV, making it clear that fashion has definitely been globalised on an exponential scale.

Perhaps from the unreasonable weather patterns of Melbourne, it became clear that the general styling of the Melbournian is a more casual one, even if the context of their dress was more formal, e.g. office wear.

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Melbourne is synonymous with a uniform of black.

Through analysis of the through traffic of Degraves, it was obvious that the trend-forward have identified prints as being a strong way to convey not only individuality, but their savviness to create a fashion forward outfit. Melbourne is synonymous with a uniform of black, as described in The Age, ’Black does overwhelm. Especially in winter. It is the prerequisite colour in any Melbournian’s wardrobe’ Cehic, 2010.


From our first fashion-forward couple, it was informative that they shopped not at one retailer alone, and derived a lot of their style and dress from vintage stores.

From talking to the couple pictured, it is apparent that the reinvention of not only the trend innovator, but the astute shopper is well upon us. In speaking with Jo-Anna it was intriguing that she loves and shops brands such as KENZO, yet mixes up her style with vintage finds. In mixing the old with the new, the fashion forward are able to create a unique aesthetic, something that is truly Melbourne. Furthermore, this could be said to be linked to ‘the rise of multi-channel and experiential retail as consumers become bored of stale shopping environments.’ LS:N Global, 2015. We’ve identified that the Melbourne trend-forward within our style tribe of indie shop within the iconic shopping strips of the CBD. They utilise the prime shopping precincts that appeal to their style and retail needs e.g. Degraves for boutiques with high-fashion items to department stores for their staple needs. Here we’ve identified that that our two key style tribes have overlapped, in the mixing and matching of new and old, yet staying within an indie aesthetic.


Florian here has an approach to styling and aesthetic that has demonstrated Melbourne’s sub culture of the unusual.

 In talking to Florian, his innovation towards fashion was obvious. His unconventional, yet trend forward approach to his outfit was notable. Whilst overalls have been on trend for quite some time, he has styled them in a very innovative way, pairing them with a mandarin collar, not a common staple shirt for men in Melbourne. His indie approach to styling and aesthetic demonstrated Melbourne’s sub culture of the unusual. On top of these innovative ways, he also played on the activewear phenomenon. It has been stated by WGSN that active wear will continue in popularity through Autum/WInter 2017/2018.


Elizabeth is an ambassador for the vintage-to-innovative look, which compliment the area of Degraves Street Melbourne.

Elizabeth, who has a Masters in Design (Fashion) from RMIT, is currently working in the chain vintage/indie fashion store called Kinki Gerlinki. She is an innovative ambassador for vintage-to-innovative look, which compliments the area of Degraves street Melbourne. Seen here mixing vintage fashions, high waisted pleated skirt with modern yet alternative styled sandles. Her choice of also tying up the bottom of her shirt and rolled up sleeves, follows a non-conforming vintage to individual look.


Grace is one of the growing popular trend of revolting from popular ‘mainstream fashions’ and returning to old fashions with a modern twist.

In speaking with Grace, we discovered another vintage-to-indie look. Grace is inspired by vintage 70’s, 80’s to 90’s looks, however, she doesn’t consider herself to be vintage, rather as an individual who loves what she wears. Grace is seen to be wearing a denim jacket with a strapless around the shoulder blouse, burgundy pants with an interesting repeat patterns, all paired with brown hand made jewellery and bag. This is underpinning the sub culture of revolting from popular ‘mainstream fashion’ stores as stated by BEYOND RETAIL 2015, and returning to old fashions with a modern twist.


Both Lux and Jonty here are seen wearing the popular trend Dr. Marten styled shoes.

From talking to Jonty and Lux, the couple photographed here, their innovation in what they wear is individual. Lux has purposefully worn her T-shirt, made from linen, crinkled. Paired with high waisted jeans that are ripped off at the calf length. Both Lux and Jonty here are seen wearing Dr. Marten shoes, this is popular trend in shoes with the indie sub culture of Melbourne. In going out into the streets of Melbourne and other cities around the world as stated by ‘Dr. Marten’ in their Street style blog, many of those who would been as identifying with the indie sub culture, were wearing these Dr. Marten style of shoe.


Robert here follows the sub culture of vintage clothing, he is a classic example a vintage inspired person.

In speaking with Robert here he expressed that he likes the vintage style of dressing. Plain, simple and functional. A video interview was undertaken with Robert were questions like “Why do you dress in this way?” were asked.  Robert follows the sub culture of vintage clothing, purchasing articles from op shops and even modern day vintage inspired clothes from retailers. Degraves street Melbourne is filled with vintage and indie styled people. And Robert here is a classic example of a vintage inspired person.


This is video interview featuring Robert, our vintage styled man.

The movement of ‘indie’ has been described as being unconventional style, infused with ‘feminine undertones’ Yiannakou, 2015. In Melbourne the ‘indie’ look can be verbalised as the idea of mixing and matching old with new, current with past, to express the individuality of the person. This notion itself is typically Melbourne, as it seems on every corner an expression of individuality can be found; from busking to graffiti.

Authors: Corry Snyders and Rebecca Tipping
2015, BEYOND RETAIL, LS:N Global, 2015
Cehic, E 2010, ‘Wear black and we’re proud’, The Age
Mackinney-Valentin, M, 2010, ‘Snapshot: Trends’, Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion: Volume 10 – Global Perspectives, viewed 4 Jan. 2016
Martens, D. (2015). Street Style | BLOG. [online] Available at: 
WGSN Active Team, 2015 ’Active Forecast A/W 17/18: Design Matters’ WGSN
Yiannakou, L 2015, ‘Indie-Rock Revival’, WGSN

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