Special Report

For the urban gypsy ... La La Latrobe's boho-meets-rock-star vibe is a highlight of Latrobe Terrace.

For the urban gypsy ... La La Latrobe's boho-meets-rock-star vibe is a highlight of Latrobe Terrace.

Brisbane's burgeoning fashion scene has a home in inner-city Paddington, a veritable boutique-crawl up Given Terrace, with plenty of stand-out cafes in between for keeping up stamina. The vibe is indie rather than labels, with an emphasis on good cutting, great textiles and individuality.

It all heats up on one corner of Given Terrace, where a cluster of Brisbane designers share the love: take a look at Surafina, where design duo Laura and Rechelle are responsible for Brisbane's smart and sexy mums in saucy above-knee skirts and structured riding jackets. Five minutes and these two will have your number pegged.

Bestsellers include Grace Kelly's 'Gin Fizz', from 1955. 

Nearby, the mood in Maiocchi is too cute but with tunnel vision you can get your geisha on, with her oh-so-ladylike Sino-fab prints in the sweetest dresses and skirts. While you're in the 'hood, check out happening Brisbane bag label LouenHide at Olivehome.

Further along, Given becomes Latrobe Terrace, where you'll find stalwart fashion veteran Chercher la Femme with its delicate silks and linens where classic tailoring and functionality are key. Take a sticky down the back of the shop for the sweetest babywear in town. Straight across the road, the renovated Queenslander that is home to La La Latrobe buzzes to a younger beat, evoking saucy boudoir with its two own funky labels, She's Gone La La and La La Luxe. The look is a little boho rock star and a little naughty girlishness, courtesy of a blend of ethnic knits, leopard pants and a splash of gypsy whimsy. The other major haunt for local label lovers is Fortitude Valley, where the big, brash fashion names bunker down with up-and-coming bolt-holes of gorgeousness.

There's a sleek glossiness to the James Street precinct, amply demonstrated by Nat-Sui, whose vertiginous, handmade heels have been seen garnishing the legs of such celebs as Delta Goodrem and Deborah Hutton, while the scent is supplied by Libertine Parfumerie. This little Parisian-style boutique stocks rare fragrances, many custom-designed for royalty and screen stars. Current bestsellers include Grace Kelly's "Gin Fizz", first designed in 1955.

Admirers of handmade beauty will resonate with In.cube8r, where crafty artists showcase one-off pieces from handbags to picture frames, jewellery to clothing. Speaking of clothing, while you're on a roll in the area, check out Drobe's racks, which range from the intense to the minimal, featuring local designer Kate Anderson and Jessica T for accessories and bags. Brisbane milliner Felicity Boevink's vintage-inspired creations can be found in the Brisbane multi-brand staple, Jean Brown, in the Emporium precinct.

Homeware hunters will find their soul's delight in the vintage treasure troves of Woolloongabba's Logan Road strip and the old Queenslander houses that line Paddington's main drag, Latrobe Terrace.

Start with French-farmhouse inspiration at Blake & Taylor, whose weatherboard Queenslander is filled to the eyeballs with toile prints, cute signs, cunning coat hooks and overstuffed chairs, before continuing up the hill to the far more severely edited AP Design House, which brings single, beautiful items from the world into one warm space. Find beautifully blended gold micron jewellery by one-to-watch Brisbane label Angle Diamond Dot mixed with Belgian linen duvets and rugs from Sardinia.

Put a few hours aside to wander the antique and vintage shops along the strip until you hit Paddington Antique Centre at the top of the terrace, with 45 antique dealers trading in anything from life-size models of cows to green glasswear, vintage jewellery and taxidermy in one hyperventilatingly crazy mish-mash. Minimalists need not enter.


Winn Lane

The newest, coolest little shopping strip in town is Winn Lane, a tiny nook off Ann Street in Fortitude Valley. Barely six months old, it supplies rich pickings in the form of Brisbane fashion luminaries Easton Pearson's younger EP label, Sunday Social for rare and vintage threads, cute local accessories by Ruby & Prankster, spanking new Atavist Books for second-hand treasures and Flamingo Cafe, which creates the coffee that keeps it all ticking along nicely. winnlane.com.


Address book

AP Design House 15 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, apdesignhouse.com.au.

Blake & Taylor 11 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, blakeandtaylor.com.au.

Chercher la Femme 2 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, chercherlafemme.com.

Drobe 669 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, drobeonline.com.

Hamptons Home Living 180 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, hamptonshomeliving.com.au.

In.cube8r 368 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, incube8r.com.au.

Jean Brown 1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, jeanbrown.com.au.

La La Latrobe 21 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, lalalatrobe.com.

Libertine Parfumerie 181 Robertson St, New Farm, libertineparfumerie.com.au.

Maiocchi 216 Given Tce, Paddington www.maiocchi.com.au.

Nat-Sui 19 James St, Fortitude Valley, nat-sui.com.au.

Olivehome 218 Given Tce, Paddington, olivehome.com.au.

Paddington Antique Centre 167 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, paddingtonantiquecentre.com.

Subfusco 61 Gray Rd, West End, subfusco.com.

Surafina 204-206 Given Tce, Paddington, surafina.com.

This article produced with support from Tourism Queensland.