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Fashion and Art meet at the Paris end of Melbourne’s CBD

birdy and me

One clever Melbourne hotel has plotted its way to a woman’s heart. It begins with an indulgent overnight city stay and comes dressed in fashion’s luxurious trimmings.

Grand Hyatt in Melbourne has launched Hy Fashion – a curated hotel and fashion experience that is delivered with your own fashion illustrated stationery, by Australian artist Kelly Smith of Birdy and Me.

It’s a Melbourne first and runs until the end of February 2017. With every Hy Fashion booking, guests are treated to a High Tea for two in Collins Kitchen and a one-to-one consultation with Australian designer Con Iliopoulos of the Con Ilio label. They also get to take home Smith’s elegant stationery set.

The hotel, located at the Paris end of Collins Street, is where some of Melbourne’s best shopping boutiques can be found – hence the inspiration for the hotel deal.

As a relative newcomer to the fashion scene, Con Iliopoulos, 27, has established himself as a red carpet worthy notable in just 12 months. He’s dressed some of the biggest names in the business and made a name for himself as made in Melbourne bridal and evening wear maestros. He’s our sartorial go-getter, sources fabrics from Europe, has shown his collection in New York and Schenzen and offers a bespoke service.

Hy Fashion began as an installation of The Charlotte – a gown Iliopoulos designed which takes guests on a journey of its construction via a multi-media video broadcasting alongside the gown. The dress is then brought to life via the illustrations of Tasmanian based Kelly Smith – who has worked with the likes of Net-A-Porter, Armani and Vogue – and adds her watercolour brushstrokes to the finished product.

“When Grand Hyatt Melbourne presented us with this incredible Hy Fashion collaboration concept it only felt like a natural fit for my brand,” says Iliopoulos. “Especially as the focus was on bringing Melbourne’s fashion scene to fruition.”

For Smith, the aim was to capture the iconic structural buildings of Collins Street as her backdrop.

“We wanted to capture the key buildings and have them sit back a little and surround the hotel with our fashionable femme -who is the star of the campaign- in her stunning Charlotte gown,” says Kelly Smith.

“We wanted to convey the Hyatt’s sparkling gold tower in the illustration too,” she says.

The end result is classically Melbourne says Smith. “Con’s gown encapsulated that aesthetic perfectly,” she adds.

“It’s structured and elegant and the pattern in the underskirt adds a colourful punch,” says Smith.

Adored for its leafy precinct and luxury stores, the Paris End of Melbourne is where fashion photographer Helmut Newton once had a studio and where Le Louvre first opened a Melbourne boutique. It’s where you’ll find many boutiques from Gucci to Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Paul Smith.

We’ve selected some boutiques worthy of an inspection when next in Melbourne – some dotted along Collins St, while others are a short stroll but definitely worth the trip.

con iliopoulos brooke meredith





This two-storey fashion house is the place for all your Italian and French designer brands. From Versace and Moschino to Balmain and Tom Ford, the store stocks the cool catwalk looks and selects pieces suitable to the Melbourne fashion lover. They also stock kids designer brands and bathroom linen that begs you to stay in your towel for hours. A fabulous sunglasses and handbag collection too – from classic totes to clutches.

136 Little Collins Street, Melbourne



A popular pit stop for Melbourne’s fashion set, Assin’s moody concrete playground is exactly why it appeals to the ‘any colour so long as it’s black’ crowd. It’s an avant-garde haven for those searching for brands such as Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons and Vivienne Westwood. It’s all about the drape and layering here. From lace oversized shirted capes to drawstring waist denim dresses there’s offerings for women and men. It’s the place to buy street style fashion with a difference.

138 Little Collins Street, Melbourne



Making its debut on Little Collins Street is the chic Melbourne label Elk. A haven for women wanting classic meets modern staples from silk T-shirts to modern silhouette handbags. There are messenger bags in Kermit green and resin jewellery to light up simple sweaters. The Little Collins Street store is a carefully curated gem and your one-stop shop for sartorial quirk, a dose of cool and fashionably ahead of the rest.

182 Little Collins Street, Melbourne



Christine Barro’s prized Melbourne boutique located in Flinders Lane is a mere 10-minute walk from the Hyatt. It’s an underground haven for those seeking unique artisan pieces from jewellery to magnificent fashion. Barro’s personal friendships with some of the world’s most renowned in their field – think Philip Treacy for millinery and Paris based Martin Grant for fashion ready-to-wear- is the reason you’ll be treated to unique curated collections here. In fact, Christine’s is the only retailer who stocks Treacy millinery in Australia. But there’s more – from heavy metal skulls by Heart of Bone’s Emma Abrahams [yes, David Bowie even owned a piece] to Victoria Beckham, jeweler Adrian Lewis, Anya Hinchmarch and Lanvin – you will find local artisan pieces and international brands within. But it’s perhaps the way Barro draws you into her carefully scripted fashion world that sees you wanting more- nobody pens a filmic score like she does – one that can entrance for hours on end.

181 Flinders Lane Melbourne



Sometimes we all like to escape and there’s no better place than the art-deco atelier that belongs to sartorial genius that is Susan Dimasi’s MaterialByProduct. Be one step ahead of the rest when you discover her seamless journey into fashion and art. She’s an award-winning Melbourne designer who is informed by classic tailoring with an avant-garde twist. She’s big on seasonal trunk shows and when you purchase one of her fashion pieces you’re making an investment – think gold cocktail dresses with a 20s swagger, evening bolero’s for the bold and brave and subtle belts for an elegant cue.

Atelier Showroom

Level 4, Suite 55-56, Victor Horsley Chambers

12 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000



The emphasis is leather goods artistry with a nod to cool. A-Esque has been around since 2012 and it’s here you’ll find some unusual leather bags and accessories to kick start a New Year habit. It’s all about circle totes, leather handbags with kitsch happy smiles and handbags that swerve between shimmery shades to classic caramel.

109 Collins Street, Melbourne.



Dinosaur Design founders Louise Olsen and partner Stephen Ormandy launched their specialist homeware and jewellery brand three decades ago. They earth themselves in resin – from seaweed-toned bangles to large resin earth bowls and create cool kitsch pieces. Known for their love of colour – Dinosaur Design is quintessentially Australian and the place to shop for a unique resin vases, resin ball earrings or magnificent salt and pepper grinder sets.

The Strand Melbourne Elizabeth Street.


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