FASHION IN THE MELBOURNE LANES

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WHAT is fashion? What makes us ‘fashionable’?  What is design?
HOW do fashion designers survive?
HOW is fashion expressed in different forms e.g city icons, accessories, vintage, design architecture, street art, shop exhibition, typography, historic personalities, even chocolate?
EXPLORE  sites that tell stories of historic and contemporary expressions of fashion in the City of Melbourne.
SUITABLE for school tours (two hours).

For over a century ‘The Lane’ (Flinders Lane) was the centre of Australia’s textile manufacturing and tailoring industry (the ‘schmatte’ trade) crowded with milliners, seamstresses, factories, tailors, commercial travellers and sample rooms.
(My father was a tailor and I can easily recall the gleaming black Singer machines, the smell of their oiled parts, their chattering sound driven by foot pedals and the myriad small steel parts kept in machine drawers. The industry was vastly diminished when the Government ended tariffs in the 1990s).
Despite the challenges, a boutique industry of places specialising in designer clothes, Australian-made products, jewellery, accessories, vintage and secondhand clothes has sprung up in places like Flinders Lane, Hosier, Nicholson building, 271 Collins, Block Arcade, Campbell Arcade, Cathedral Arcade, Royal Arcade, Centre Arcade, Howie Place, Degraves subway, Flinders Lane and others. We can also visit the former site of the stunning 1892 Singer/Melbourne Sample Rooms. 

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