With my UK work VISA looming over head, future places of residency have been quite the topic of conversation. Considering I always bat for Queensland and love the (cheaper than Sydney) luxury of inner city parking, making a stylish entrance back to Brisbane is highly likely in the not too distant future.
To ease me back into the Brisvegas way of life, I decided to don a floppy hat, a pair of pretty flats, pack a shopper and sit at my mac for a ‘virtual’ day out in The Great South East. I began with a Blonde Venus style stroll around the edgy, multi label, street wear boutiques in Fortitude Valley. Terribly cool and dare I say funky (such a lame 90’s term but I can’t seem to shake it). I then skipped across to hail the oh so dapper Mr Paul Hunt, originally at the head of the ever growing, James St, leading the way for a number of big Aussie name stand alone stores. He apparently now retails from a larger French inspired New Farm studio - a must see for lovers of couture. The afternoon saw me pop across to Emporium and………… Sweet Mother of God! Who is Jean Brown? Have I been away that long? Am I that out of touch? What? When? Who? How? Que?
It seems Miss Brown has raised the Brisbane bar. I fear that by housing an abundance of super brands such as McQueen, Treacy, McCartney, YSL and our old friend Mr. Blahnik, JB may be adding a whole new level of stress to the credit crunch effect with Brisbane fashionistas alike. I’ve been told there are two Jean Brown stores in Emporium, the original stocks accessories (real Balenciagas of course, not the scary back street Hong Kong kind that can be found in Paddington if you look hard enough – shock, horror!). The second store, which opened more recently, is Jean Brown Robe, stocking pretty Chloe frocks for those who live on Hamilton Hill or just know how to manage their money a little better than I.
With tickets to a few shows and high teas during Brisbane Fashion Festival along with visits to Jean Brown on the cards (of the credit variety) it looks like Virgin Blue will be the ones missing out. No longer will I need trips to Bondi Junction and Chapel Street to satisfy my fashionable needs down under. Will The Emporium be my new Mayfair? Brisbane, I think I’m in love.