First published on 5 Jan 2012. Updated on 6 Jan 2012.
If it’s vintage threads you’re after, head straight for Crown Street. Affectionately known as Grandma’s, Grandma Takes a Trip is not your average vintage store. Walking in is like turning on, tuning in and dropping out Timothy Leary-style to a veritable wonderland of the best that each generation of fashion had to offer. 263 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010. Washed out colours and beach-friendly styles characterise Puff n Stuff, and old, threadbare band T-shirts have never seemed so appealing as on one of the golden-skinned young things that frequent the store. Those with an eye for colour and print will appreciate Zoo Emporium’s seemingly endless racks of modern vintage. The multi-level shop houses more Lycra and leather than we ever thought possible, making it almost impossible to resist purchasing up a slice of your favourite era. And if it’s a cheap Hawaiian shirt or neon leotard you’re after, look no further than Mister Stinky.
Prefer contemporary design? You’re in luck. Since 2005, Somedays has cemented itself as a pioneering retailer of local and international fashion (with a strong focus on Swedish design). The gallery supports local visual artists and their monthly exhibitions attract hundreds of visitors to the loft-style space. If it’s tight, low-cut or leopard-printed, Wheels & Doll Baby has got it in spades. In their 20-odd years of trading, the label has been worn by Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, and even Kate Moss. Over at Via Alley, Ben Hsu stocks highly original objects, clothes and accessories with a sense of humour. For footwear, French sneaker brand Spring Court has been doing something clever since 1936: making rubber and canvas look like something we want to wear. We love them.
Hunting for gifts is an absolute pleasure in Surry Hills, with many of the stores offering exactly what is missing everywhere else in Sydney. If you’re shopping for that one cool friend who marches to the beat of her own drum, David Met Nicole will be your one-stop shop. It’s a trove of beautiful furniture and eclectic vintage pieces in excellent condition. Tactility is king in cheerful stationery shop Paper2. Paper, ribbons and notebooks line the walls, and we challenge you to leave without making just a wee purchase. At Pop Shop you’ll find every manner of toy, object and collectable to satisfy that empty feeling ten times over. Less a CD, book and DVD shop, TITLE is more a curated personal collection that just happens to be for sale.