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melbourne shopping: Campbell Arcade

Saturday, March 13, 2010 | by Carolyn Price

Shop signs in Campbell Arcade, Degraves Street Subway

Campbell Arcade, in the Degraves Street Subway, is a must when on the hunt for something special in Melbourne City. It is located below all the lovely alleyway stores & cafes in Degraves Street, and connects the fashion strip to Flinders Street Station.

The Cats Meow window

The Cats Meow shop window

Here you will find The Cats Meow - definitely one of my favourite boutiques! Though the store is small, it has so many local labels on offer and everything in store has been made in Australia. The Cats Meow is owned by Karen & Kylie, both of whom have their own labels, Berserk and Kylie Jane respectively.

I'd had my eye on the Berserk skirt pictured below for quite some time... and I wasn't leaving without it! Karen's designs are made in a wide variety of sizes so it's easy to find the perfect fit. I love the elegant style, the gorgeous print, and the detailed rows of turquoise stitching around the white layer!

Berserk skirt - now mine!

Berserk skirt at The Cats Meow

In the historical subway you'll also discover a number of artist spaces run by Platform Artists Group Inc., one of Australia's longest operating artist-run initiatives. The spaces showcase the work of young and emerging artists from Australia and around the world, and with more than 35,000 people a week passing through the Platform exhibition sites, it offers an impressive debut to the general public.

Sticky Institute

Inside the Sticky Institute

Platform also supports the popular artist book and zine shop, Sticky Institute. Sticky redefines the notion of a retail environment as a non profit arts space dedicated to Australian and international zine culture. Sticky's instore artist program involves open monthly arts talks, workshops, zine launches, and ongoing discussion and debate. Sticky also travels to various art and literature festivals around the country to show off the work of our local zinesters.

If you make your own zines, and are interested in having your work exposed to a wider audience, check out the "stock your work with us (HOW TO)" page at

Shop signs in Campbell Arcade, Degraves Street Subway

Subject to Change

Subject to Change is another Campbell Arcade store bursting at the seams with local independent fashion. I found the gorgeous dress pictured below & fell in love. Unfortunately, due to sizing, it wasn't to be, but the style, fabric & imaginative detailing - gathers & trim - were gorgeous and on the right person, it would be really stunning...

Shop signs in Campbell Arcade, Degraves Street Subway

The design of the Corky Saint Clair store (below) matches the unique designs in store! Here you'll find a large range jewellery & objects, gifts & homewares displayed in beautiful glass cabinets. In house label Corky offers quirky & contemporary jewellery in silver, stainless steel & cherrywood. Check to browse the range - you're sure to find something you love...

Corky Saint Clair

Corky Saint Clair

This is just a selection of the boutiques located in Campbell Arcade & I'll let you discover the rest for yourselves! Campbell Arcade is closed on Sundays, but from Monday to Saturday, you'll find stairs leading to the subway halfway down Degraves Street, and also around the corner on Flinders Street. Enjoy shopping!

Corky St Claire

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Indie art & design is the digital baby of graphic design duo Carolyn & Martin (who are now also mum & dad to adorable Liam and Camille). Since 2006, we have showcased the work of Australian independent artists & designers on our blog, and we stock a large variety of beautiful and unique products in our online store.

We take a great deal of care with your orders, and have many return customers who love our range and service. We specialise in art and illustration (now including the work of the talented Amy Borrell and Dan Adams), and unique handmade pieces such as porcelain jewellery and objects by Irene Grishin Selzer of Iggy and Lou Lou... We have aso recently expanded our range of clever and thoughtful kids' products - from the ever-popular B&W Baby Mobile to exquisite clothing by Knuffle Kid, and delightful soft books and toys from Growing World.

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