Brisbane is home to so many incredible creatives making incredible things – if you love being able to wear the art you invest in (and which are often small batch or unique, one-off pieces) this list might be a good place to start.
I fell in love with Alice Nightingale’s work when I discovered it on Etsy a few years ago, and she now has a lovely brick-and-mortar store in California Lane, Fortitude Valley, as well. Australiana prints, cute embroidery, fun clutches featuring ibises, hand knitted jumpers with Aussie phrases…what more could you want? She also makes super cute swimwear and lingerie.
Phoebe Paradise is the alter-ego of Brisbane-based creative all-rounder Phoebe Sheehy, independently owned and operated since 2014 and you can read about exactly where they are made on her website. She closed her Winn Lane store this year but is still operating from her online store. The screen-printed dresses, tees, totes, robes, accessories, and artwork stocked at Phoebe Paradise have an often grungy, distinctly Queensland feel – from the cigarette butts on the Ashtray Blouse to the outlines of wraparound verandas on the Home skirt. I bought my first Phoebe Paradise pieces this year, and can personally vouch for the comfort and the flattering fit of the dresses.
I came across Sierra Rose’s retro designs at the International Cake Show Australia, and they took me back to baking with my mum as a little kid. I loved the idea of being able to have matching things with my mum. They ship internationally, and express to almost all of Australia, if you’d like to be matchy-matchy with a loved one who lives far away.
Kathy makes beautiful women and children’s clothing in bold prints and simple designs, predominantly cotton with the intention of avoiding synthetic fabrics. Meta Design Co is stocked at Nook in West End, Hummingbird The Shop in Paddington, and the collective store in Wynnum, and is often at markets around Brisbane – check the website for details, or shop online via the Etsy store.
More lovely bold prints and basic cuts – Jericho Road was started by two sisters and the pieces are designed in Brisbane but manufactured overseas (details here). They’ve just released a collaboration with Debra Hood featuring her iconic artwork of colourful Queenslander houses, as well as swimwear (which might be a better Christmas day outfit in this weather!)
Beginning in November 2017, Future = Female is a cool unisex streetwear brand designed by Amy Crow. F=F has hosted multiple pop-up events in Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane, and as a platform for local and interstate designers, makers, and artisans has supported ~50 independent creative designers and artists. Although there are no current pop-up stores you can still purchase some tees, prints, and pins via Amy’s website – F=F work features a lot of clean lines, good messages, and mythic imagery, which I love. In 2020, Amy will be opening Forge Forward, a multidisciplinary space and a platform for upcoming, emerging and established makers, designers and artists, in Fortitude Valley. Keep an eye on the Instagram so you know when it opens.
If you’re looking for a recycled fashion gift (or trying to clear some space in your wardrobe), the idea of SWOP was developed around sustainability, affordability, and waste reduction – you can buy, swap and/or sell pre-loved clothing, shoes, and accessories. Some things are still pretty expensive, but it’s in good condition and all in one place rather than having to scramble through multiple op-shops (although, I enjoy that aspect – so it depends what you’re looking for!). You can shop through their online store, or visit one of their Brisbane locations, in the CBD (Adelaide Street) and West End (Boundary Street).