Blink and you’ll miss it. Behind an unassuming, sign-less facade on Lygon Street is Vvren – a bold, natural light-averse new jewellery store that’s only open after dark.
“Most of the time people pass by and don’t know what’s going on – 80 per cent think it’s a bar,” says co-owner Ran Liu. A draftsperson by day, she and partner Vita Wu recently opened the shop after weeks of renovating the 150-year-old building.
“It was an office beforehand,” Liu says. “We broke down [the space] and found a lot of hidden beauties. We discovered really old timber floors, and the wallpaper behind the paint must have been 100 years old, so we decided to leave it.”
The warm, rustic space – which feels like it harks back to the Victorian era, when it was built – is filled with a carefully curated selection of local and international jewellery and artwork. The display incorporates Liu’s personal collection of antique furniture, with artworks perched on vintage chairs, earrings and bracelets arranged in an old cabinet, and rings hanging from a delicate antique clothes rack.
Instead of gleaming silver, the beauty of Vvren’s range is in its individuality and, at times, imperfection; using oxidised metals – often with a raw, rough finish – gives the jewellery a dark edge. Pieces come from international artisans from Japan, Argentina and France, as well as local designers such as Surface Cast and Lee Brennan. Wu is also an emerging jeweller; a second space out the back serves as her workshop.
Stop by after work to check out the ever-evolving collection, and – if you’re lucky – enjoy a chat and even a drink with Liu, while some atmospheric vinyl fills the space.
9 Lygon Street, Carlton
Tue to Sat 7.30pm–10.30pm