The only bad thing about Ingrid Verner’s clothing is that it’s always been difficult to find. Expect this to change from today, when Verner opens the doors of her debut store on the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets in the CBD.
Verner has been in the Australian fashion game for a while; first as one half of cult label TV (with Monika Tywanek) from 2006 to 2011, before launching her eponymous label in 2012.
While the Verner label already has a dedicated and growing fan base, the new space will give devotees the chance to view her collections in full, and at a central location.
“I have some great stores who really support me, like Monk House Design, but they’re in Brunswick East,” say Verner.
“This will give people the chance to shop my whole collection, and give me the chance to design the clothes that everybody loves but nobody buys,” she says, laughing.
The shop itself is inside the Mitchell House building, where Verner has had her design studio for the past six years, sharing with a gang of creatives including fellow niche retailer Archive (run by Verner’s best friend Lauren).
“I stare straight out onto Emporium from my studio and on the weekends it’s just mayhem out there. I chose the CBD because it’s the only place that’s showing real growth in terms of shopping and retail.”
For the shop itself, Verner partnered with friend Jane Caught of Sibling architects, making the most of the small space by adding interesting flourishes such as a rubberised floor and a wall made from perforated, powder-coated corrugated iron.
“It feels nice and roomy, and the collection looks great in it,” she says.
Verner’s latest offering is Spring/Summer’s Let Them Eat Cake, inspired by the designer’s take on Australia’s cultural cringe.
“I wanted to take clothes that Australians would wear to the pub, and add clichéd couture techniques to them.”
Many of the items can be worn in multiple ways, so wearers can have their cake and eat it too.
Level 1 Mitchell House
358 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Mon to Thurs 11am-6pm