Madam Virtue & Co
Much more than just a shop, Madam Virtue & Co is something of an anomaly on the Melbourne landscape. Dynamic duo JC and Dean Hewitt sell clothing from around the world, make their own beautifully intricate designs, and offer a high-end bespoke haute couture service.
The incredible collection of French and international designers aren’t vintage or second hand, but archival and new. New season Balenciaga hangs beside an Alexander McQueen gown designed by the much-mourned designer himself. The team’s regular trips overseas yield even more delights as a perusal of the cabinets show a casual abundance of original Chanel handbags and jewellery, plus Hermes and Gucci accessories.
The pair are masters of their craft with an eye for style and discovery. They can simply and easily fashion you a dress of their own design and have you out the door with a vintage archival Comme des Garcons morning jacket ready for the ball. It’s a wonderland of racks and hangers, suit bags and pressed-til-bursting-point displays. It has all the ingredients for a smug trip to Europe where you’ll be able to say, “This old thing? Oh it’s nothing, just a Chanel from a little shop in Melbourne.” If you didn’t know you were in Melbourne, you’d swear it was Paris or Brussels.