Jeremy Valentine and Grant Francis were textile designers before they opened Shag on Chapel Street in 1996. And their passion for texture and colour shows at the Smith Street sibling store. A reflective disco ball hangs from the ceiling. A pink feathered sculpture drips with gold chains in the middle of the room. And a curtain of glittering gold tassels adorns the wall behind the counter. It’s inspired by London’s Biba stores of the ’60s and ’70s. And the vibe is Studio 54 meets a Baz Luhrmann film.
And that’s before you even dive into the clothes racks, replete with clothes from the ’20s to Y2K. Each garment – whether pre-loved, reworked vintage, dead stock or modern – makes its own statement. Pieces that have flown off the racks? A handmade ’20s silk drop-waist dress, a pleated ’50s dress from iconic Melbourne boutique Le Louvre, a colourful ’80s Jenny Kee-knitted vest and a sequined ’70s Zandra Rhodes gown. There’s also a curated edit of reworked vintage from Tar Mafia. Valentine and Francis are self-confessed treasure hunters who source most of Shag’s pre-loved stock within Australia. They’ve also been known to sell pieces from their own vintage archives at both stores.
The couple’s passion extends to the collection of jewellery, bags and shoes. You might find a bright green diamanté box purse, vintage Gucci loafers, or a necklace with reams of luminescent pearls. Whichever piece you land on, it’s sure to put that Shag glimmer in your outfit for many years to come.