S2 says no to fast fashion. Instead of flimsy pieces bang on trend, owner Chrissie Catling curates clothes with impeccable finishes and high-quality fabrics designed to outlast a relentless fashion cycle.
It’s probably why the store itself resembles an indie art gallery more than a retail space, with raw unfinished edges, concrete floors, and rotating installation art.
Geared toward the well-travelled thinking woman, the store stocks a range of Australian and international designers, plus Catling’s own range, S2, released once a year.
Highlights include local label One Fell Swoop’s beautifully draped pieces; Melbourne designer Alistair Trung’s minimalist-luxe dresses; and the flawless jersey of Italian designer Isabel Benenato, who turns out the fabric in an old family mill.
You won’t be pushed into buying something you’re only half-convinced by: the well-trained staff refuses to sell for the sake of selling.
The regularly updated installation art is made in-house, from recycled everyday objects such as old mattress springs, plug-in lights, cardboard, dead wood and old suitcases.
It’s a good backdrop for the special in-store events Catling runs with the designers she’s close to. A past collaboration with One Fell Swoop had an antique chandelier installation and models marching down the runway in Marie Antoinette-style French wigs.
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