A day in Carlton and Fitzroy

Baker D. Chirico by Asirah.

Fashiontok and fashion magazines would deem Melbourne as the face of the Australian fashion scene. It’s hard to dispute that when every other cool and stylish person that comes up on my For You Page is from Melbourne – Carlton or Fitzroy, specifically. 

I thought it might be a little bit too good to be true, so I endeavored on a visit of these two suburbs during my solo trip to Melbourne. 

My day started early. I wanted to spend as much time and visited as many stores as I could, so I hopped on the 200 bus enroute to Carlton around 8am. It was a little bit too early, perhaps, because when I got there most of the stores and cafes weren’t even opened yet except for a quaint bakery called Baker D. Chirico. 

From the moment I walked in, I knew that this is not your average local bakery. There were no blinding overhead lights, but instead a dim and warm glow came from the folds of the wall, creating this romantic ambience as though I had stumbled into a fancy spa. Its wooden ceiling is curved inwards making it feel like you’ve walked into a cave – if the cave was owned by a really artistic caveman from Carlton. 

After scanning the freshly baked goods that lined the wooden counter and shelves, I settled on their creamy mushroom brioche which was heavenly! The bun was soft, and it had the perfect mushroom to cream ratio. My only regret was not getting more of them. 

Breakfast sorted, I popped into a couple of bookstores down the road. Immediately, I spotted some well-dressed individuals – somewhat like the ones I’ve been seeing on TikTok but not quite to that degree. I reckon Fitzroy will do it.

So, off to Fitzroy I went. The reason why I wanted to visit was actually to recreate a photo of Paul Mescal (who plays the main character in one of my favourite books) at The Brunswick Street Bookstore. Odd goal, I know, but I was determined to get that picture taken and thank goodness the shopkeeper knew what I was talking about when I asked for his assistance. 

Photo sorted, I happily walked down Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street. It was exactly how I pictured Fitzroy to be: health food grocers, upscaled secondhand shops, and busy cafes. Of course, the people – mostly the youth – were seething with intense coolness. I was so out of place. 

I had a blast weaving in and out of stores, nonetheless. Of the two, I think my favourite street would have to be Gertrude Street because it was like Norwood’s younger, moodier, and edgier sister. 

All in all, I could see why these two suburbs would produce heaps of stylish people. Hard not to when you’re spoiled with an array of amazing boutiques. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, Travel, Melbourne, international student, fashion