Ask Melbourne Darling: Best place to shop for Mother of the Bride dresses in Melbourne?

Dear Melbourne Darling,

Where can I find the best Mother of the Bride dress?

A mother of the bride outfit can initially seem like a daunting outfit to search for. In my previous styling experience I assisted a number of Mother of the Brides and after a while I would tend to hear the same things:

  • No white
  • Preferably not a black dress
  • Something that won’t clash with the outfits of the bridal party
  • Above all, something that is flattering and elegant

This may seem like you have already ruled out some of your favourite options but I want to show you that you can most definitely find a stunning outfit if you know where to shop in Melbourne!

Similarly to my post on finding wedding shoes in Melbourne, just like a mother of the bride outfit or any special outfit for that matter, when first embarking on a big shopping quest for the perfect outfit, I would always suggest not dismissing Myer and David Jones as your starting point. I find the department stores to be the quickest and most effective way to firstly get a sense for the prominent trends, styles and designer collections currently available. The exposure to a variety of different designers in the one place also makes the department stores the best first stop to allow you to start hitting the fitting rooms. Try on as many different styles as you can, as sometimes it’s the best dresses that don’t look great hanging limp on a rack but do wonders when slipped on the body!

I also want to point out that you may not want to wear a dress, and that’s absolutely fine too! Whether you decide on a perfectly paired two-piece suit, mix and match coordinates, prefer a feature skirt with a simple top and blazer or a gorgeous top and simple black pants set off by a remarkable pair of shoes, you want to choose something that you will be comfortable in and will make you feel and look your best!

After a visit to the department stores, you may want to check out the stand alone stores of the designers you liked the best as they may have a larger selection of new styles or matching coordinates and accessories in the same collection of the pieces you liked. Below are my top suggestions to get you started with the retailers I believe are reliable in regularly stocking a wonderful assortment of styles that can be beautifully suited (pardon the pun) for a mother of the bride outfit. Keep in mind, it will also depend on the personal taste of the individual, so I’ve tried to cater for some different tastes:

Coast London

Coast is still fairly new to the Australian market, only arriving to our shores in 2011. This actually works to our benefit, as Coast has saturated the UK market to the point that I have heard if you were to go to a wedding in the UK and wear a Coast dress, it would not be uncommon to see another wedding guest wearing the same outfit as you! However, it tends to be the opposite in the Australian market where their smaller presence works to our benefit. I still like to refer to Coast as the best kept secret when shopping for occasion wear in Melbourne, with their more traditional yet versatile range of fancy and feminine occasion wear pieces. (Check out their gorgeous collection of mid-heels! Comfy and funky!)

Put simply, Coast London was made for weddings and special occasions. They are a popular destination for bridesmaid dresses and create cleverly designed garments to flatter different body shapes with sizing ranging from a size 6-18. Many of their dresses also come with added practical features like detachable and adjustable straps, boning in the bodice, secret pockets and design features to allow you to wear one dress, multiple ways. Coast London in Australia is hard to find online, but I can tell you that they do have a stand-alone store in Melbourne Central (click here for more details) and a concession store in Myer Bourke Street. You can also buy Coast online at their global website and on ASOS.

Karen Millen

If Coast London is the girly, sweet girl next door, then Karen Millen is her sleek and sophisticated, seriously on-trend sister. Karen Millen, sister brand to Coast London, produce beautiful, ultra-modern floral and graphic patterns and statement prints in dresses and coordinates, usually created with perfectly matching clutches and shoes crafted from the same material.


Cue has become quite similar to Karen Millen with their focus on modern, sharp tailoring and darker colours for a more edgy yet refined style. Cue pieces sometimes appear to create a more corporate look, so offset this by adding some extra sparkle with statement accessories like a headpiece, cuff or necklace from Mimco.


If you are after something more suited for a day wedding, or something a little more casual or girly, Review is a great option for floral and colourful vintage inspired pieces. Accentuate a very soft and feminine look with accessories from Alannah Hill.

Charlie Brown

For something a little less structured but still makes a statement, Charlie Brown create spectacular patterns in comfortable stretch fabric that can be more suited for day weddings. They particularly produce outstanding maxi dresses too.

Anthea Crawford

Anthea Crawford stock an extremely sumptuous collection of striking dresses with delicate and ornate detailing. They make enough of an impact on their own so all you need to add is a simple pair of shoes and you’re done! Perfect for those who like to keep their accessories to a minimum.

David Lawrence

Alternatively, when less is more head to David Lawrence for more classic, understated pieces and understated coordinates. You can always dress up a classic with some fun accessories and keep it for years to come, creating an entirely new look with the help of on-trend accessories each time you wear it.

Now I wouldn’t be a Melbourne Darling if I didn’t appreciate how to wear a little black dress just as much as the next Melbourne girl, but if you do opt for black or a simple and classic style, don’t underestimate the power of a pop of colour using clever and playful accessories. If you are up for some colour, jewel tones like purples, blues and greens tend to suit most skin tones and make for stunning evening wear options. Alternatively, pastel colours, graphic prints and florals are wonderful choices for daytime, garden themed or more casual weddings.

Don’t forget about comfortable footwear too! For a long day ahead in heels, try a supportive stack heel, a mid heel or choose a shoe with lots of inner support such as the Airflex brand heels. Otherwise prepare to pack Party Feet or invest in a good pair of soft insoles. You’ll be thankful when you hit the dancefloor!

Here are some fantastic finds to inspire you you Mother of the Bride outfit:

Mother of the Bride in Melbourne Outfit - Purple

Mother of the Bride in Melbourne Outfit - Pink

Mother of the Bride in Melbourne Outfit - Blue

  1. David Lawrence Orchid Embellished Corded Lace Dress
  2. Mimco Flashback Clip
  3. Karen Millen Crystal Metallic Asymmetric Court Shoe
  4. Airflex Blake Nude Heel
  5. Anthea Crawford Garnet Sequin Embellished Mesh and Stretch Satin Dress
  6. Anthea Crawford Shiraz Stretch Velour Drape Gown
  7. Jo Mercer Zalia Heel
  8. Samantha Wills Love Like Libra Cuff
  9. Meri By Design Black Rabbit Fur Cape
  10. Review Dion Jacket
  11. Mimco Mini Origami Envelope in Blossom Pink
  12. Oroton Freshwater Pearl Earrings
  13. Coast London Ariel Shoe
  14. Lady Petrova Wonderland Coat
  15. Fillies Collection Pillbox with Large Flower
  16. Swarovski Bolster Bracelet, Atelier Swarovski by Christopher Kane
  17. Coast London Matilda dress
  18. Alannah Hill Close My Eyes Flower in Navy
  19. Samantha Wills Heart of Aries Earrings in Silver
  20. Coast London Jasmine Printed Shoe
  21. Cue Double Weave Origami Dress in Navy
  22. Karen Millen Graphic Stripe Suit Jacket
  23. Cue Stretch Satin A-Line Skirt
  24. Review Eliana Dress in Petrol
  25. Mimco Sporto Large Pouch in Absinthe
  26. Mocha Brighter Than Gold Earrings
  27. David Lawrence Sleeveless Synergy Print Silk Top
  28. Diana Ferrari Tanzy in Black Patent
  29. David Lawrence Synergy Print Wide Bangle

Happy Shopping Melbourne Darlings!

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Style Notes: Don’t fall victim to this sticky fashion faux pas – What’s worse than a VPL? A VPS! (Visible Price Stickers under the soles of your shoes!)

Eva Longoria Image Via

Eva Longoria Image Via

I feel the need to warn you about a dreadful fashion faux pas that I have recently been noticing more regularly around the city of Melbourne. A fashion faux pas so bad, it has claimed victims amongst the chicest of the chic, the most famous of celebrities and the trendiest of Melbournistas.

Madonna has done it, Eva Longoria has done it, even ultimate style maven Gwyneth Paltrow has been a victim! I’ve seen it happen to the most polished of Melbourne women strutting down Collins Street oblivious to the teeny tiny thing they forgot to do while getting dressed that morning. You’ve heard of the dreaded V.P.L or visible panty line and don’t even get me started on its tacky ugly step-sister the visible bra strap but what you may not be as familiar with, is the sneaky little cousin in this family of fashion faux pas. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the V.P.S – the Visible Price Sticker (particularly those stuck on the bottom of high-heeled shoes!)

Basically, you could be wearing a head to toe amazing outfit but making this little mistake could instantly diminish your style cred and ‘le horreur’ of it all is that while everyone else can see it, you may have no idea you are doing it!

Any girl worth the red soles of her Louboutins or purple soles of her Peeptoe shoes for that matter understands how eye catching a pop of colour can be under an enchanting pair of pumps. Therefore, I stress to make sure you remember to remove the price stickers off the bottom of your heels before you wear them!! That deserves a double, if not triple exclamation mark ‘!!!’ because you would be so surprised at how many polished and professional looking women I see on a day to day basis strutting around the city, immaculately dressed all for one little but alarmingly distracting flash of white, or god forbid a flourescent sales or reduced price sticker stuck to the bottom of their heels.

If they were a jaw-droppingly expensive pair of shoes, don’t showcase it to the world behind you, it just cheapens the entire look of your outfit and we all know money doesn’t buy class so it’s best to keep the price to yourself. Of course, even if they were an absolute bargain, you

Gwyneth Paltrow Image Via

Gwyneth Paltrow Image Via

don’t want to spoil your little secret, so make sure you remove those sticky little devils before you take those brand spanking new heels on their maiden voyage about town.

If you are finding the price stickers are tricky to remove or leave a sticky residue, then apply some Eucalyptus Oil with a cotton ball or cotton pad to the sticker which helps remove the glue. Just be careful to apply the oil only to the soles to ensure the oil does not destroy the material of your shoes.

On a side note, if one day I fall so in love with a pair of heels that they don’t leave my feet from the moment I tried them on in store, help a sister out and let me know I’m flashing a dollar sign on my soles, and I promise I’ll do the same!

Madonna Image Via

Madonna Image Via

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Ask Melbourne Darling: Where can I find the best wedding shoes?

Dear Melbourne Darling,

Where can I find the best wedding shoes?

(I’m looking for something metallic/silver?)

My main advice when shopping for bridal shoes is to invest some time to look around as many different stores as you can. Even if some stores are not ones you would typically  think of for bridal shoes. I recommend trying on as many styles as you can as. This will quickly help you determine which styles you like and which suit you, especially since many shoe styles can look dramatically different sitting on a shelf  opposed to when they are worn on the foot.

As always, the style of shoe is dependent on the style of the dress, so I am going to make some general shopping suggestions to help any bride to be (and bridal party) to help with your shoe hunt for the big day.


  • David Jones and Myer – Bourke St

These department stores are a great place to start off with, especially to get a feel for the different types of styles and designers available. I recommend the city locations as the flagship stores tend to have the biggest and best selection available in comparison to their suburban counterparts, although Chadstone and Highpoint are your second best locations.

  • Miss Louise

The go-to place in Melbourne for a wonderful selection designer shoes. A fancy little spot showcasing a stunning selection of  high designer heels.

Swarovski Crystal Sandals Nude By Giuseppe Zanotti. View Online

Swarovski Crystal Sandals Nude By Giuseppe Zanotti. View Online

Shop G4, The Westin/205 Collins St,  Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9654 7730


View shoe selection online

  • Hermanns

Hermanns are the sole distributors of Stuart Weitzman, Edward Meller and own the Giallo stores with most locations in the CBD, Chadstone or David Jones. (Edward Meller and Giallo are a bit too casual but Stuart Weitzman do feature a few ultra-modern and fashion forward designs. So if you like their styles online, I’d suggest visiting a retail store)

Stuart Weitzman for Hermanns

Asteroid Shoes by Stuart Weitzman (used in the stage production of Cinderella) Image Via

Asteroid Shoes by Stuart Weitzman (used in the stage production of Cinderella) View Online

Chadstone Shopping Centre and

175 Collins Street,

Melbourne, 3000.

Phone: (03) 9522 9709

  • Loula

149 Toorak Road,

South Yarra, VIC 3141, Australia

Phone no: + 61 3 9820 8006

  • Dolci Firme

162 Collins Street

Melbourne 3000 VIC

Phone: (03) 9650 1522


299 Toorak Road

South Yarra 3141 VIC

Phone: (03) 9827 2166




  • The Iconic

Offers a wide selection of shoes to choose from as well as free overnight shipping for all orders over $50 and free returns for 100 days.  For bridal heels specifically in silver and metallic, I’d have a look at the following selection of strappy silver heels:

and take a look at these beautiful silver Guess heels:

Hilonas by Guess. Image Via

Hilonas by Guess.  View Online 








As well as these metallic Verali heels:

Gill by Verali. View Online











  • Cinderella Bella

(This business used to have a great store in Melbourne for designer bridal shoes, but operate through their online store only. While their selection has dramatically decreased, if you’re lucky you might find a suitable style from the limited sale items that remain on their site.)


I also found these two styles by Jimmy Choo from the Jimmy Choo Australia website to be a steal of a price and a gorgeous style for a  fun, stylish and modern bride:

Silver Glitter Leather Sandals by Jimmy Choo. View Online

Silver Glitter Leather Sandals by Jimmy Choo. View Online 













  • Panache Bridal Shoes Australia

A more traditional selection of bridal shoes




Finding you’re not happy with the selection of heels you come across on the shop floor or have your heart set on a particular style you haven’t been able to find? A pair of custom heels for your special day could be your best way to go. You may even find that a custom pair are not as expensive as you’d think.

  • Novat Shoes

Don’t be disheartened by their limited, more traditional and slightly dated styles online, be sure to check out their retail store in Thornbury as only a small selection of the styles they hold are featured online. It’s also worth the visit to ask about their custom shoe design service.

594 High St

Thornbury 3071

Phone: (03) 9484 5736

Mob: 0438 319 258 -Bianca Novat


  • Shoes of Prey

Online custom shoe store where you get to play the part of shoe designer and  be as creative as you wish. Whip-up your own design from your computer and have them delivered straight to your door.




Often overlooked because they are not your typical bridal shoe stores, an offering from the high street may pleasantly surprise you. Links to each website provided below, where you will be able to find information on your most convenient store location:







My suggested itinerary would be to make the city your first stop, as it’s the best place get a feel for the types of styles available and the designs you like.

Start off at David Jones and Myer then head to Miss Louise and Stuart Weitzman then while you are still in the city, make a stop to the high street brand stores as they are alllocated fairly close to each other.

From there you can head to the Preston / Thornbury area to visit Novat shoes (check out their store or look at their custom made options) and then to the Tony Bianco outlet, Diana Ferrari and Florsheim outlet. That way, when you’re ready to look online you would have already tried on a number of paris which will help you make it easier to distinguish which styles would suit you when browsing online.

Happy Shopping!

Melbourne Darling xo

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Melissa Shoes Warehouse Sale: This Weekend!

The quirky Brazilian footwear brand iconic for their playful and fashion forward plastic shoe designs and their designer collaborations with Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jason Wu and Karl Lagerfield, is now offering a massive warehouse sale that’s bound to be a plastic paradise! Stocked with previous season collections and one-off samples, as well as jelly shoes from Melissa’s little sister brand, Mel ‘dreamed by Melissa’ all up to 75% off.

If you have had your heart set on these bubble-gum scented beauties, this is a sale not to be missed!






    WHERE: 289 Geelong Road, Kingsville, Melbourne

    WHEN: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September. 10am – 4pm.





If you have yet to become acquainted with this unique footwear brand, you can visit their flagship Melbourne store ‘M Dreams’ located in the QV building. They have a fantastic selection of summer shoes that are as comfortable to wear as they are gorgeous to look at.

My favourites at the moment are the multi coloured ‘Aranha Hits’ jelly sandals and ‘Peace III’ t-bar, peep-toe and towering wedge all in one; what more does a girl need in a perfect summer shoe? My pick is for the nude or white gloss but any of these classic colours could see you through a summer of different outfits!





Check out Melissa’s Karl Lagerfield Glitter Ice Cream  heels ‘KL Incense’ I tried on the other day, now these are some seriously fun summer party shoes!






For more information head to or


Melbourne Darling xo

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