Setting foot into the uber stylish destination that is Grace Melbourne brought back distant memories of my former life as a boutique owner. Back then, customer orders, colour-ways and communications with designers pre-occupied my mind, nowadays it’s saturated with what to cook for the kids and how to bring them up to be responsible adults, both of which I’m still pretty clueless about, especially the latter…
That’s why it was such a treat to pay Ilana and Georgia, co-founders and owners of Grace Melbourne a visit. Highly respected in the industry, a godsend to their clientele, trim-and-terrific and yet still down-to-earth, the working-mothers-of-two juggle their boutique business and family life with such aplomb that I was more than determined to unearth their secret.
The pair first met 10 years ago through mutual friends, and then serendipitously, again on a flight to New York. Great ideas must come to those who fly, because mid-air, Georgia and Ilana conceded to create Grace Melbourne, a luxury boutique that delivers the discerning customer the most delicious fashion and lifestyle offerings from around the globe.
Every piece in the boutique is hand-picked by Ilana and Georgia from their buying trips in New York, Paris, Milan and London. Each item is carefully curated with their customers’ lifestyles and needs in mind.
The busy mom dropping off her kids at school? Throw on a cute Bella Freud cashmere jumper with butter soft Ines & Marechal leather pants and you’re good to go. A working exec? Up your style ante by pairing a spotty 3.1 Philip Lim shirt with your suit. Skiing in Aspen? Don’t fly without the fur trimmed Army By Yves Salomon parka. (This jacket is forever!) Holidaying in a sunnier part of the world warrants a vacation wardrobe packed with tassly Talitha pieces or an embroidered Tanya Taylor mini-dress. Want to stand out from the crowd at your next event or simply dress to impress on any occasion? A Maison Michel hat or this ingenious 3.1 Philip Lim bomber just may do the trick.
The most recent addition to Grace is a delectable drop from LOEWE. Get your fix of Jonathan Anderson’s highly covetable bags: embossed leather clutches, animal purses and the puzzle bag in timeless hues of engine red, cobalt blue and of course, black. When Ilana and Georgia visited Loewe’s Headquarters in Madrid, Casa Loewe, they got to meet the artisans who handcraft the leathergoods, many of which have been with Loewe for decades. GRACE was hand-picked by the Spainish luxury label to be their Melbourne stockist outside of their flagship Chadstone store.
But why let Melbournians have all the fun? International clients can now rejoice because recently, Grace Melbourne has joined forces with luxury e-commerce platform Farfetch, so customers from all corners of the world can sample fresh pickings from the boutique.
I couldn’t help but try on a few fresh pickings myself. I would wear this silk Sonia Rykiel set on my next vacation, or just lounging in bed…
As much as I was excited to peruse the amazing collections at Grace Melbourne, I was equally curious to find out how Ilana and Georgia ‘do it all’, juggling their high-flying-buying-styling life with kids thrown into the mix! According to them, supportive spouses, occasional help from nannies and an amazing team of knowledgeable and stylish staff don’t go astray. Oh, and being very, very, very organised.
Ilana and Georgia will fly out to New York and Paris in the coming weeks to purchase their Resort collections. As I bid them adieu and wish them ‘Bon voyage’, I can’t help but wonder what fabulous ideas the duo will conjure up this time, mid-air.