Still stumped at what to wear to Fashfest in 3 days? Me too!! I headed over to Braddon to visit Rebel Muse, a fashion forward retailer of premium women’s fashion.
Rebel Muse is located in the unique industrial (almost mechanical) ground floor of the Ori building on Lonsdale Street, and the store itself blends with the aesthetic perfectly with a mix of red brick, marble floors, matte black steel and exposed roofing.
The appeal of the store is undeniable, with perhaps OCD precision the racks are evenly spaced, hangers facing the same way and sorted by colour. Mannequin’s display expertly curated outfits and plenty of mirrored walls are begging for that mirror selfie #rebelmuse
Boutique owner Alicia Xyrakis is the most gracious host, warm and welcoming with a big smile she proudly talks me through the lust worthy labels she has personally chosen to stock, these include heavy hitting high end Aussie labels such as Asilio, MLM, Alice McCall, Mode Collective just to name a few.
I took the opportunity to pick Alicia’s brain on her thoughts on being her own boss, current fashion trends and what we can expect her upcoming shows at Fashfest next week.
How would you describe Rebel Muse’s aesthetic?
Like it’s interior, the clothing we stock is sleek, monochromatic, fashion forward, modern, minimal and classic with a few add-on’s and bold prints influenced by current trends.
Was it scary taking making the jump from employee in a stable job to small business owner?
Alicia explains that throughout her career she has always felt that opening her own boutique was the ultimate end goal. With an extensive career in fashion from managing fashion boutiques in Paddington to merchandise planning for large national fashion chains, she has picked up the skills of being a savvy business woman, from customer service, styling and fashion buying to some of the more mundane yet critical skills of budgeting, PR and forward planning.
For many of us, the thought of leaving a 9-5 salary is terrifying, for Alicia who comes from a family always involved in small business (her family own Ainslie IGA), becoming a business owner was much more of a natural progression.
Business has been so good that Alicia is gearing up to open sister store Peachy Keen on the 22nd of October which will stock mid-high end shoes and accessories just 3 stores down from Rebel Muse. Peachy Keen will stock some of my favourite shoe brand including Mode Collective, Senso, Siren, Alias Mae and Robert Robert. The prospect of opening her second boutique is actually more daunting than the first time around for Alicia as she is much more aware of the hard work, highs and lows that are associated with running a business.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Definitely the buying though it is also the most challenging! We have to buy 6 months in advance and have just wrapped up the Autumn 2017 selection.
How do you know what to buy? How do you differentiate between your own personal taste and what your customers may like?
Trying to cater for the taste of every single customer is impossible. Alicia just assumes that her customers will have similar to her tastes to her ownn, modified slightly either way for the those that are more outgoing and those more conservative.
What trends do you think we’ll be seeing in this spring/summer?
This season we’ll see heaps of natural fabrics such as linen and cotton in earthy tones such as khaki, rust and nude – perfect for the relaxed Aussie lifestyle.
Furthermore, the 90s trend and sports luxe as still going strong with silk slips, denim skirts and active wear featuring heavily.
What can we expect to see from Rebel Muse on this year Fashfest runway?
Big brands Alice McCall, Asilio and will be showcasing their latest collection at the Reverie show this Thursday, it’s really exciting to have such big names showing in Canberra.
Any tips for last minute Fashfest outfits?
Don’t feel the need to get overly dressed up. Fashion events are all about expressing yourself so if sneakers are more you style then go for it and get creative!
So as the perfect guinea pig, I challenged Alicia to pick me a Fashfest suitable outfit, being 5 months pregnant this was no easy feat! My only requests were:
- no prints
- clean, minimal silhouette (no frills)
- slightly tomboy styling
When Alicia first suggested a pink dress I was apprehensive but with the denim fabric and the overall cut the edginess of the style balanced out the femininity of the colour. Throw in a unique off-the-shoulder shirt and and sneakers and I’m in a look I absolutely love and not only that, I’m totally comfortable.
Salo Wrap shirt by MLM, available here
Jean Jeanie dress by Alice McCall, available here
Superga 2750 Cotu Classic in white, available here
Star silk scarf by 66 The Label, available here
Shop more styles online at www.rebelmuse.com.au