Saturday, February 25, 2012

Darlinghurst Blog: Retailers: The Main Drag

It's debatable which street in Darlinghurst is the main drag. Some would say it is the eponymous Darlinghurst Road. 
Others might think Victoria Street, with its excess of cafes, deserves the name. 
But, it is too late, Oxford Street has already claimed the title and TODAY it celebrates the win with a special Sydney Mardi Gras 2012 Festival event, fittingly titled, The Main Drag.
And - as to be expected - burlesque performances, a pop-up yoga garden and knitted penises will feature.
The day is designed to promote the shops that line the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade route, and it is well-timed, as just yesterday three new arts and crafts shops officially opened for business on the strip.

The shops are so new that when I went by yesterday, the proprietress of the Oxford Street Design Store, at 58 Oxford Street (above), was only just opening its roller-door.

The Oxford Street Design Store is run by Alex de Bonis and Louise Helliwell, from non-profit artist collective, Tough Titties.

The idea behind the shop is that artists can supply T-shirts, tote bags, jewellery, zines, whatever - as long as the price-tag is less than $20.  

It's a cute idea and is bound to work, so long as local artists get on board to provide products to sell. 
And I must admit, it has sparked off my creative bug and I am now musing on what sort of stuff I could create that would retail for less than $20 but still earn me a pretty penny. 

These cute, hand-printed tea-towels (above) are a clever idea, and come in at just $18 each. 

He Made She Made, at 70 Oxford Street, is the next shop along the street, and features the work of four designers: Bent Patterson, Laura Kepreotis, Maaike Pullar and Patrick Chambers.

The quartet create mostly larger pieces for the home, such as this cool Tetris-inspired book-nook or display case (above), which I really adore, but can't afford (it's just over $1000).

I also love the lighting stand (above), which would look amazing in a big warehouse space, but not a teeny-weeny studio like mine.
Many of the pieces are created using the "upcycling" method, that is, taking some old junk that was dumped on the side of the road perhaps, and turning it into an exquisite piece of art-furniture.

Also sweet is this wall-piece (above), which reminds me of Jesus' crown of thorns. 
You must also go in to try out the amazing twin chairs they have on display in the centre of the shop, which I forgot to photograph. 
They really don't look like chairs and have strange wands shooting out the back that bend when you sit in them. 
They are so unique and imaginative, they are destined to be a collectors' item.

Further up the street is Platform 72, at 72 Oxford Street - natch. 
The shop is run by Samantha Mitchell-Finn and Juliet Rosser, who rent shelf space to local artists to display and sell their wares. The artists receive 100 per cent of the sale price. 

In one of the front windows at Platform 72, is this hot pink "Venis" chair (above), which has a big penis bursting out from the middle of the seat. 

And in the other window is a display of knitted penises styled into cactus-shapes and arranged in pots on a great 1950s plant-holder. 
Sitting inside, knitting on a chair, was the artist behind the penises, Kirsten Fredericks.

The space has loads of interesting products, including hand-printed tea-towels featuring font-heavy maps of Sydney and maps of Surry Hills main streets.

There's also jewellery hand-crafted from decapitated Ken dolls (above).

And high-end, hand-tooled leather handbags (above).

Saturday 25 February 2012
Yoga at Oxford Square from 11am
Performances at Taylor Square from midday-4pm

Oxford Street Design Store
58 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010 

He Made She Made
70 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
0478 504 232

Platform 72 
72 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010


Anonymous said...

Just saying hello. Here from Texas

nampix said...

tetris book shelf is cool , u could probably get one custom built for less? cool frame of the woman opening the roller , her stripes match the roller door

Anonymous said...

Thanks for documenting the new businesses on Oxford St... it's had a few up-and-down years of late. We need to support and encourage local businesses like these, and make Oxford St feel interesting and special again. Thanks for writing this blog.

Poll McCann said...

platform 72 is gold. I have just bought my fourth painting from there. all are excellent quality, and I love being able to support local artists. it's a great bonus to Oxford St!