Sunday Sesh: Brisbane comes of (shopping) age

It’s a bit lovely and peaceful in my house this afternoon. As soon as this post is finished I think I might sneak me some chillax time in the front courtyard. Mr Styling You has taken Flynn off to see the Roar play in the football/soccer final in Brisbane and I’m not picking up the teenagers until later.

I’m just back from a walk to the beach and realised it’s 22 years this weekend that I moved to the Sunshine Coast as a young, single journo. If this building could talk ;)

Boy oh boy things have changed a lot around here. They’ve also changed just down the road in Brisbane too.

Now, if you’re a Brisbane-ite you don’t need me to tell you this but if you live elsewhere, when was the last time you visited BrisVegas? Maybe you’ve never been?

What you might be surprised to know is that some of Brisbane’s shopping precincts are now holding their own with their southern cousins. I’m a big fan of Brisbane’s Paddington and Fortitude Valley (particularly James Street) for a boutique shop.

And the city is now offering many of the stores that you would find in the city centre of Sydney or Melbourne.

The latest revamp of the Queen Street Mall has seen the Wintergarden Centre re-open looking all shiny, lovely and new. The Wintergarden was the first shopping centre to open off the Queen Street Mall in the 1980s. It was a VERY BIG DEAL. I bought my first Country Road tote bag from a store there in 1985. Which was possibly an even bigger deal for me, given the amount of dollars I’ve dropped in that store since then!

Now, the Wintergarden’s been all schuzzed up, some new retail players have set up home there and last Wednesday night I got to check two of them out – beauty retail outlet Mecca Maxima and US leathergoods company Coach.

Coach opens in Brisbane

Only at an official opening of Coach would it be ok to leave a handbag on a taxi bonnet

With my girlfriend Amy – in tow for the road trip – we schuzzed OURSELVES up and quickly made ourselves right at home. Just quietly, neither of us have a problem with being surrounded by luxe cosmetics and handbags …

Me schuzzed up for the opening Mecca Maxima in Brisbane

Me at the opening Mecca Maxima in Brisbane. Note skill of clutch and champagne juggle

Mecca Maxima

Why you’ll want to check it out: Mecca Maxima bills itself as “the ultimate beauty playground”. Think somewhere between the self-service of a Priceline store and the counter attention of a department store’s beauty hall. Help is very much there if you need it but browsing is made super easy with lots of accessible testers and clever store signage.

What you’ll find: The Brisbane store is a totally new look compared with the existing Mecca Maxima stores. You can pick up everything from Beauty To Go treats (like hand wipes or hair ties for next to nothing) or a luxe moisturiser by Eve Lom. Brands include a selection you’d find at sister stores Mecca Cosmetica and Kit Cosmetics … plus more including Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Clarins and bareMinerals. You won’t find every product in those brands but you will find an edit of those ranges that is hard to beat.

My picks:  I may have got a bit carried away. We were given a gift card to spend* but I may have just kept adding to my basket. Oops.

Mecca Maxima haul

What I bought at Mecca Maxima plus some gift bag goodies ...

Warning: I challenge anyone to walk into this store and walk out without buying something.

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Coach

Why you’ll want to check it out: It could be just me and my planned trip to New York in August but I just can’t get enough of anything NYC-related. Coach is a quintessential NYC brand. Add in Gwyneth Paltrow as an ambassador and I’m “enough already, just let me in the store”.

What you’ll find: Friendly staff (hi Emma!), a great layout and a good mix of bags, purses and other accessories – plus a men’s section housing a collection that I very much rated.

My picks:  There was no shopping on the night but these went straight to my wishlist.

Coach Brisbane tote bag

Love the suede tote on the right. It already looks loved but I know I could love it more

Coach men's collection document bags

These were in the men's collection - designed for carrying documents around. Me? I saw an over-sized statement clutch ;)

Warning: It’s a lust-worthy shop. Keep your credit cards tightly secured if you’re trying to “be good” and you know, save for a trip to New York or something!

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I’m off to Sydney tomorrow afternoon for The Jasmine Awards’ breakfast on Tuesday morning but will be back home to back ANZAC Day biscuits in preparation for Wednesday? What are you up to this week?

* I was given a gift card from Mecca Maxima in accordance with my disclosure policy

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  • J E Dawe

    love the post Nikki,  i love coach and never knew we had one here!   i usually spend a small fortune when in america, beautiful bags and leather goods.  I did start reading about the hair care at home and then got onto nail art, then the shopping, its like another world in there, love that you attach all the direct access to the places you have been ( nice and easy to pop over and have a peak)  thanks and keep the “real” posting coming :)

  • http://www.jeweldivas.com.au/ Jewel Divas Style

    Loving your clutch!

  • http://twitter.com/ShesSonic She’s Sonic

    Looking super glam Nikki and that clutch/champers juggle looks mighty familiar to me (I’ve also got it down to a fine art)!! I am loving the fact I only have to work 2 days this week. ANZAC Day holiday on Wednesday will be spent having lunch with friends at Penny’s Hill Winery in McLaren Vale here in SA. Thursday and Friday, I have off work and so I will be getting some more wedding planning done…oh and getting my hair cut and coloured too!! 

  • LISA Mckenzie

    Nikki that sure looks like a lovely shopping centre ,i bet you could spend lotsa dollars there ,I love the idea of the mecca maxima ,i love smelling things and swatching lippies and glosses ,Most places now have a don’t touch rule ,which btw I hate ,my sister has a really big Myer store at Erina on the central coast and they have all the goodies out to smell,I totally love going there ,I don’t want to smell a fragrance on a peice of cardboard (no funin that) I like to smell it on me,cause I might just fall in love and buy it,more stores should do this I’m sure they would make more sales if they did.
    Loving those leather coach bags and I like my bags soft and squishy and very loved looking and I don”t mind when it gets more loved up,they show character then.
    P.S love your pretty blingy clutch so pretty ,that reminds me i have vintage bags i have inherited  from my grandmother and I must get them out an look at them .

  • http://www.ladythinking.com/ Jackwafabwa @ Lady Thinking

    Hmm…. I spied your comment on The Hoopla about a move to Brisbane in 18 months. Does the lure of Brisvegas shopping have something to do with it? I love Coach. OD’d on it a bit when last in the US! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1349361254 Fleur Raps

    If you EVER need an assistant, or someone to carry your handbag, PICK ME! :) 

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      LOL … sure thing Fleur!

      • http://www.getinthehotspot.com/ Annabel, Get In The Hot Spot

        Lol Fleur – and I will carry the bubbles;)

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

          Can someone please drive so I can enjoy more than one champagne? LOL x

  • http://octaviaandvicky.com/ Kylie

    You look gorgeous, as ever. Can’t say I’ll be holding my breath for these stores to come to Adelaide. I guess I’ll just have to go on a shopping holiday! #wishfulthinking

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      LOL Kylie … would have said the same about Brisbane until a few years ago!!

  • Dianne

    If I go shopping in Bris it’s usually at one of the shopping centres in the suburbs. But did meet up with my Bff there overnight in Feb and wandered around the shops.
    I found the coolest little shoe shop at Scarborough (near Redcliffe) of all places on the week end & had to keep my credit card planted firmly in my wallet due to pending USA trip (which includes NY) in 3 weeks time… OMG I have had to be so good lately and I can’t wait to set foot in LA and unleash my credit card… lol. I have the shopping locations all planned out!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Oh Dianne … 3 WEEKS!!! Wow!!!

  • Brynderwyn

    Hi Nikki, can’t wait to get down to Brissy (I’m another Sunny Coast resident) to see the re-furb at Wintergarden.  
    Coach is my fav for wallets and bags.  I just love my Coach wallet, and I also have a couple of handbags that come out for special occasions.Just wanted to ask the label of the dress you have on in the pics?  It’s just lovely.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, thanks … you’ll love checking out this store. My dress is by Leona Edmiston – I blogged about it here: http://www.stylingyou.com.au/2012/03/leona-edmiston/

  • Kylie

    Nikki apart from learning what’s new at Wintergarden which I lurv, in this latest story of yours I learned how to spell Schuzz…..lovfe the word…never NEVER knew how to spell it xo

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      I’m not sure it’s the correct spelling but we’ll give it a go, hey?!