T-Shirt: “I Love Reading” from Genki www.genki.com.au
Jeans: Embody Denim www.embodydenim.com.au
One of my favourite things about living in Melbourne is all our little hidden treasures. We’re a secretive city – the best shopping takes place down alleys, up stairs, around unsuspecting corners.
I remember visiting as a teenager and being woefully disappointed by the main shopping strip. It didn’t compare favourably to Sydney’s offerings.
Now, as a local, I’ve realised that Melbournites like to keep the best places for themselves.
So the best shops are found not on the main drag, but up some grotty one-way alley, or through a meandering maze of cobbled streets, or several flights up in a derelict-looking building, where someone still mans the elevators.
Genki is one of those hidden secrets of Melbourne, and I’m sure I’m not the only Melbournite who gets a little buzz every time I see someone wearing one of the “I Love” t-shirts that they’re famous for. It’s almost like a secret handshake!
Genki (Japanese for “happy, healthy and feeling fine” or so the website would have us believe) opened just over ten years ago in the Cathedral Arcade, off Flinders Lane. It’s a wee little shop full of quirky clothing (most of which I don’t have a snowball’s chance to squeezing into), quirky jewellery, and quirky toys and home wares.
And the “I Love” t-shirts.
Today I’m wearing “I Love Reading” which in my line of work makes it practically a uniform. I also have it in blue and red. But it was a hard choice to make. So many things that I love, that they have t-shirts for: I Love Cooking. I Love Sleeping. I Love Shopping, Chocolate, Talking, Kissing, the list goes on.
Recently Genki started offering mail order, which is great news for non-Melbournites who would like to proclaim their allegiance, and they also do lads shirts which is great for girls (like me) with big knockers.
You know what else I love? Camper Twins shoes www.campershoes.com.au Especially the ones that don’t quite match. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been taken quietly to the side by strangers who whisper “you’ve put wrong shoes on” discreetly in my ear. Men seem to be particularly perplexed by the idea of shoes with love hearts on one side, and question marks on the other. If only they weren’t so expensive!