Wednesday, 20 March 2013

West side has a new stylish address

Last Thursday morning I was invited to attend the opening ceremony of the new Highpoint fashion precinct in Maribynong in Melbourne's West. As I mentioned in my previous post, I did not expect that I would end up spending close to 13 hours at the shopping centre, mostly on my feet wandering around. But that is a great testament to the new design and shops on offer that there was so much to see and there was a great flow and energy to the new space.
The roof to me is my absolute highlight with Grimshaw Architects modelling the design on the nearby winding Maribynong River with glass sensor operated windows allowing in natural light and fresh air to the centre. I think that alone is such a positive inclusion and a rare thing to find in a modern development where fresh air and sunlight are not usually considered. But it was the lovely feel of the fresh air that enabled me to linger for longer at the centre instead of fleeing due to the stuffy air conditioning. The exposed natural timbers also give it a warm and welcoming feel and the use of blue stone tiles that represent the quarry of blue stone that was at the site before the development is a nice touch and a way of incorporating the history of the site. I remember it as a kid that this was once just a vast open empty space, hard to imagine looking at it now!
Some of the new shops on offer include the West's first David Jones department store, Samsung, Vince Camuto, Tommy Hilfiger, Superglue, Gorman, Alanah Hill and Zara and Topshop, making Highpoint the first Australian shopping centre to house these two international giants under the one roof, with more to come. And I think word got out very quickly as my return visit last Saturday was reminiscent of Boxing Day sales crowds and there was certainly shopping being done by all! Phew!
Topshop proved very popular and I bought a pair of Cat print socks!But of course!They were also giving away a limited edition Top Shop tote bag with every purchase! Which got snapped up very fast I tell you!
The new David Jones had a lovely flow through the store with beautiful lighting and an escalator to take you between the two levels in store of men's, women's, home wares, beauty, electronics and more.

Hows this for a girls dream- get your air done at the Oscar Oscar salon, then pop next door and buy yourself a new pair of shoes! Ultimate pampering.
Bardot were clever enough to use a marketing tool that is fail safe to women shoppers young and old, and men too I might add. Shirtless young men to greet you at the door! Hello lads!
Loved the Samsung aquarium screen on the front of the store. Very mesmerising.

 Chanel is on her way Ladies! Prepare your wallets!
Superglue has a very cool vibe and store fit out, boasting their own in house tailors who can measure you up and custom make you a pair of jeans all while you watch or grab yourself a coffee at the cafe in store while listening to the DJ spin the decks.              

Home wares stores include Bed Bath N' Table as well as Salt n'Pepper and Urban Attitude which  have the best window display, purely because of my love for Flamingo's. 
I'm sure Alannah Hill is going to be very popular amongst the ladies especially around Spring Racing time, given the track is not far from Highpoint!
So happy to see the theme is all about colour for Highpoint, as has been incorporated in their new logo design as well.

The new entrance leading you into the fresh food market.
The fresh food on offer is a fresh food market of fruit and vegetables as well as many food stalls but the trees planted in and around the entrance are actually bay trees and edible herb plants that we as the shopper are encouraged to pick! I did spy some very good looking basil and thought to myself, all I need to do is buy a tomato, some crackers and pick myself a basil leaf and that's lunch taken care of! Such a great idea! Plus free Wi- Fi in the centre means you can work, eat and soak up the atmosphere at the same time!

Chef Adrian Richardson offers up some cooking tips enjoying the fresh produce for the launch as well as celebrating the Melbourne Food and Wine festival. So excited by all the opportunities on offer, and it does not mean you need to spend up big to enjoy the centre. Plenty of lovely spaces to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee or catch up with friends. I'm looking forward to cooler weather, listening to the rain pelt against the roof and treating myself to a Koko Black black hot chocolate. See you there!      

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