Art & Design
Posted by Taryn Hunter
26. Sep, 2012
Leigh Gibson has never been one to move with the crowd, which is clearly evident with her retail outlet and pet project, Halcyon State.
While brands across Australia have been slowly but surely moving in to the online realm, Leigh has taken her Melbourne-based online store and transformed it into its very own tangible retail space, right by the bay.
Opening recently in Middle Park after only two seasons online, Halcyon State stocks some of Australia’s most coveted brands, as well as a number of smaller labels Leigh wanted to give more exposure to.
“I started Halcyon State mainly for my friends and colleagues who were always asking what I was wearing and not being able to find the stock for themselves,” says Leigh.
The former IT worker, who set up much of the website herself with a business partner, says necessity also plays a big part in the pieces she chooses from each designer.
“A lot of the time I would see an item in a magazine or in photos online but not be able to find it in stores. Being from the Sunshine Coast much of the stock wasn’t available in the local stores, so I decided to create my own one-stop-shop online.
“Then once word got out of our head office was in Middle Park, people came knocking on the door wanting to buy direct. Opening a physical store just seemed like the next step.”
Stocking labels such as Rebecca Thompson, Fairground, Shakuhachi and Alex Perry, the boutique, set in a classic townhouse, makes the most of its beachside location with crisp white walls offsetting textured furs, sequinned shift dresses and crisp tailored pants.
So will working without her pyjamas on be an unpopular change to the daily routine?
“Not at all,” says Leigh. “It’s so great meeting and styling customers in the flesh that it will be worth getting back to retail hours!”
Halcyon State is located at 111 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park and halcyonstate.com.
Chilled water, whisky and grapefruit balance out this crafty cocktail. Make it yourself or check it out at the Food Fest.
South Melbourne eateries celebrate their strengths in seafood.
An African-inspired pop up food truck sends spicy scents down Smith Street.