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Antons – dapper dreams for a drab world. Level 3, Melbourne Central

January 20, 2008

Antons  clothing is a Melbourne Must!

Have you ever visited the lofty 3rd floor of Melbourne Central?  If so, have you walked past – or even dropped into – the 40s timetrip that is Antons?   Even the outside of the shop tells you that this shop doesn’t belong in a chainstore mall – its coppery deco-reminiscent window frames hold what is usually some kind of themed window display using their retro-styled mannequins and some unusual props and curios: Antons’ owner is a collector of ephemera from monster and alien figurines to stuffed animals and other brilliant oddities.  It’s like nectar to the eyes after row after row of bleak generic stores to see their idiosyncratic display winking brightly at you.

While Antons is ostensibly a clothing shop it s true that one’s first visit is more like a step into a film set: think Casablanca or Cairo in the early 20th century.  There are racks of clothing within a 40s to burlesque style – magnificent opulently lined coats and suits for men, coquettish bustiers, corsets and skirts for women plus some ubersharp womens’ suiting.   The staff are dressed according to the Anton World and are helpful and often quite gregarious: they seem happy – keen even – to absorb you into their era and aesthetic as though you were casting to be an extra in their filmic world.  So, be prepared to surrender yourself to their vast Powers of Styling.

The interior of Antons is like the exterior – adding to the sense of changed-reality you feel when inside.  More and more curios in hidden corners attract your eye: many from old films or popular culture you had forgotten, some others like trophies of an imperial raider.  While you’re casting an admiring eye at a well cut suit or an unusual fabric, you can easily be distracted by a figurine or trinket and after a while you wonder which world you’ve walked into and why you should ever have to leave.  Antons fabrics and cuts are classic and stylish and quite unusual in the 21st century, more Bogart than Beckham, more Bergman than Britney.  They are considerately devoted to the full dressing experience – just like being styled for a film you can leave Antons transformed top to toe – including jewellery or cufflinks.  Antons really is unique and their clothing just as much so: everything is small run and the shop also does some bespoke  tailoring – just in case you can’t quite find the garment you’re looking for or the colour on the shelf doesn’t suit.

Antons is not website friendly,  so you’ll need to visit to see their dapper era repro suits, burlesque corsets and tops and every other dazzling distraction in store.
The best thing about Antons:  being honest, I’d have to say their eccentricity attracts me even more than the fine clothing: it’s a must passing by Antons once or twice a month to see the new window display and gaze in awe at the collectables, gaze admiringly at the staff bedecked in that day’s finery and – if time permits – to enter for a browse at the beauty of their well cut garb.

The downside: Antons is priced fairly – but fairly isn’t cheaply.  It’s likely to burn a hole in your card if you go crazy so Antons is great for feature pieces or that special occasion wear. Unless of course, you are reckless or incredibly well-stocked cashwise: in which case there is no end of opportunity to invest in beautiful clothing which will last you years.

Details: ***NOTE NEW ADDRESS***


Antons Melbourne
Shop GD10 Menzies Lane
211 Latrobe Street

Phone: 03 9663 8610
Opening Hours: normal Melbourne Central hours

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16 comments

  1. Indeed that is true, but I would say after having got a 3 piece there today, $1100 is not that bad for the quality and style of the garments.


  2. Everything is amazing about this store, even before you walk in, staff are all beautiful and helpful, cant wait to save a little money, to go a lot nuts! There is no substitute for quality and timeless style, why have 5 so-so items when you can own one brilliant item from Antons????


  3. Does Anton’s have a website where I could view their range please?

    thanks


  4. No they do not have a website, you have to go in there, but the lovely staff always remember your name and seem to know exactly what will work for you.


  5. you’ll need to contact Antons direct: I have nothing to do management of the store itself.


  6. Dear anton and jackie it has been many years( too many) I have only just returned to the work force in the past 18 months after i left you!!!should anything be available or become available please consider my app! My cell is 0457878607!!! even if its sweeping up at the warehouse! the govt is willing to subsidise up to 5000 or 6000 in the first 6 months!! if not i understand after all it has been a while! i hope the two of you are well,and still glad to see the store is booming ahead!!! CHEERS jaye


  7. [...] has an amazing aptitude for portraying a Mad Hatter – let Anton’s dress him, put some lights on him, and magic [...]


  8. Delighted with my purchase of January 7, 2011 – a great grey pinstipe suit. It will even make me look good when I’m conducting wedding ceremonies.
    Glad to buy quality “made in Melbourne” clothing.
    30′ & 40′ style clothing has style. Thanks for the great service too! I’ll certainly keep coming back – now that I know you are there. Best wishes, Gary


  9. Antons is the devil.

    I went in to buy a shirt and left with $1200 worth of clobber.

    Can’t recommend this place enough.


  10. Visiting Melbourne from Canberra early last year I absolutely fell in love with this place. When I moved down in August I was devastated to not find it when I went to look for it. Given that when I saw it it had no sign, only a strip of coppery metal where one would normally go, I had no idea what it was called and no way of finding any information about it. Eventually I resigned myself to having missed out, until one night, after getting hilariously lost on a drunken trek from a restaurant to the toilets, I found myself outside Antons. I was so excited and so drunk that a) I insisted on going in and asking them if it was the same place (and the staff are indeed absolutely lovely!) and b) It took about ten minutes to drag me away from the front of the store where I was staring around me trying to memorise its exact location. I took away a business card this time so I’ll be able to find it again (and to be sure I wasn’t dreaming it!) For anyone googling (how I found this) information on Antons, it’s now located downstairs, with the address on the business card reading

    “Shop GD10 Menzies Lane
    211 Latrobe Street”

    As well as a Sydney (Paddington) address of 212 Oxford Street for anybody a little more northernly inclined.


  11. I “discovered” Anton’s in 2000, when I was working in Melbourne (commuting from Canberra). I still have and wear all the suits, jackets, shirts and shoes that I purchased at that time. It was my best shopping find ever!


  12. love the Sydney store!! we bought our wedding suits there and cant wait for them to arrive! Is Antons on facebook?

    Jono & Jimmy


  13. bought my first shirt from Antons in 96 and been hooked ever since. cannot go to melbourne central without dropping in for a chat with the great staff and checking out anything new. it’s a rare visit that I don’t walk out with a bag… it’s become THE place to buy suits for all my mates too. And they care. I happened to mention that one of the cuffs was coming down on a pair of trousers, they immediately asked me to bring them in so they could be repaired properly, free of charge. Another time I liked the buttons on one shirt but the cut of a different shirt. No problem, come back in a day or two and hey presto! Style. Class. First Rate Service.
    Enough said.


  14. Hi Anton

    It’s Ian from the UK trying to contact you. Hope to hear from you.


  15. Anton’s is fine if you find something off the rack that needs no alternations. I have been let down majorly regarding garments that need alterations by being promised a deadline they couldn’t keep. The outfit is for a specific event and now I have to find something else at the very last minute.

    Personally I feel that the whole thing was a huge waste of time and a very expensive lesson learned. This is not the first time Anton’s have let me down but it will definitely be the last!


  16. I love Antons!! Judt discovered it today and well worth a visit for anyone serious about looking dapper



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