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The Anatomy of Perth

The Anatomy of Perth

Illustrations Megan Hoeneveld.

Fashionistas

These immaculately turned-out creatures can be seen blowing air kisses at premieres all over Perth, posing for social galleries with an arch of their perfectly groomed brows, or laden with shopping bags on King Street. On the days before pay day, they scurry into their airy apartments, scowling over Vogue and Russh, or adding the latest look from Poppy Delevingne to their Pinterest boards.

LOVES Champagne, glossy mags, sample sales, the social pages.

PLAYTIME Fashionistas spend their downtime posting pics from their latest photo shoot to their blogs, or composing the perfect flatlay for Instagram. After all, their devoted followers are a demanding bunch. December’s Polo in the City is also marked in their diaries for an excuse to go frock shopping and visit a milliner.

INSTA FEED @stylevoyeur, @nictrunfio, @theboyfriendshirt, @whatsthegoh, @lepip.

GROOMING Flaxen-haired babes head to Viva La Blonde, a sunny – and notoriously booked-out – salon for seamless extensions and brass-free highlights that would make Blake Lively weep. For brunettes and redheads who baulk at Viva’s colour discrimination, Newcastle Street’s Cision Hair is on speed dial. They tend to the well-watched tresses of stars like Megan Gale and Miranda Otto, so they know how to give hair a camera-worthy gleam (hellooo, social pages!). Brows are tended to by cult stylist Alison Jade in Cottesloe, while pampering is taken to dizzying heights at Bodhi J’s glam new salon in Highgate.

RETAIL THERAPY Um, everything? But local designer Poppy Lissiman scores major points for her left-of-centre accessories, rife with pop-culture references. The revamped Dilettante, with an uncluttered industrial look, is in every fashionista’s little black book for its revolving stock of cool labels, like Acne Studios, Rick Owens and Maison Margiela. And Scarborough’s Sara Fox & Co is the go-to for casual threads from American Vintage, Johnny Was and Frame Denim.

PLAYLIST Layered electro pop from Kucka, Chela, Catlips and model hybrid Natalie Daws. 

WATERING HOLE Could new bar Door 49’s entrance into high society get any more farshun? Let’s see: vintage-style keys were delivered to the households of WA’s elite by Uber Black chauffeurs. Each key was numbered for exclusivity and designed by Ae’lkemi’s Alvin Fernandez. And there’s barely any info online about the place, except for social snaps of the inhumanly photogenic. In short: nope. La Vie, the ritzy champagne bar at Crown, scores a close second.

SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER The Flour Factory has recently undergone a massive reno, and is a hit with the style set. Why? It’s equal parts glam and cutting edge, its meat-heavy menu is Atkins-approved, and the giant windows facing Queen Street show the plebs just how fabulous its patrons are!

WORKOUT Bulging muscles aren’t farshun. Instead, glamour girls head to Xtend Barre at Pure Moves in Cottesloe to get the lithe, clothes-horsey limbs they lust after.

SUNDAY MORNING BREKKIE Everything about beachside joint Tropico is gorgeous, from the curl-tonged patrons and artfully arranged plates to the unfairly attractive wait staff (is that you, former Scoop cover model and The Face winner Olivia Donaldson, taking our cup?) The Tenth State in Nedlands is another fave because, apart from their delicious violet cupcakes and raw treats, it doubles as an excuse to shop (duh!) for shoes or imported fashion mags.

 

Fitness Fanatics

You’ll know the girls from their perma-flushed cheeks, fluoro crop tops, and unnaturally cheerful dispositions; the guys, from the well-defined V-lines, bulging pectorals, and the way they flex like it’s a nervous tick. These creatures rise before dawn, jogging up Jacob’s Ladder and around the paths at Matilda Bay, so if you sleep past 9am, you may miss them altogether. This can be fortunate; sightings are known to induce self-loathing in onlookers.

LOVES Bathroom selfies, motivational quotes, protein powder, burpees, endorphins.

PLAYTIME Their adrenalin-addicted veins pulse with joy at festivals like Stereosonic or Sets On The Beach, the latter doing double duty by letting them flaunt their bods in boardies and bikinis.

INSTA FEED @amandabisk, @steph_pacca, @realnaitanui, @stylerunner.

GROOMING While most times they sweep their hair back in sweaty ponies, when sporty ladies get their hair done they look for stylists who specialise in no-fuss pretty. Attadale’s The Nest – where Amanda Bisk got her tresses tended to recently – and Circles of Subiaco are a couple of faves. Dudes do their toned pecs justice by getting chest waxes and fake tans (ssssh!) at Mr Wax Grooming in North Perth.

RETAIL THERAPY Sporty couples love to shop at Lululemon, while discerning girls refresh their ’robes with sophisticated activewear (yes, it’s a thing!) from the new Motion Lifestyle on Napoleon Street, or the sports-luxe basics from First Base, a line designed by sandgroper native Ali Cotton (formerly of Joveeba). For nights out on the town, ladies flash their diamond-hard bods in bright cut-out gowns from Perth designer Natalie Rolt, or banging bandage two-pieces from Harpers Dressers, designed by former FHM model (and soccer WAG) Siobhan Parekh. Jocks like low-slung singlets or muscle tees from General Pants – but really, they let their guns do the talking.

PLAYLIST Pulsing upbeat jams from ShockOne, Mishtee, Drapht, Slumberjack and Knife Party.

WATERING HOLE Although in training season they keep things clean, sipping from lemon-infused water while everyone else swigs champers, when fitness freaks party they do so with surprising verve. Think colourful cocktails and Red Bull from Matisse Beach Club or The Left Bank.

SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER The progressive plant-based fare from Raw Kitchen scores major points with the ripped set, who team their spiralised zucchini pasta with organic red wine and raw chocolate mousse when they want to indulge.

WORKOUT What can’t we add to this list?! Well, run-of-the-treadmill joints for starters. Instead, the truly fit (or unhinged) up the ante with gruelling boxing sessions at Anarchy Training Centre. The tough-love approach pays off with seriously toned bods.

SUNDAY MORNING BREKKIE The tasty green juices at The Market Juicery deliver a potent whack of nutrients – and make the perfect accessory to put between cavernous thigh gaps on Insta. Yelo in Trigg is another fave for its bright, cheery decor, fresh juices, and extensive gluten-free menu.

 

Free Spirits

Free spirits don’t walk, they waft, often leaving a trail of essential oils in their wake. You’ll glimpse them adding organic apples to their hemp carry-bags at farmers markets, weaving through quiet streets on bikes with wicker baskets, or rallying in Esplanade Park against the Roe 8 extension.

LOVES Lefty politics, incense, kombucha, crystals, free love.

PLAYTIME It’s all about camping at folk festivals like Fairbridge or Nanga Music Festival, or trips down south to see bands at Settler’s Tavern. Of course, free spirits also love dabbling in the crystal-healing and chakra-balancing workshops at Kalamunda’s Joy Sanctuary.

INSTA FEED @olivecooke, @gypsylovinlight, @tajamos, @for_thedreamers,
@johnbutlertrio.

GROOMING Free Spirits head to Rock Paper Scissors in South Freo, to get their hair braided or some ‘natural’ highlights painted with cruelty-free, eco prods. Wildilocks in Kensington is the go-to for the perfect roughly hewn dreddies. And for a nature- (and, uh, luxe treatment-) induced glow, Onyesha Spa Pinelake, set deep within the forest, gives the ultimate restoration.

RETAIL THERAPY Boho babes love the crystal jewellery from Lunarsea Designs, and whimsical swimsuits from Gypsea. The online destination Turquoise Lane has a showroom in Osborne Park, where haute-hippies flock for flowy kaftans and ikat maxis from Spell Designs, Stone Cold Fox and Free People.

PLAYLIST They love bluegrass, reggae or roots, with bonus points for chilled-out sounds with a political undercurrent. John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd and Zarm are on high rotation.

WATERING HOLE Small bar? Why restrict themselves, when the universe is so expansive, man? Instead, bohemian breeds are partial to lugging cleanskins and a djembe (translation: tribal drum) to South Beach. Still, they love the Sunday Sessions at the Fremantle Arts Centre from October onwards, where they can listen to chilled-out folk music on the grass with a picnic and a bottle of organic red.

SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER Freo’s Gypsy Tapas House has a worldly menu and performances by scruffy beatnik musicians, while over in the city, Greenhouse – with its vertical gardens, sustainable systems, and fresh food straight from the grounds – is an eco-warrior’s wet dream.

WORKOUT Though their diet of organic everything keeps them supple, free spirits froth yoga (what else?), especially at Beacon Yoga Centre or Mala Yoga.

SUNDAY MORNING BREKKIE At Maylands’ new Little Shop of Plenty, granola crunchers can, quite literally, crunch on buckwheat granola, as well as slurp on exotic superfood smoothies like cashew cacao or banana with bee pollen. Ootong & Lincoln is another fave for its quirky hodgepodge decor, live roots music on Sundays, and proximity to South Beach and yoga studios.

 

Corporati

From 5pm, the corporati swarm St Georges Terrace, a sea of polished leather shoes and tailored suits. If they’re not barking instructions into their smartphones, they’re sipping whisky on the rocks or espresso martinis at slick city bars. 

LOVES Cigars, wine tasting, the stock market, buying rounds.

PLAYTIME They’re not thinking about work all the time, after all. In their time off, executives head to wineries dotted around the Swan Valley, or the invite-only smoky poker nights at cigar shop Devlin’s.

INSTA FEED Insta-what? Suits and stilettos are too busy #brokeringdeals to scroll through social media, thankyouverymuch.

GROOMING Corporatesses get weekly blow-outs from the team at Chilli Couture (who offer tailored services for the ‘corporate genius’), while businessmen head to Guys Grooming to get their hair clipped and chests waxed while reclining in leather seats, watching sports on flat-screen TVs.

RETAIL THERAPY Don Draper-types trawl Parker & Co and Politix, with the truly dapper adding pocket squares from Pocket Rockit, or timepieces at Brookfield Place’s Montblanc. Ladies stock up on tailored dresses and blazers from Saba, with the more fashion-forward opting for deconstructed outerwear from Periscope.

PLAYLIST Refined jazz at places like The Laneway Lounge or Malt Supper Club, where Cathrine Summers and Jessie Gordon are on high rotation.

WATERING HOLE The only places they spend more time than the office are the CBD’s small bars. Bar Lafayette at Brookfield Place, with its fancy spirits and old-world decor, gets a spin, as does Stables on Hay Street (lol). Executive-types could spend hours in the multiple levels of Print Hall, with its luxe set-ups, expansive wine lists, and fine dining.

SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER Plush eateries at Crown Casino are where suits go to blow the cash they spend all week (and yeah, some weekends) earning. Nobu’s international rep and sexy sake bar makes it a fave, as is Neil Perry’s Rockpool, with its pricey menu of exclusive items like a 65-day-dry-aged rib eye. Hell, even the chips taste expensive there.

WORKOUT In their lunch breaks, suits and stilletos head to Next Gen, overlooking Kings Park. The futuristic gym has cutting-edge equipment and punishing classes that get their Type A blood pumping.

SUNDAY MORNING BREKKIE Many a Terrace-stomper will slink out of his suit and into Lycra before pedalling with singular tenacity, stopping only for Atomic Espresso. The South Perth cafe is the perfect spot for a post-cycle feed.

 

Indie Kids

Bearded, bespectacled, or covered in body art, Indie Kids live for breaking new territory, discovering new bands, designers, and craft beer before the masses get to them. You can find them sipping artisan coffee and reading Vice in exposed-brick cafes throughout Freo, Northbridge and Mount Lawley.

LOVES Vinyl, beards, gigs, street art, irony, Melbourne.

PLAYTIME Indie kids top up their vinyl collections (the jury’s out on whether any own a record player) at Fat Shan’s, Safari’s Record Shack, or the old classic 78 Records. They also check out sporadic gigs at Whipper Snapper Distillery, or raucous art shows at Little Wing Corner Gallery.

INSTA FEED @beardsofwesternaustralia, @takubeats, @streetsofperth, @kimberryberry.

GROOMING For guys, the hands-down best option is Westons Barbershop on William Street. Architectural beards, old-time references, and muso pedigree (beat producer Ta-Ku is part-owner)? Check, check and check. Girls sign their day over to Head Studio on King Street, knowing the perfect peroxide, fringe, or pastel hues of a My Little Pony take a serious time investment. And both guys and gals get custom-designed tatts from Holdfast Tattoo in Vic Park or Freo’s WA INK

RETAIL THERAPY Lessons Concept Store in Freo is through a barred door, down an alleyway, and in a dim basement, which makes it hard for the masses to find it. Good, say the indies, who like being part of the select few who buy its exclusive labels. Elroy Clothing in Mount Lawley, owned by a former member of The Clash, stocks cool rock ’n’ roll threads, with a particularly great selection of denim. And at Cabinet Noir, a timber-lined sneaker store on Shafto Lane, cool kids get their kicks without having to deal with a shred of hipster ’tude.

PLAYLIST Experimental genre-busters like Koi Child, Mt. Mountain, Lower Spectrum and Moana.

WATERING HOLE You’ll find indie kids sipping craft beer or cheap Emu Exports (um, it’s ironic) while checking out gigs at William Street’s The Bird, or the new Jack Rabbit Slim’s on Aberdeen Street, a massive music venue-cum-diner with street art and pop-culture references galore.

SPECIAL OCCASION DINNER Er, since when did the humble barbie get so hip? We’re not sure, but it seems your dad was onto something, with a crop of new meat-focused joints drawing throngs of cooler-than-thou customers. Arguably the best is Old Faithful, an American BBQ-style joint with tender slow-smoked meats and a selection of local craft beers.

WORKOUT Gyms are so mainstream. No Lights No Lycra, a freeform dance in total darkness that originated in – you guessed it – Melbourne, is much more original, and, we would venture, much more fun. Oh, and there’s always the skate park at Freo’s Esplanade Youth Plaza.

SUNDAY MORNING BREKKIE Uncle Joe’s on King Street is the order of the day, with batch brew coffee and gourmet sandwiches that are hearty enough to give New York delis a run for their money. Plus, it doubles as a hipster barber. The street art-covered Sayers in Leederville is another fave, with inventive breakfasts, and coffee made from their own special blend.

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