There’s surely no quicker way to escape house arrest on an icy, mid-week, Winter’s night than with an arts opening…
One minute you’re cowering under a bus shelter, trying to avoid combining soft leather shoes with muddy puddles, wondering if you left your electric blanket on and if its too late to turn around and go home to check. The next, surrounded by eyefuls of art and fashion that you can’t wait to check out, warm as toast in the middle of a rosy-cheeked, happily-chatting crowd, who are downing free beers faster than the bottles have the chance to start chilling their hands.

Last night’s WOW opening involved the 8 fashion/art boutiques that make up Northbridge’s William Street Collective; opening their doors to the September night as part of the initial stages of the Perth Fashion Festival. Each store boasted a clever window display and an original free art print by a Perth-based artist or photographer to collect… As well as the chance to explore, under the illuminating night lights, the nooks & crannies and knicks & knacks that are now renowned for making up the Collective’s awesomely individualistic interiors.

Despite being locals of the area, and thus regular William Street visitors, Dropstitch was pleasantly taken aback by more than a few things. After heading into a shop once thought of as middle-aged lady territory, a few champagnes later it was discovered to have an enviable collection of retro antique furniture, and a hip, young owner who’s apologising for scoffing sushi, whilst tracking down more information for you about the new designer of absolutely the best pair of black high waisted shorts you’ve laid eyes on. Another boutique, whose first impression suggests a place for mainstream Johnny-come-latelys spending their parents money to look like everyone else, was revealed as an incredibly well thought out concept store that maintains its product authenticity and passion right down to the socks its bright and lovable owner is rocking that day.

Last night’s Windows on William opening was a perfect example of something Perth’s been getting a nice little knack for lately and will continue to do in the upcoming months – making you feel like you’re on holiday, right before the five minute walk home.

That said, there’s not many streets you’d hit up on holiday where you could visit eight different shops (and for the large majority of them) barely have time to duck-shake the raindrops off your coat before you’re greeted by a familiar smile and launched into conversation.

So Dropstitch is gonna hold off on those plane tickets for a while. Instead, we’re heading to the Perth streets, to catch you looking good. With the Perth Fashion Festival just kicking off this week, there’s no better time to… look sharp!

Words and photos by Danielle Marsland