30 April 2009


This evening, to my pleasure, I stumbled across Assin.

A window of androgynous mannequins wearing excessively draped black jackets, skinny painted-on pants and leathered accessories greeted me on the busy Oxford Street, and lured me in like the neo-vampyres they all aspire to be. I soon discovered one enters Assin via Verona Street and darted around the corner to check it out. 'Well, well, well,' I think to myself (and you, it seems), 'what a beautiful store to find in this little cul-de-sac whilst wandering the streets - looking for meat? Sorry, it rhymed - on a Thursday evening!'

Assin kind of stocks all my most desirables: Haider Ackerman, Comme Des Garcons, Ann Demeulemeester (below), Dior Homme, Limi Feu, Lanvin, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Undercover, Kris Van Assche, Junya Watanabe and more. I was kind of in my fashion heaven (except for the small fact I have no funds to support this fetish). Nevertheless, it was exciting and heartening to come across a store in Sydney whose buyers have bought so diligently and directionally and with a very (very) specific client in mind.

Assin is a relatively new addition to Sydney, I discover, having only been open since December 2007, maybe not long enough to really predict how Sydney will take to it in the longer term. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the founding Assin store is in Melbourne and was established in early 2004. There, I have a feeling there's probably slightly more of a market for this supplier of high-end, semi-niche, dark-aesthetic, form-over-function-and-facade, labels than it's Sydney counterpart. If nothing else, winter is colder in Melbourne, but I suspect there's more to it than that. *Refrains from entering into any Sydney vs. Melbourne debates.*

All this said, having now found Assin Sydney, it is probably my favourite store in the city. Just being in there is a pleasure; the racks provide hours of entertainment (how do I wear that Ackermann jacket?), there are loads of massive mirrors, the salespeople are helpful and (can you believe it?) friendly, and you can try without pressure to buy. For those of us darkly-inclined Australians (or anyone, for that matter), who would rather wear Van Assche than Antipodium any day, Assin should truly be the first stop. By the way, if anyone cares to donate a sum to the divine-Rick-Owens-Leather-Zipped-Wedge-in-size-39 fund (see pic above), for the very good cause of nightly escapades like the one mentioned above, please email me. I promise I won't bite.


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