The Coat (yes, it deserves pronoun capitalisation) hung, squashed between a pink froufrou number and a jacket even Liberace would tone down. I saw it first, but Annoying Shopper was quicker to the mark. I pretended an interest in a crochet top, watching from the corner of my eye as she pulled it on. As she struggled with the buttons and finally discarded it, defeated, a cruel triumph bubbled inside me.
Now it has pride of place in my wardrobe when Sydney’s summer months allow it rest, but as winter comes around, The Coat is rarely far from my front door. Able to cover the daddiest of pyjamas, feign class where before there was none, and (should it have legs) could leap tall buildings in a single bound, The Coat has prompted a return to Glebe Markets in the hopes of another such find.
It’s Saturday – market day in Sydney. From my home in Sydney’s inner west, I pass a seeming impromptu market at the pedestrian mall of bohemian Newtown before heading to the grounds of Glebe Public School on Glebe Point Road (just fifteen minutes walk from Sydney’s Central Station).
Glebe Markets are my go-to for vintage fashion, reimagined. Recycling is given fresh meaning as an abandoned teapot is fused with discarded cutlery in a redefinition of kitsch, a glomesh Oroton clutch is airbrushed to resemble a cassette, curtains that I swear once adorned my parent’s room circa 1987 are made into bonnets. All this, and veggie dumplings too!
Not one to haunt Sydney’s many boutiques for the latest in ‘it’ fashion, I was not in the queue when Australia’s first Zara opened in the shopper’s paradise that is Pitt Street Mall. Instead I await the first Sunday of each month to scour the offerings of thirty year-old Surry Hills Markets.
In the shadow of famed drinking hole, The Clock, Surry Hills’ Shannon Reserve plays host to a community of friendly sellers willing to chat and even source hard-to-find items. After an hour of meandering I head to I ran the wrong way on Cleveland Street which sells fair trade and recycled goods (like a market with the benefit of credit card facilities).
Attracting tourists and city locals, The Rocks Market is a weekend institution where one can walk the cobblestones while shopping. Just out of Sydney proper, Rozelle Markets is also open over the weekend and is just a hop, skip and used-record-for-only-50c away from some of Sydney greatest pubs. But if you really want to combine pub-bing and market-ing, a pint at the Annandale Hotel is a must! Here, music, booze and a bargain are the perfect start to the weekend.
Now I understand not everyone shares my desire to wear the clothes of a complete stranger who may have employed sketchy hygiene protocols, but Sydney’s markets are also the breeding ground to some of Australia’s latest designers.
Well known fixture on the market scene, Summerblossom designer and founder Rochelle Austin turned a creative hobby into a successful business, her creations at once appearing in both Cosmo Bride and on the heads of many a perennial market-goer, myself included.
If your stay in Sydney doesn’t fall on a weekend, Chinatown Night Market starts at 4pm every Friday and the nearby covered Paddy’s Markets are open Wednesday through to Sunday.
Sydney is also home to Paddington Markets, Eveleigh Farmers’ and Artisans’ Markets, Bondi Markets and many others. There are also specialty markets that pop up throughout the year so keep an eye out.
For more information on what to do in Sydney, see: http://www.visitnsw.com/sydney.aspx.All images (bar The Rocks Markets) courtesy of www.summerblossom.com.au.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Gaya Avery