While the 60's may belong to swinging London, attracting many Aussies to venture to the motherland to experience the excitement, fashion and music on offer, a few clever antipodeans decided to stay at home and start their own swinging Sydney.
One such pair were Merivale and John Hemmes.
The names Merivale and Hemmes now are more commonly known for the Merivale Group of bars and hotels, and their entrepreneurial son Justin Hemmes. You don't need to go too far in Sydney to find a venue owned by Merivale, one of the most popular being The Ivy nightclub on George Street along with delicious restaurants such as Mr Wong, Mrs G's and Ash St Cellar
But before they were in the Hospitality and entertainment industry, the Hemmes' were more well known for their fashion boutique - House of Merivale
|Merivale and John Hemmes|
Influenced by the fashionable boutiques of London, The House of Merivale was opened in the late 1959 on Castlereagh Street, eventually moving to a six story Victorian Building in Pitt Street in 1969. With stores like Biba making it big in London, Merivale was the Australian answer to these fashion kings and managed to even out live them into 1996
Merivale's target market were the young 18 to 25 year olds after their own piece of fashionable London. Merivale sold affordable modern clothes 'for people with a zest for life' and was the first store in Sydney to sell the mini skirt.
|60's Merivale Mustard wool minidress|
|60s Merivale Poppy Minidress|
|Merivale Daisy print midriff top and skirt|
|Merival Pink platform sandals|
|Mr John /Merivale mens shirt |
|A heavy burgundy cord suit jacket from The House of Merivale and Mr John|
|Merivale and John in the Pitt Street store|
|Source - Sue Davie and Monika Lieblich wearing Merivale fashions in 1976|
|Fashion by House of Merivale and Mr John. Image from Women's Day Oct 9th, 1978|
|Merivale Print dress - available to buy here|
|House of Merivale Fishtail Floral Maxi Dress - Availible to buy here|
Nicole at Circa Vintage has a fabulous gallery of reader submitted images of their Merivale items - have a look over here!
If you manage to find some Merivale in your mothers wardrobe or out op-shopping, be sure to treasure it just that little bit more now that you know more about it!
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend dear readers! Come back soon wont you?