Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Spotlight On: Madam Virtue

The stylish JC and Dean
In a time when the Australian fashion industry is under siege with international chain stores such as Zara and Topshop landing on Australian shores, and international online retailers such as Asos and Shopbop gaining in popularity, there are a few boutiques whose unique stock selection and one-off designs are allowing them to stay competitive in the market. Madam Virtue is a perfect example of such a store. 

Located on Crossley Street in Melbourne's CBD which is reminiscent of a charming European laneway, Madam Virtue is full of beautiful designs from all around the world. Started by partners JC Lloyd-Southwell d'Anvers and Dean Hewitt who select and buy all of the pieces themselves, a visit to Madam Virtue is a must for any fashion lover. With JC and Dean buying all the stock and working in the store themselves, means you can learn all about the history of the clothes and accessories first-hand.

The beautiful Maude
You will often find JC and Dean's beautiful sharpei Maude in the store who is always well accessorised with her Louis Vuitton dog collar or Vivienne Westwood scarf.

As well as stocking a fantastic array of labels such as Chanel, Hermès, Lanvin, Hussain Chalayan, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Tony Cohen, Max Mara, Fendi, just to name a few, Madam Virtue have their own self titled in-house couture label design by JC.  These stunning pieces have featured in many editorials and exhibitions.

The Madam Virtue shop front
In a notoriously competitive industry, Dean and JC are well known for always giving their time to help up-and-coming people in the fashion industry. They are always keen help charities such as the Prahran Mission, and support fashion events such as The Spirit of The Black Dress which help up-and-coming designers. I have experienced their generosity first-hand since I started my blog, with JC and Dean always taking the time to talk to me about their experiences in the industry and share their knowledge about fashion.

If you are looking for a fashion classic or show stopping piece, head to Madam Virtue and say hi to JC, Dean and Maude who will always be happy to see you! It's important to show our support to these fantastic boutiques which make Melbourne's fashion scene so unique.

Visit Madam Virtue at 5 Crossley Street, Melbourne.
Like Madam Virtue on Facebook here.
For more information on Madam Virtue check out their website or email Dean and JC at info@madamvirtue.com.au.

Stay tuned for an interview with the fantastic JC and Dean to learn more about their experiences in the fashion industry!
Here are some of the beautiful treasures which can be found at Madam Virtue:

Madam Virtue is the exclusive stockists of Dutch designer Tony Cohen's latest No Dress Code collection in Australia. 

After playing minor league baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cohen decide on a complete career change. He spent 7 years working in production before launching his own women's sportswear collection. In 2007, Cohen introduced his No Dress Code range which was a dressier, up-scale version of his original pieces. 

Madam Virtue have a fantastic range of Cohen's feminine pieces which feature beautiful detailing and draping.

Boasting an enviable selection of Chanel bags and accessories, Madam Virtue are one of the world's largest stockists of Chanel outside of the actual Chanel stores. Carefully sourced from around the globe, many of the pieces are very rare.

Madam Virtue have a beautiful selection of Chanel pieces which come with their own documentation and drawing by Karl Lagerfeld. How's that for a piece of fashion history!

I was lucky enough to try on this beautiful Chanel couture gown. The attention to detail on the dress is amazing!

Talented designer JC has created many stunning pieces which have featured in many domestic and international publications. From beautiful gowns to detailed blouses and wedding dresses, JC's creations are made from the highest quality materials with many hand-sewn in France.

I was fortunate enough to try on some of JC stunning designs. (Please excuse the bad hair and make-up! I was looking a little worse for wear after work and unfortunately didn't do justice to the amazing pieces! You will have to see them in person to appreciate the beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail.)
This stunning Opera gown is made
with Hermès silk taffeta. The paillettes 

detail on the back is amazing! It is also 
available with velvet detailing.

This beautiful embroidered column gown
is made from 
Hermès twill
The unique embroidery makes this
dress one of a kind!
Love the exposed zipper on this
delicate lace dress. The full skirt makes
you feel like a princess!

This dress was so comfortable to wear,
I didn't want to take it off! The
beautiful side draping and cutout
detail gave this dress the most
flattering silhouette!
Images by Stylus Muse and JC Lloyd-Southwell d'Anvers


  1. What a fantastic shop! Such unique things:) I will definitely stop by next time I'm in Melbourne:)

  2. Madam Virtue is THE must see shop in Melbourne. The gentlemen run an inspired operation. You couldn't fit another slip of designer luxe in the shop, full to the rafters with treasuresome items handpicked from the great houses.
    Lisa is a total babe in JCs cutout sheath, and probably the perfect girl in the world for the Opera gown. Looks like you had a fun day together!

  3. Thanks for your lovely comments!

    You are too kind Kyra! JC's designs are amazing! You definitely have to see them in person to appreciate his attention to detail:) I couldn't agree with you more about Madam Virtue. Not only do they stock amazing pieces, but the shop is run by two of the nicest gentlemen in the industry!


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