Friday, September 18, 2009

Carousel Recycled Boutique, Camberwell

one sentence review: Carousel is comparable to a posh old woman's closet.

The Carousel Recycled Boutique has been "closing down" for almost 3 months. At the top of the hill on Burke Rd, Camberwell it's a bit of an afternote to the flashy thoroughfare of the main shops and eateries on the busy strip.

On the front window it boasts "60% off all stock" however be prepared to find a few variations on this claim when you go browsing.

Carousel is comparable to a posh old woman's closet. There are plenty of sensible, good quality pieces; many from labels like Alannah Hill and Chanel. There are a couple of heavy woven jackets with fur linings and trimmings, silk blouses and soft crepe dresses (in pale peach, yellow and pearl shades.) I also thumbed through trouser suits and long cocktail/formal dresses that were neither contemporary or vintage. The highlight of the collection (which is solely for women) was the selection of hats, gloves, fascinators and accessories. I found this gorgeous boat-shaped red cap with a black veil and a couple of feathers for $190, there was also a silk Chanel scarf (in black and white) and designer bags and wallets in one of the display cabinets. There were a number of hats that would be good for the upcoming spring racing carnival on display along the wall.

At the top of the shop a few suits (in the style of the famous woven Chanel two piece) were featured. The shoe selection was ok, the sizes were on the smaller side (largest I saw was an 8), but from good quality labels.

It's a two - tiered shop with most of the clothing and accessories on tables and racks in the front of the shop. A small flight of stairs leads to what I assume are the "high end pieces," changerooms and register. Be warned before shopping, Carousel is really a high-end recycled boutique. The clothes may be secondhand, but the prices are not and the owner is notoriously difficult when it comes to haggling. Jackets ranged between $70- $200, dresses from $30-$100 and accessories $80-$200. There was a lack of unique, vintage pieces, but the clothing and accessories are mostly from designer labels. The quality of clothing is excellent, spacing and layout is good, but the staff can be a little cold and intimidating.

It is worth hiking up the hill because it does give you the chance to touch, feel and perhaps purchase some recycled designer-label items. Though I recommend before purchasing an item (especially if it is labeled as Chanel or Dior) that you ask first about its authenticity.

op shop: Carousel Recycled Boutique, Camberwell

address: 798a Burke Rd, Camberwell


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getting there:

pt: catch the Belgrave, Lilydale or Alamein line to Camberwell Station - walk "up" the hill. Otherwise the number 72 tram travels up and down Burke rd regularly.

parking: Parking inspectors and clear-way zones make Burke Rd a bit of a nightmare sometimes. Parking is best in the complex next to Target and Safeway behind the main street. It's worth the walk.

food: Plenty of cafe's and eateries along Burke Rd - Grilled is good for burgers and chips and Georges is good for a coffee and maybe something a little different to eat.

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  1. Hi, I read your review and totally agree with you. I used to enjoy shopping there as the girl who previously managed the store was an absolute delight.The service she provided was exceptional.During a recent visit i was told she no longer works there.I wont bother going back. Service now is terrible & prices far too high.

  2. Hey, yeah, the prices are pretty high - and despite the labels, some of the pieces are pretty average!

    thanks for reading/commenting!

  3. I highly recommend you pay a visit to the new carousel shop(same owner as Camberwell) located in Toorak situated next to the Op shop in Canterbury rd. A close friend has previously worked for the owner but quit soon after due to the dodgy activity that was going on in from the owner.

    Not only is the owner difficult but would refuse to pay her clients and on some occasions made staff and clients cry in the shop in front of customers. If you do pay a visit to the shop do be aware of the owner : 45+ woman, generally wearing black with a ridiculous hair extension piece in and extreme day make-up. Be aware that the owner will not let you leave without purchasing something from the store. I cant see this shop lasting long in such a prominant area.