How many times have you looked through a magazine and wondered where a certain celebrity shopped, lusted after that awesome pair of pants they’re wearing or thought with a longing pang how they always managed to make looking good seem so effortless?
Today it’s my turn as I go in search of the ultimate celebrity look, and where better to do it than Port Douglas, Australia’s number one holiday destination for A-list celebrities.
Mega stars such as Kylie, Elle and Pink are known to have pounded Port’s pavements, and as I follow in their footsteps down the manicured main drag of Macrossan Street, I am hungry to explore.
My first stop is the aptly named No. Five and I immediately wonder if inside lives up to the name – after all Coco Chanel epitomised luxury and oozed celebrity class. As I look through the racks of bright florals, cool silks and bold prints, I imagine the boutique’s celebrity clientele, some of who include Natalie Imbruglia, Dannii Minogue and Kate Hudson, that were here before me.
The owner Kate Turner says it’s not uncommon to see celebrities enjoying the local shopping. “We have lots of celebrity clients that visit when they are here and also online – we have even had someone from a royal family. Sometimes personal assistants and entourages ask for private viewings but most of the time, because Port is such a relaxed place, celebrities will often go unnoticed.
“Most of them just adore the warmer weather and it is such a compliment that out of all the places they could visit, they come here because they love our eclectic collection and Australian designers.”
Kate also has high praise for the other boutiques that help create one of Australia’s most exclusive designer precincts. “The thing I love about Port Douglas is that behind most of the boutiques and restaurants is someone special with a unique history.
“They bring with them a unique flavour of their past, which creates a gorgeous melting pot of originality that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s so worth the drive.”
On this last point I agree – for local handmade jewellery you can’t go past Bellisimo, Wicked Willies or L’Dream at the Port Douglas Marina, then there is Tzusk, with its own clothing label. Using different textures and natural fibres, its clothing range is all hand made in Port Douglas by owner Di Perry.
Barbarella & Swan is a charming boutique owned and operated by Barbara Dippenaar, who moved to Port Douglas from Perth four years ago. She describes her store as classic, featuring labels such as Sacha Drake, Leina Broughton and Mackenzie Mode. “I have always been passionate about classic clothing, that is feminine and won’t date,” she says.
Whether you’re shopping for women, men or kids, Port Douglas’ boutiques have it all. If they don’t, there are also high street retail brands such as Witchery and Lorna Jane as well as surf shops and more casual retail outlets that can still put a dent in the credit card.
Kate Hudson’s Top 5 Port Douglas purchases:
- Vintage-style baby clothes
- Handmade jewellery
- Lee Mathews silk shoe string slips
- Natasha sandals
- Samvara bags