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The new Marais women’s boutique in Melbourne is dedicated to the expression of one’s individuality through covetable fashion. Designed by F2 Architecture, a Melbourne based architectural studio which specialises in luxury retail, the boutique heralds a new direction for Marais and its loyal following. The new store is arranged over two levels and is home to a carefully curated collection which includes ready to wear, handbags, small leather goods, shoes & accessories, high end jewellery and lingerie. A private VIP salon is located on the upper level. F2 Architecture worked closely with design studios from Celine, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Rick Owens and Linda Farrow to realise and seamlessly integrate their unique luxury stores within the new boutique.

The unconventional retail environment is crystalline, edgy, dark and yet still distinctly feminine. The design concept is based on the Owner’s interest in dark fairy tales. A sophisticated lighting concept based on a theatrical chiaroscuro which accentuates contrast and minimises lighting levels was specially developed for the store by Melbourne based lighting designers, The Flaming Beacon.
The new store builds on Melbourne’s tradition of fine retail destinations. It is located in the newly reinvigorated precinct at the top end of Bourke Street in Melbourne, once a home to high end fashion and style. The intriguing shopfronts and the Marais symbolism contribute to the vitality of the city and provide portals into the world of Marais.

Like the dark fairy tales which provided its inspiration, the interior fosters surprise, mystery and delight in customers and visitors alike. The crystalline shopfronts give way to an interior of sweeping crystal floors, patterned mirrored ceilings, giant quartz crystal chandelier, metal and marble staircase, medieval metal grillage, chainmail ceilings, thrones and a unique infinity lift.
With its unusual, unconventional materials, experimentation, attention to detail and craftsmanship, the making of Marais pays homage to its collection and to the Parisian tradition of haute couture.

Design: F2 Architecture
Photography: Tyrone Branigan

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