On a chilled Autumn afternoon, after a few sherry's, household items and brightly coloured objet are often melded into disguises of amusement in another riotous round of the game of "Hat". Mr Brown treated us to several such plays just recently.
Wishing to avoid the tumbleweed vibe that took over the streets of Melbourne on Good Friday at the start of the Easter four day weekend, we opted for a two hour train ride northwest to the provincial outpost of Bendigo. A rural metropolis with its roots firmly set in golden grandeur of the mid 1800's, when digging to get rich became all the rage. The ensuing bonanza and the then townsfolk's civic pride have left the legacy of some wonderful Victorian architecture.
This fantastic 3 storey building at No. 74 Collins Street for many years housed one of the most glamorous salons of style and mode that Melbourne has known, the iconic and chic Le Louvre. From 1934 until 2010 this address was the passport to international elegance. With its guilt fittings and furniture, mirrored walls and liberal swathes of Ocelot print, it was beguiling and a touch risqué.
While the business still exists and thrives at a new location in South Yarra, No 74 was given over to a fashion chainstore for the past few years. Now on the eve of a major redevelopment for the site, the spirit of its past has been re-imagined to serve as a sales and marketing suite.
The New may be coming, but the past glamour will linger here at