Australian fashion people on the local gift ideas they’re loving this holiday season



From those who know best.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My mum likes to tell me it’s my little sister, but I maintain that it was my 5th generation lime green iPod Nano. On the Christmas of 2009, my generous grandma heard my very obnoxious 12-year-old pleas and presented me with my dream gift.

It was engraved – yes engraved, I asked specifically – with my name on the back. I loaded it up with The Veronicas’ discography and almost cried tears of joy. My sister’s cool too though.

Interested to hear how others navigate the world? Head to our Life section. 

Pretend all you like that you love ‘every gift equally’ – everyone’s got a favourite. Maybe it’s the heartfelt letter given to you by a holiday lover or the great pair of shoes you thrashed until they fell apart.

Giving and receiving that kind of gift is (although this might just be my love language speaking) a truly blissful feeling. This gifting season, I’ve got high hopes.

We’ve put in some gift-giving work this year over here at Fashion Journal (think of us as really well-dressed elves). Our local label gift guide is here, we’ve trawled the internet for amazing presents and the Dyspnea designers have put together the wishlist of our dreams. And it doesn’t stop there! Read on to find this season’s best gifts, according to our favourite fashion people.

Fatuma Ndenzako, co-founder and designer at Collective Closets

Daphne Hughette Ruby Flower ring

With Melbourne so full of local jewellery-making talent, we’re almost spoilt for choice. Our store has recently started stocking handmade pieces from the beautiful Daphne Hughette. Of Dutch and Indonesian descent, her pieces are inspired by cultural traditions, celebratory music and tribal ritual (just like us!). For Christmas, my sister Laurinda and I gifted our employees each a ring from her collection and it felt really special. The Ruby Flower ring is a showstopper!


Koéna Self Care set*


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When it comes to skincare, Australian ingredients just feel better. Local brand Koéna (meaning ‘balance’ in Hawaiian) has centred its products around a unique and exclusive formula called ‘Resta-plex’. Proudly developed in Victoria, Resta-plex has a multitude of properties and is smoothing, anti-ageing, skin repairing and calming. I have quite a few girlfriends (most of them mums to small children, like me) who need a little holiday TLC. The Self Care set is an easy way to say, “You deserve pampering”. Gifted with a bottle of wine, of course.



Brittany Lyons, fashion brand marketing consultant

A Sister Studios cap


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I’ll take any opportunity to promote proper sun safety and a hat as a Christmas gift is the perfect gentle-yet-cute nudge for those I love. The caps from Sister Studios are a staple and I love how each season will bring a new motif and range of hues. You can’t have too many hats, ever!


Anything from Makers Mrkt


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When all else fails, the good people at Makers Mrkt have the best collection of homewares, candles, ceramics and everything in between to nail that KK giftee. My go-to makers on the site would have to be Capitalism Is Disappearing and Blazed Wax – both female-led, Melbourne-based labels.



Emma Cutri, co-founder of Sister Studios and Blazed Wax

Kannava Jewels gold rings


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Having a jeweller as a best friend makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world – but it also hurts the pocket, a lot. I’m always saving up for a chunky gold piece from Kannava Jewels. Watching her polish her amazing bling in our shared studio every day means I’m always eyeing something new. The current favourite is this gold ring with a big lapis heart in the centre. A great present for a dear friend (or to keep for yourself!).


Rainybb Ceramics from Blazed Wax

I have recently discovered Rainy bb ceramics from Sydney and they are so special and sweet. The glaze colours are really fun and I love the way they are finished and stamped. They are bright and happy and not like anything else I have seen lately.I want to collect the whole set for my home.

Stasev Romance dress


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This dress from Melbourne label Stasev is the dream cottage core summer attire. Perfect for picnics under the sun, this beautiful broderie number (my current favourite fabric) is super flattering and feminine. Everyone needs a summer dress!


Artistic homewares


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The older I get, the more money I want to spend on homewares. I’m currently obsessed with Perth artist Joana Partyka’s ceramics; the varying colours and textures in her pieces are just so interesting. This vessel is on my personal dream list. For gifting, Modern Times has a beautifully curated selection of local labels at a range of price points.


Annie Carroll, publicist, writer and founder of In-Prose

Unique jewellery


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A post shared by E NOLAN (@enolanmelbourne)

Jewellery is my favourite thing to give and to receive. The velvet-lined box, the anticipation of the treasure inside: it’s such a romantic gesture and one that I think will always feel sentimental and special to me. Imagine watching someone you love unwrapping one of E Nolan’s new 9ct gold Blowfly Pendants: joy, captured! For the lower end of the budget, a daisy chain necklace from Par Moi would make my heart sing. And it’s hard to go wrong with Bella Clark’s Heart Pendant sleepers.


Soft bedroom wares


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Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that you’d never buy for yourself. Bedding can sometimes fall into that category. If your best friend is still sleeping on decade-old polyester sheets that have seen more than a few sharehouse laundry baskets, a new set of soft-as-butter bamboo Ettitude sheets or pyjamas will be life-changing, plus they’re ultra-sustainable to boot. I’d also love to throw in a beautiful blanket from Curio Practice in cherry. So festive, so luxurious. What more do you want in a gift?



Ema Hewitt, director and designer at Hew Clothing

Earrings made by Suzi Kyriakidis

I adore these earrings; they’re a statement piece that just work with any outfit. They’re made of lightweight resin, so you can wear them all day and night. Made here in Melbourne, they make the ideal present wrapped in their beautiful black presentation box.


A puzzle by Micke Lindebergh


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Who doesn’t enjoy a puzzle? I think there will be plenty of puzzles under the Christmas tree this year, after their resurgence during the lockdown. This one was created by one of the artists we collaborated with for our latest summer collection. You can re-create this pattern with the 1000 piece set in his genuine big bold flower signature style!


Kerryn Moscicki, founder and CEO of Radical Yes

Mud Australia ceramics


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Mud Australia is an iconic Australian brand, and I think anyone would be beyond excited to receive one of their pieces! You can’t go wrong with one of their Terrazzo Trivets in multi-coloured mixed. Terrazzo is so on trend and they have such a versatile end use, plus they’re created using upcycled concrete and broken porcelain – making them a one-off, zero-waste product.


Flavedo & Albedo sunkissed duo

Flavedo & Albedo have recently popped up on my radar. I really love what they’re about and they reflect a lot of Radical Yes’ brand values. Their products are packaged in aluminium, glass and sustainable timber – no plastic to be found! Their Sunkissed Duo is my gifting pick – both the High Glow and Dew Tint can be used on cheeks, eyes and lips. This set makes a super functional and versatile gift for a friend who loves make-up and hates plastic! One for you, one for me…


A donation


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A donation is always a thoughtful gift for a friend that has everything. Radical Yes are monthly donors to Seed and we are endlessly inspired by the powerful work that they do. Seed is a powerful voice in the movement for climate justice and they work to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are supported in leading the generation-wide movement to solve the climate crisis. You can donate here.



*Products marked with an asterisk are produced in partnership with each listed retailer. For more sustainable-yet-stylish gift ideas, head here.

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