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What the FJ editors are gifting loved ones this holiday season

IMAGE VIA Pan after
WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

Gifts galore.

Some people are just really hard to buy for. According to my parents and some of my friends, I’m one of those people. I’m always surprised people think this about me, because I’m a pretty materialistic person (I’m working on it) who loves clothes, beauty products and the like. I don’t hesitate to discuss these things with the people in my life, either.

But perhaps because I’m very specific about what I do and don’t like, it places me firmly in the ‘hard to buy for’ camp. Personally, I relish finding the perfect gift for someone (particularly so when they’re seemingly impossible to buy for). I just love gift-giving in general – for better or for worse, it’s one of my love languages.


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


But a lot of people really can’t stand it. It’s an activity that causes far too much stress, particularly during the holidays when every man and his dog is looking for a present. So to help you out, our editorial team has shared what they’re getting their loved ones this holiday season – and don’t worry, there are no last-minute gift vouchers in sight.

A piece from Melbourne label Par Moi

 

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Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

As someone who works in fashion, I understand how deeply personal it can be. I tell loved ones not to even try gifting me clothing but when it comes to buying for others, I always want to share the fabulous designers I’ve discovered and support our industry along the way. This year I’ll be turning to Par Moi for my gifting.

I consider the label’s pieces relatively ‘safe’ (you can’t go too wrong with a cotton shirt), but with enough direction to make each style interesting and draw in compliments. Designer Ashiya Omundsen makes each piece to order and for this gifting season, will also pack your gift, write your personal message and post it personally. She also offers handmade jewellery which I’ll be leaning on for my KK gifts.

Get it here.

A Finger Candy ring

 

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Recommended by: Izzy, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant

Mason Tilly is the Melbourne-based designer behind ethical jewellery label, Finger Candy. Stocked at one of my favourite local stores, Sucker, Mason’s beautiful lab-grown gemstones are significantly more sustainable than their naturally-mined counterparts. I’ve had the stunning blue opal Subservience ring saved for months now and I can’t wait to gift it to a dear friend of mine. Each design is unique, which feels really special.

Get it here.

A pair of Deiji Studios House Slippers*

 

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Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

Ah, slippers, where would we be without you? In a much more uncomfortable place, probably. I simply love a slipper, but I’ve never owned one that’s appropriate for the summer months. This pair by Deiji Studios is inspired by Korean room shoes and crafted out of 100 per cent GOTS certified organic cotton. The blue check is very up my housemate’s alley, so I’m thinking this summer-appropriate slipper will be what I gift her this holiday season.

Get it here.

Lucy Folk terry-towelling shorts

 

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Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

I know it’s been a hot minute since we all drooled over Paul Mescal and his beloved chain in Normal People, but I must say his infamous short-shorts have left a greater impression on me than I’d care to admit. I’ve been on the hunt for a high-quality pair that I can throw on all summer and call it a day.

This handcrafted Lucy Folk pair is the perfect balance of classic yet elevated, and it’s designed in the label’s signature terry-towelling. Coming in two beautiful colour variations, I plan on nabbing a pair for myself and a pair for my best friend.

Get it here.

A pack of Jonny condoms*

 

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Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

If I’m being honest, the current state of my social calendar for the next eight weeks is enough to send anyone into a slight introverted panic. Despite this, I am itching to be reunited with my nearest and dearest over a few cheeky Aperols and bubbly.

And with more pending KK presents that I can count on one hand, I think I’ve found the most genius and practical stocking filler to date. Enter Jonny, Australia’s favourite natural condom brand. With physical intimacy so lacking during Melbourne’s lockdown, I plan on buying a whole cart-full to give to both my single and tied-down pals.

Get it here.

A Ngali silk printed scarf

 

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Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

This year, I finally discovered the versatility of a silk scarf. I’ve had a vintage Hermès one sitting at home that I managed to style into a scarf top for the first time, and now I understand why the internet has gone crazy for them. Sarongs, bandannas and scarf tops are all I plan on wearing this summer.

This very belated realisation has made me finally realise their versatility – they are the perfect gift, equally suited to both my younger sister and my nonna. I’ll be ordering from Ngali this year. At 100 by 180 centimetres, designer Denni Francisco has made her scarves the ideal size for versatile styling, plus she’s curated the most beautiful colour palettes across her range, with each print translated from original artworks by First Nations artists.

Get it here.

Hew x Suzi earrings*

 

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Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

Designer Ema Hewitt is one of those industry unicorns. She works across apparel and accessories, straddles both unisex design and childrenswear, is mindful of her environmental impact, and is a genuinely lovely human being.

I always look to prioritise and support local designers when gifting, and Hew Clothing is where I’ll be looking this year. I’m about to order these Love Pearl Drop Earrings for a friend of mine, after we added them to our FJ gift guide for this year. They’re a collaboration between Hew and Suzi jewellery and are shockingly affordable, coming in at $89 for real freshwater pearls and 18kt gold plated links.

Get it here.

A By Azal anklet from House of Matilda

 

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Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

A friend of mine founded House of Matilda last year, and the concept is quite simply genius. The platform curates a range of independent Australian designers, making it easy to discover new talent and support our local industry.

I’ve been saving for a Vale Laltra piece after discovering the label through House of Matilda though admittedly, it sits a little over budget for what I can gift this year. This By Azal anklet is more within my range, and will be gifted to one lucky loved one.

Get it here.

Almost anything from Pandora jewellery*

 

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Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

My family celebrates Christmas each year, which nicely coincides with a packed social calendar and our very busiest period at FJ. It means I tend to leave my gift shopping to the days (if not hours) before. Digital gift vouchers have come to the rescue on more than one occasion, but it’s always much nicer to give a proper gift.

I’ve found Pandora possibly the most helpful for last-minute gifting, as I’ve never walked out empty-handed, regardless of who I’m shopping for. I’ve already started browsing this year’s Timeless collection for my Christmas Eve dash, and will probably add this bracelet that I’ve been eyeing off for my own personal collection.

Get it here.

A Ge.Label scarf

 

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Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

It’s been about two months since my housemate let me cut her a fringe with a pair of herb scissors. And although the four-minute YouTube tutorial surprisingly pulled through, there are still mornings when I wake to David Bowie’s doppelgänger making a coffee in our kitchen.

So, in the spirit of giving back this festive season, I thought what better gift than a statement bandana to carry her through those bad hair days. I love all of local label GE’s vibrant pieces and am excited to see the versatile ways this one can be styled.

Get it here.

Great Wrap compostable cling wrap*

 

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Recommended by: Izzy, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant

My mum – while fabulous – is a very difficult woman to shop for. She never wants anything and simply tells us to ‘give something from the heart’. Over the lockdown, she developed a newfound love for baking and is constantly sending me recipes for carrot cake, buttercream frosting and choc chip biscotti (highly recommend).

I’ve decided to gift her a little baking care package this year, complete with a colourful cake stand, new piping tips and a couple rolls of compostable cling wrap. Great Wrap is the only Australian-made compostable cling wrap on the market and the product page is filled with five-star reviews. My mum is environmentally-minded and I know she’ll really appreciate the Great Wrap ethos.

Get it here.

Audio Technica on-ear wireless headphones*

Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

While I love the untethered feeling of wireless headphones, I can assure you my younger cousins will be all over the Bella Hadid-fuelled wired headphones TikTok trend, so I was pretty chuffed to discover these beauties from Audio-Technica.

The brand specialises in state-of-the-art audio equipment so there’s a core focus on quality sound, and the ATH-S220BT sits under $100 meaning it’s a reasonable gift to split with my siblings. They give me Lily-Rose-Depp-in-headphones (sure to please) and can be used avec or sans wire – handy once my cousins realise how frustratingly tangled wires can actually become.

Get them here.

Maison Balzac J’ai Soif carafe and glass

 

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Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

Ever since our Managing Editor, Giulia, bought me a Maison Balzac carafe and cup as a birthday present last year (in a beautiful bottle green), my life has genuinely been enhanced. It’s been a mainstay on my bedside table ever since, and it really does encourage me to drink much more water.

It makes the act of drinking much more dignified, and it’s great to bring down to your yoga mat with you. I’ll be getting the incredibly cool pink colourway for a close friend who’s admired mine for a long time.

Get it here.

A Rebecca Vallance cozzie*

Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

My mum is one of those typical your-presence-is-my-present people, which despite being delightfully heartwarming is very tricky when it comes to gift-giving. Over the years I’ve gone down the more outlandish route of quirky art pieces and interesting jewellery that ultimately end up collecting dust on her bedside table.

That said, I thought this year called for something a little more practical. I know she’s a sucker for a floral cozzie, and with a beach trip to Lorne on the cards for early Jan I thought this beautiful Rebecca Vallance ruched one-piece ticks all the boxes. Vallance’s debut swimwear collection is full of beautiful prints in an array of bright, fresh colours. Designed from a supportive stretch Italian lycra and featuring adjustable knotted straps, I know this will take Mum through more summers to come.

Get it here.

Degoey Planet’s cowboy boot mini vase

Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

Degoey Planet came across my lap after someone shared the brand’s phallic vases with me. It caught the attention of my juvenile brain but after getting to know the brand a little better, it’s since become one of my favourites for local homewares. The Aphrodite Deux Fois bust now sits pride of place on my mantel. It’s one of many examples of creator Alexandria Degoey Omundsen’s ability to read trends and inject her own wit.

If her name rings a bell, Alexandria is the sister of Ashiya behind Par Moi (there’s clearly something in the water at the Omundsen household). I’ve been eyeing these teeny, tiny cowboy boot vases for a friend and am just about to purchase, as each piece is made to order with a three-to-four week lead time.

Get it here.

A Sunday Supply Umbrella*

 

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Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

As a painfully pale individual, being protected from Australia’s harsh sun is an absolute necessity. But in a bizarre turn of events, I only discovered the absolute delights of a beach umbrella last summer. Before that, I was known to smother myself in zinc and, on occasion, cover myself in towels head to toe. Anything to keep my lily white limbs from frying.

Now I know the sweet relief a beach umbrella can provide, I’m determined to gift my other pasty friends this Sunday Supply umbrella. The neutral colour and tassle details make it classic but a little bit fun, a combination I can very much get behind.

Get it here.

Nonna’s Grocer candles

 

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Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

You might have already guessed I’m a sucker for joyful homewares. I also know my family can be hard to buy for, and consider candles a relatively safe option when buying for loved ones. I come from an Italian family, so I’m confident each of my siblings will appreciate a little something from Nonna’s Grocer.

Each candle is built to look like real fruit (the kind we’d typically find on our nonna’s bench from the garden) and should spark a bit of nostalgia. Starting at $26, they also make a clever Kris Kringle gift.

Get it here.

A Lahana Swim set*

 

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Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

Sticking with the aspirational vacation theme, it’s hard to look past cult Aussie swim and activewear label Lahana. The values-driven brand empowers women to feel motivated and radiant in their bodies through bold and intentional designs.

As a bit of a swimwear hoarder myself, I love the idea of mix-matching two pieces to get the most out of my collection. Lahana’s expansive array of high-cut bottoms and structured bikini tops makes them the perfect gift for any water babies in your life. I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous emerald green bandeau which I plan on wearing under my go-to white linen shirt.

Get it here.

A Pan After Day-to-Day bag

 

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Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

I first spotted one of these bags on a very stylish woman walking down the street in Fitzroy, so I of course accosted her to ask where she got it from. The bag in question was from Pan After, a great little boutique in Collingwood that’s packed full of excellent art and homewares.

I’ve since purchased two of these stripy beauties, and I’ve got them for friends’ birthdays, too. They are incredibly affordable and are multipurpose – take them to the beach, the markets, out shopping or on a weekend away. I’ll be getting my friend in New Zealand one for Christmas (she’s partial to a stripe, so I think I’m onto a winner).

Get it here.

A Gorman Firecracker planter*

 

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Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

Although I like to think I rank pretty highly in the game of gift-giving, I often struggle with those in-between gifts. I’m talking about the ones where you’ve got the budget for something a little more bougie than a six-pack of ciders or a hula-hoop (yes, that actually happened) but you still have to pay rent next week.

Gorman’s homewares range never seems to disappoint, with an abundance of well-priced pieces to add some flair to the home. I’m particularly drawn to its nifty little planters for the green-thumbs in your life. Designed from water-resistant cotton in a number of fun, unique prints, they are the perfect crowd pleaser this holiday season.

Get it here.

A Mali Bakes cake

 

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Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

Shockingly, not everyone’s love language is receiving gifts so I always brainstorm a non-material option for my Christmas giving. This year, I’m planning to send around a handful of Mali Bakes cakes to loved ones. They are a delight to receive and taste as good as they look, and it beats a stale and crusty fruit cake.

Get it here.

*Products marked with an asterisk are produced in partnership with each listed retailer. For more gift ideas for hard-to-buy-for people, try this

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