Website of the week
Every once in awhile, a country will emerge as the "hot" fashion design country. In the minimalist '90s, it was Belgium, home to the Antwerp Six (Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee); in the sexed-up late '90s, it was Brazil (Alexandre Herchcovitch, Rosa Cha, Tufi Duek). And lately, Australia has been pretty hot, from more established designers like Sass & Bide and Karen Walker to the buzzed-about Lover and Toni Maticevski, to the must-have, of-the-moment denim line, Tsubi. And while New Yorkers can hit Elizabeth Charles in the Meatpacking District (and, um, okay, I guess you can shop from the store's website too), it's a totally different experience to go straight to the source. My Catwalk Australia has Tsubi and Karen Walker, but it also has a ton of Australian designers (as well as European and Asian ones) you've never heard of at prices that are much more tolerable (yes, even with the shipping costs). The site has an easygoing, almost beachy feel reminiscent of Los Angeles (lots of jeans and tees here). You can shop by item or by designer, but when you shop by designer, you get a nice little bio, which appeals to my inner fashion dork.

Swedish label Acne ("the new J Brand") is carried here, although this jean is $348, which makes me a bit nervous, although all their styles appear to be sold out.

I love this tweed schoolboy cap by Goorin, and apparently so did everyone else, because it's sold out. But at a mere $30, you can understand why.

I love this lightweight sweater by Gorman, technically for summer, but you can layer it and wear it year round.

Karen Walker makes jewelry too--who knew? I love this quirky axe pendant, and the rest of the collection has a similar weird-cool appeal.

This bizarre half-jacket by Manning Cartell is kind of useless but cool nonetheless, and will instantly make a tee or tank top look a lot dressier.

This minidress by Seduce is like a classy take on the going-out-on-the-town party dress, it's totally adorable, and a mere $107.

And I love pretty much everything by the Viktoria & Woods line, but this bright blue cardigan, in superlightweight wool, is totally my favorite.

So while shopping My Catwalk isn't as easy (or as immediately gratifying) as hitting Elizabeth Charles, it's a totally different--and, in some ways, more gratifying--experience, because sometimes there's nothing better than beating the rest of the fashionistas to the next hot designers.

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