Fashion Lounge121 Flinders Lane
Fashion Lounge was constructed as a destination in response to one of Melbourne nightlife's most dire needs – a bar that caters to the eclectic cultural cross section of style that is the pride of a city voted the worlds most liveable. Like a well-tailored piece of eveningwear,
Fashion Lounge doesn't scream at you with its facade. Instead it stands with a subdued street presence, which upon entering, opens to an amazingly well thought out interior space. Sophisticated, yet at once warm and welcoming, it harbours none of the unnecessary pretence its name might at first suggest.
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Fashion Lounge Photos
Fashion Lounge Review
Review by Jess McDonald
I went to Fashion Lounge with very high expectations. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting (diamond encrusted chairs and a dfloor made of gold, perhaps?) but, often when you have high expectations you get let down.
I’m not saying that it isn’t a good club, but there’s a $20 entry fee ($15 on a guest list). There’s a long line to even see the bouncers, and you’ll most likely be turned away if you aren’t on a guest list. This meant I was pretty darn excited when I finally got the chance to head through the front door and into the exclusive world which I was led to believe laid behind it.
Fashion markets itself as stylish, classy and upmarket and this does come across to some degree in the decor, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a huge amount more sophisticated than your average club. The bar has a marble bench top, there are white leather couches, gold lighting and gold ropes which section off the function areas.
The venue starts to get busy around 11. The crowd ranges from 20s to mid 30s and everyone is well dressed – shirts, dark jeans and dress shoes on the fellas and cocktail dresses and heels on the ladies (the place is called fashion after all).
If you arrive at Fashion too late, however, you will be struggling to see anything other than the sea of people packed together on the top floor. It was ridiculously crowded, and apparently that’s the norm at fashion. So you can say goodbye to your personal space for the night and hello to the 5 people now invading it. And, lucky you met these people because if you get separated from your friends good luck trying to squeeze your way through the crowd to get back to them.
If you haven’t booked a function area at Fashion Lounge then your chances of getting a seat inside seem to be pretty low as most of the seating areas are sectioned off for functions and stay this way all night. However, if you head downstairs to the Smokers Area your chances of getting a seat are much better. The Smokers Area itself is nice and big so non-smokers can actually go outside to get some fresh air instead of getting a face full of cigarette smoke.
Drinks at fashion are a bit pricey. (I was paying nine dollars for a glass of wine.) But again, Fashion is supposed to be classier than your typical club and therefore drinks are going to be more expensive. However, if you’re keen to save money, they seem to have more specials on a Friday night. It’s also free entry before 9:30 on both Friday and Saturday nights.
My advice would be to go to Fashion without the high expectations I had. Fashion is a great place for a special occasion, a birthday or other function; it’s just not as fancy as I’d built it up to be in my mind. But in saying that, it’s probably not the best place for having a messy night out – especially if you’re on a budget.
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A 2nd Review of Fashion Lounge
Review by Aisha Imran
VIP guest list – Check. Limo pick up – Check. This was my second consecutive Friday night visit to Fashion Lounge, a stylish and modern hybrid of a bar, runway, and club pierced together to cater for Melbourne’s most fashionable (or pretentious). Conveniently located on Flinders Lane in the CBD, Fashion Lounge charges an extravagant $25 entry fee for walk-in ‘commoners’, with those on the guest list having to fork out $15 after 9:30pm. Lucky for me, those arriving in limousines arranged by the management team got in for free.
On the top floor, RnB music can be heard playing, with a little dance floor attached next to the bar. Comfy couches are tucked away on the other side, great for conversations and snacks. Downstairs, House and Dance music will keep your hips swaying, with a bar situation on the corner for those needing fuel and now wanting to make the climb up. Drinks are pretty standard – I had a jagerbom, sambuca shot, and bourbon and coke (all paid for); a quick browse at the price list – nothing stood out as being too extravagant.
Week in and out, the same faces stake claim on the dance floor, receiving plenty of attention and envious looks from those ‘wannabes’ trying to break into the ‘cool crowd’. While there are obviously cliques within the crowd, it was not too uncomfortable, and everyone was quite inviting (this may be due to my VIP status).
Both ladies and gents dressed to impress (and stand out), with high split dresses, and cleavage baring tops, and almost everyone had an e-shisha in their hands (all the rave now). The fashion parade kicked off at 11pm, and went on for half an hour, with special guest Alexandra Jae putting her vocals to test, entertaining us with live music. As soon as the parade was over, everyone flocked to the dance floor to break some sweat, while the rest schmoozed and networked (attempted to at least).
I definitely got a work out dancing the night away and left at about 2am. Next Friday is already penned in for me to make a return to Fashion Fridays, and slowly make my way into the know. All in all it was another fun and extremely pretentious night (which is OK) and not a cent was spent.
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A 3rd Review Of Fashion Lounge
Review by Nick Bartholomeusz
Despite a congested entrance way and hefty $25 entry fee after 12:00am, reaping a small fortune of my week's income, Fashion Lounge proved to offer a great night, compensating in a number of small, crowd pleasing ways.
Fuelled by a sexually charged theme, entry was met by a narrow corridor and welcomed by a courtesy blow up doll. Yep, you guessed it, a sex doll. Welling with excitement after an extensive wait, I was pounded by the loud and heavy bass as I made my way through the top level of the dancefloor. I was indeed within my element.
Regardless of the good times, vibes and musical prowess offered upstairs, I followed my more travelled friends to the real party downstairs on the basement level. Marked by a similar sound that is a proven crowd pleaser, the downstairs area opens into a far larger dance arena, which connects to an outdoor corridor, supporting both smokers and those suffering from the intense humidity.
Pleasantly, both levels emulate a fantastic array of electronic musical talents, while limiting the genres to Trance and Bangers. However, despite the limited mix of musical categories, each and every one of the predominantly Asian-Australian crowd could not help but wave their arms, bop their head and bust some moves. With the exception of myself and possibly a few others, the majority crowd consisted of Asian youth, between the ages of 18 and 26. While the DJs were also seemingly of Asian descent, they were also quality Melbourne DJs.
Marketed as a plush, exclusive and opulent nightspot, the illustrious image of Fashion Lounge was severely damaged when the 12:30am, red headed stripper came out to play, boasting her gymnast-like flexibility, wearing nothing but glittered panties and nipple tassels. Despite the tarnished reputation, Fashion Lounge will survive. Providing visual pleasure for a number of gentlemen, and entertainment to say the least for the ladies, the employed erotic dancers (male and female) only enhanced the sultry themed night.
While I can appreciate a densely populated club with an even ratio of well dressed, attractive boys and girls, the sheer number of patrons can make even the easiest task of getting a drink at the bar the most challenging. Given the strenuous nature under which my drink was acquired, the $15 fee for a Jagerbomb didn’t seem like a loss at all, but more an accomplishment. Untimely accomplishments can be felt throughout the entire night, as all areas of the club are filled to the brim. Unfortunately the club’s single available bathroom is located on the stairwell, midway between the upstairs and downstairs area. Although my bathroom travels went undisrupted, I imagine it may be difficult for women, as lines can build fast.
Although my night was kick started by a long wait due to an after 12am arrival, Fashion Lounge proved to be an enjoyable second experience. Given my relatively sober state, it is easy to say that the potential for an amazing night at Fashion is limitless… Provided you can get to the bar before you sober up again.
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