Manteau Noir is an eclectic and unique retail store located in Daylesford Australia. After opening its doors in March 2014 Manteau Noir quickly garnered attention and became a renowned destination store. This perfectly edited treasure trove champions small artisan makers, heritage brands, ethical and sustainable production methods, quality and above all, beauty.
A charming and moody interior featuring rustic French antique shop fittings acts as the perfect backdrop to house owner/designer Victoria Varrasso's Italian made shoe brand and natural fibre womenswear collection Manteau Noir.
The store offers a selection of high quality internationally sourced womenswear brands, accessories, home goods, Aesop skincare, niche perfume and art. A small but dedicated sales team, are always on hand to share their expert knowledge, styling advice and warm attentive customer service.
"Sleeping in beautiful pure linen sheets or drinking tea from a handmade cup, are such pleasurable daily ritualistic experiences. You will find a perfectly cut dress in my store made from the finest linen, or the softest cashmere socks, or an amazing scented candle created in France since 1643. Everything is special and sensory, everything has a purpose, everything is deliberate and most importantly, ethically made", says owner Victoria Varrasso.
With 30 years of varied fashion industry experience behind her, Victoria Varrasso follows the 'slow fashion movement' principles. Her first eponymous womenswear brand (Victoria Loftes 1996 to 2005) was co-owned with her brother and business partner Jonathan. The brand was stocked by boutiques across Australia, Liberty of London and their flagship store (designed by Six Degrees) was located in Melbourne's Little Collins Street precinct in its heyday. Victoria and her brand were featured in countless Australian and international fashion magazines and newspapers. Victoria participated regularly at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week (now Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week), the Melbourne Fashion Festival and she was the recipient of a "Young Australian Designer" award.
"The initial concept for the Manteau Noir womenswear brand was to create an ethically produced, timeless and ageless womenswear brand with a focus upon trans-seasonal linen wardrobe staples. I wanted the garments to convey a feeling of authenticity both in cut, quality of make and choice of cloth that bring a sense of pleasure and comfort to the wearer", says Victoria.
Victoria continues, "My collection of antique clothing and textiles is a constant source of inspiration and living in the country has influenced my approach. The collections are pared back, relaxed and utilitarian, nothing is overstated. I feel that woman should only buy what suits them, buy less, buy better and don't support unethical production methods. Wear beautiful natural fibres, wear clothes that reflect your values and above all, be yourself."
The womenswear brand and store name 'Manteau Noir' (black coat) was suggested by Victoria's husband Loz, who is multilingual and the instantly recognisable logo illustration was created by talented Melbourne still-life artist and close friend Anita Mertzlin.