The Toorak Road artery of Melbourne's shopping heart beat now heralds an entirely new generation of barber shops where men can get salon-quality close shaves and suave cuts in an environment that is modern, muted and most-definitely, um, manly.
Did I mention it's for men?
Kings Domain is the brainchild of Aaron Chan – the adorably unassuming award-winning cutter – and sees him branching out into the brawny trade of traditional hot towel shaves, haircuts, beard trims and 'Royal Treatments' (hair cut and shave).
Catering to the men of Melbourne, the new barber shop may cut most women out of the deal, but it is a definitive – and much anticipated - address for the men about town, and frustrated girlfriends of the ungroomed alike.
"Melbourne is such a fashion-conscious city and the men have a honed eye for detail, so it surprised me that there weren't many places for men to go to enjoy the premium, bespoke service of a barber shop," says Aaron. "It was time – for me and the city."
With a definite lean towards "old-school men's fashion and grooming meets hunting-lodge interiors", Kings Domain is already proving popular, catering to busy men who may only be able to afford a speedy stint in the stylist's chair, but still want more contemporary choices than a 'short back and sides'.
As a female, I can only speculate what goes on amidst the cool metro-tiled interior and tailor made barber chairs, but I sent my scruffy better-half in there last week and the feedback was fantastic, with highlights including "talking about fixing shit and guys stuff" and the background Bob Dylan tunes free to float through the airspace without being hijacked by "blow-dryers and doof doof".
And the cut he procured? It has major kudos, as one day it can be tamed with a texturiser, and others with sheer hope and a calm westerly wind. That's the thing about Aaron, he cuts men's hair to suit the man - fashion-forward, but still fuss-free.
A modern ode to barber shop sensibilities, Kings Domain is officially the salon du jour for dudes, and a welcome remedy for this city's scruffiest.
Where: Kings Domain | 1/77 Toorak Road in South Yarra
Contact: 03 9939 3100
Images: Courtesy of Kings Domain