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A compact inner-city apartment suits its owner to a tee

Boutique owner Marilyn McLaughlan swapped her large designer home for a compact inner-city Auckland apartment – and she couldn’t be happier with her metropolitan move

Marilyn, what is your day job?
I am the designer of fashion brands Marilyn Seyb and Episode, and co-owner of Kimberleys boutiques.

Describe your personal style…
Dressy casual, a little rocker and always a little feminine. I wear jeans most of the time but add a beautiful top and great shoes, which are never scuffed and always clean. I wear a scarf most days and love great handbags. I try not to overthink it, preferring to keep things simple.

How does your style translate to your wardrobe?
I need lots of space to house my collections of clothes, shoes, handbags and scarves. I turned a spare bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe and linked it to my bedroom and bathroom by opening up a wall.

Where do you get your design inspiration?
Inspiration is hard to define, often new ideas are just there. Sometimes I stay with the classics but add a new colour palette and new trims to bring looks forward. I love colour and texture, and I’m always alert to what’s around me: flowers, food, beautiful paintings, architecture and people.

How do you organise your wardrobe, by colour or season?
Like my stores, everything faces the same way on the same hangers – singlets, tops, blouses, then dresses, pants and jeans. I always fold my knitwear, though. Visually my wardrobe is an explosion of colour and texture, with scarves and bags hanging in every free space. It never looks as ordered as it should, though, because it is a little overcrowded.

What is one thing you would never compromise on?
Compromise isn’t a word to be used in conjunction with my wardrobe – I just love to be surrounded by beautiful things. In saying that, I do pare down what I choose to wear.

Can you describe your wardrobe in three words?
Large, organised, eclectic.

What advice would you give someone who is assembling a new wardrobe?
Never throw away what you were wearing on the occasions that created your happiest memories. The same goes for your perfect classics and your most beautiful pieces. Everything else should be given away seasonally.

Words by: Nicole Curin-Birch
Photography by: Helen Bankers
Hair and make-up: Anna Savelieva

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