Emily Nolan’s place is filled with treasures. Not those bedecked in gold, or even similar prized materials, but rather those steeped in memories.
The made-to-measure tailor’s bookshelf, for instance, houses a growing collection of various copies of Alice in Wonderland – something her brother has found and purchased for her every year since she turned 18. Her fridge is littered with hand-written notes — ‘nothing quite like a reminder that you’re loved when you’re searching for snack’ — and there’s a porcelain dog named ‘Arctic Rex’, which is a reminder of an Uber Driver (‘and wonderful storyteller’), who spent his 50s in Antarctica (and one can only assume, was named Rex).
There are other things too, like the mirrored room divider (which used to be part of the old department store ‘Georges’ on Collins street), white fibreglass sculpture chairs by Functional Sculpture, Cassandra Chilton’s Cigarette vase and a thoughtfully curated salon hang.
Perhaps what catches the eye the most though, among these treasures, are the racks of custom-made jackets, pants and tops around the room, and paper suit patterns hanging from the ceiling. For Emily’s home is also her workshop, studio, and dressing room.
‘I love creating and living in the same space,’ she says. ‘It isn’t for everybody, but I feel most myself like this’.
She moved into her apartment inside the old MacRobertson confectionary factory in October last year, and has been running her business and living in the converted Fitzroy warehouse ever since.
‘Running a small business is relentless, and I do have to compartmentalise the different hats I wear,’ she says. ‘But, I do that with my time, rather than my space.’
Emily sees clients between 10am – 6pm, and then pattern makes and gets her ‘admin ducks in a row’ after dinner until 1.30am. ‘I like working at night whilst everyone is asleep,’ she says. ‘There are few interruptions, and it feels like you have a secret.’
There is some separation within her three-story home. Each floor has a different purpose; the bottom floor is the dressing room for clients and the Ready-To-Wear showroom, it’s also where Emily’s kitchen is; the E Nolan workroom and head office is located on the middle floor, also known as the living room; and the third floor is Emily’s bedroom.
‘As I walk up the stairs to the bedroom, I try to strip off the work day that has been,’ she says. ‘It is my cubby house, no work comes with me up that last flight of stairs.’
Emily describes her home/workshop/dressing room/studio as having ‘mad hatter energy’. But, for a brand that painstakingly prioritises clients’ needs and wants through a bespoke made-to-measure service, having work intimately woven throughout Emily’s own home seems, to us, to be the perfect fit.