One of Broadsheet’s favourite independent brands has opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in Paddington.
Olivia Koennecke launched Maison Essentiele in 2018. “I went to visit my grandparents in Adelaide but I forgot to pack my pyjamas. My grandma had this incredible collection of vintage nighties and dressing gowns,” Koennecke tells Broadsheet. “Once I had slept in and experienced the luxury of the silk pieces, it was really my ‘aha’ moment.”
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But Paddington is where it all began. And the store is something of a homecoming for Koennecke, who travels frequently to New York and Paris for wholesale market appointments and design inspiration. “Our store is an opportunity to continue to extend our community in real life as well as online, offering customers a place to try on our pieces, shop the latest styles before anyone else and tap into our creative networks in the neighbourhood, that really are the foundation of Maison Essentiele,” Koennecke says.
There is a distinct European sensibility baked into the brand (“maison” is French for home, while “essentiele” is the Dutch word for essential). And this is something Koennecke was keen to reflect in the space.
“One of my best friends, the talented interior designer Claire Markwick Smith helped bring the space to life: our focus was on warm minimalism, utilising natural materials and pared-back lighting. Finishes by Studio Henry Wilson complement raw materials like silk and cotton in our collections,” she says. “Claire also created custom elements using aluminium, powder-coated steel and Sottsass wood by Austrian designer Ettore Sottsass.”
Chances are you’ve also spied the brand’s signature lace-trimmed slips outside of the bedroom lately. The Vintage Nightgown, Girl Next Door midi and ’90s It Girl maxi are firm favourites for women looking to tap into the lingerie-as-outerwear trend. Crisp cotton pyjama shirts and boxer shorts also buy into the fluidity of modern wardrobes.
“We see ourselves as the home of luxury essentials. But these pieces aren’t just for the bedroom. I’m a big believer that we shouldn’t save anything for a special occasion or a rainy day,” Koennecke says.
When Broadsheet stopped by, there was a pair of shearling slippers perched in the window. “They’re available in limited quantities – we tend to drop new and exclusive styles in store first to offer our customers a sneak peek or something extra special,” Koennecke says.
14/2-16 Glenmore Rd, Paddington
Sun and Mon 10am–4pm
Tue and Wed 10am–5pm
Fri and Sat 10am–5pm