It’s been a long time since we’ve heard much from Sibella Court, the Sydney stylist with a (no exaggeration really) cult following. But rest assured, behind the scenes, it is all happening! Today, we’re bringing you all the news on her new warehouse premises, TV show, boutique accommodation, book and last but by no means least daughter, baby Silver.
Sibella recently opened an amazing warehouse space – the all new Society Inc — in Sydney’s St Peters and we couldn’t wait to shoot it. Replacing her former tiny, packed-to-the-rafters shop in Paddington, it’s quite a change but the aesthetic is as distinctly Sibella as ever.
“At the beginning of last year, I saw the space for sale on Doody Street, a space I knew well from my early styling years. I viewed it, it was completely out of my price bracket and way too big, but it woke my imagination to be in a much larger space,” she says.
“I create interiors and I wanted clients, guests and customers to be able to experience the pages of my books by walking through sets, installations and vignettes and purchasing the pieces I put in my hospitality spaces (Ms G’s, Mr Wong, El Loco, Palmer & Co and Bistrode CBD to name but a few), as well as celebrating all the fabulous makers, designers, artists and creators I work with and have forged friendships with over a 20+ year career in the styling world.”
The L-shape space has been split into 65% public and 35% private. The public space will be “a combination of retail, installation, activity, magic and fantasy; a sensory experience that feels as though you’re walking amongst the pages of one of my books,” also used for workshops, talks, photography, dinner parties, flea markets, launches, events and whatever else takes her fancy. “It will showcase some of our handpicked favourite people, artists and companies that we have loved and worked with over the years.”
Sibella and her team will be launching brands not previously available in Australia from all over the globe (the USA, Netherlands, the Caribbean and the UK to name but a few) and if there’s one woman who knows how to curate, it’s her! There’ll also be two container sales a year from her travel destinations.
The dream space will also serve as an art gallery, where you can purchase the pieces displayed within her installations and vignettes. “Above all else, it will an interactive space that changes and invites conversation, with exciting products, exchange of ideas and fun!” The private side of the space will serve as a studio for her hospitality design work, ever-popular books and product development.
But that’s not all! That beautiful little 1860s corner terrace in leafy Paddington, which used to house The Society Inc, is now on Airbnb and you can stay there, or indeed host an event in the space. “We’ve turned it into a pied-a-terre; a one-bedroom hotel, a very boutique experience. It’s aimed at the weary pilgrim who needs to rest their head after a long journey, however with a little more than a humble stretcher.
“We are often asked by curious international parties about our favourite Australian furniture makers, artists, crafters, textile designers, dyers, tinkers and smiths and the like. This is where we will be showcasing some our favourites and sharing the love. It will be a sensory experience; an imaginarium of curiosities, forever changing and never finished, again, like being in the pages of one of my books.” A huge fan of sites like Airbnb and onefinestay, she hopes to appeal to those seeking a personal experience that gives their adventures a richer and deeper involvement in a Sydney stay and a fond memory to take home. Well, I live in Sydney and I’m despearately trying to find an excuse to stay there myself!
Sibella is not known for being a self-publicist (some would say an essential part of the stylist’s job these days) and perhaps her air of mystery, ironically, is what keeps people coming back for more. She also travels so far and wide that she is rarely in town for long. But becoming a mum hasn’t slowed down the laidback bowerbird. “Silver comes along for the ride and she is only little so she fits into my Filson bag! As any small business owner knows, there is no rest for the wicked. I have two babies now – Silver and The Society Inc.”
But we’re happy to hear we’ll see a lot more of the stylist this year. After two years of shooting, Sibella has a TV show coming up on the ABC later this year called Restoration Australia. “This year is as busy as ever with lots of hospitality spaces being designed, new product ranges in fragrance, furniture and soft furnishings, an Anthropologie collaboration, The Stylist’s Guide to the Globe (her latest book), collaborations and plenty of exciting, cool stuff.”
She’ll never be in one spot for too long though: “Part of my job description is to travel — it is the root of my inspiration for all things.”
The Society Inc. | Warehouse 3.02, 75 Mary Street, St Peters, NSW 2044
Photography by Jacqui Turk