Inside A Top Model's Stunning South London Home (& Closet)

With her carved-from-stone features, statuesque six-foot frame, and flawless cropped cut, it's no surprise that Walsall's own Erin O'Connor continues to reign as one of Britain's premier models, some 16 years after making her official debut in the December '96 issue of i-D.
A leading figure on the London fashion scene, the swan-like beauty is also making waves abroad, with her long-awaited return to the New York City catwalk this past September and a big-deal campaign in the works (sorry, we've been sworn to secrecy).
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Despite all this success, O'Connor is still just a British girl at heart, as our tour of her charming South London abode attests. Showing off a stunning selection of divine designer outfits plucked from her own closet, the brunette beauty welcomed us into her eclectic digs while opening up about her personal style, favourite London haunts, and memorable modelling moments. In fact, the only question of ours she didn't answer: Can we move in?
Click through for a peek at the model's private home and favourite designer outfits. We've got a serious new style crush!
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Your hair is so precise and striking. How do you maintain it?

"Thank you! I feel very strongly about keeping my hair cropped as I feel more feminine that way. I have tried long hair but somehow it takes away from my most feminine attribute, which is my neck. I really enjoy feeling inspired by different eras but I always try to modernise each cut to give it a contemporary feel. I am guilty of cutting my own bangs, but luckily for me, I have a great duo at Michael Angelo's Wonderland Beauty Parlor. Hailey always cuts my hair as she is Vidal Sassoon-trained."

O'Connor wears a PPQ dress.
2 of 22
What beauty essentials do you swear by?

"I swear by Darphin Essential Oils Cleanser. I truly believe that cleansing my face before I go to bed is enough — I tend not to overmoisturise and I generally just wash my face with warm water before I go to work in the morning. An overload of products, no matter how fancy, can be just as detrimental to the skin."
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How would you describe your home’s decor?

"My home decor is accidentally off the back of growing up in a beige, monotone, '70s household. I can't imagine a world more chaotic than one without colour. I would frankly go out of my mind. The great thing about an abundance of colour is that coordination becomes less of an effort!"
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Tell us about the projects you’re involved with right now.

"Currently, I am just finishing up a collaborative project with Johan from BLK DNM — the theme this season is based on feminism, combining strength and vulnerability. Ultimately, it feels brilliant to be working in NYC again after a 6-year hiatus. My main focus is to appear on the New York runway in February '13."

O'Connor wears a Dries van Noten dress, Marni heels, and Matthew Williamson cuff.
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How would you sum up your personal style?

"Defiant and ever-evolving."

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If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?

"I can't say I would want to change anything about my home. It's over 200 years old and to disregard history would be dishonourable and pointless."

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What’s your favourite room in your home?

"The kitchen. One of the selling points in the house is my Aga, but aside from that, I love my kitchen units, all of which were rescued and then recycled from a laboratory in a Victorian girls school on my street."
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O'Connor wears a Louis Vuitton dress, Topshop cardigan, and SW1 heels.
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What are some of the best tips that you’ve picked up from modelling shoots or designer friends over the years?

"The best tip I picked up, which is still relevant today, was from the late Richard Avedon. He taught me to capture a moment by studying myself and my body alignment in the mirror which he placed next to his 10/8 camera."
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What do you consider to be the highlight of your modelling career?

"I'm hoping the height of my modelling career has yet to arrive, otherwise I'd have hung up my gloves a long time ago. I loved appearing on a first-class stamp shot by Nick Knight, however."

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O'Connor wears a Dries van Noten dress.
12 of 22
Any style tips for tall women?

"Same as for a petite woman or a deliciously round woman: Always aim to enhance the natural shape that you are. To hide it is a real shame."

O'Connor wears Dries van Noten lace-up heels.
13 of 22
What five fashion items can you not live without?

"My gold metallic Dries van Noten ankle boots. My BLK DNM leather biker jacket. My new Miu Miu denim rain mac. My PPQ striped cotton dress. My 'She Died of Beauty' T-shirt range."

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14 of 22
What designers and labels do you tend to favour?

"At the moment I am favouring a more androgynous look. I want to explore strong femininity versus overt sexuality by wearing commanding clothes that have an anarchic quality to them."
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Your home has lots of eclectic and vintage elements. Where did you pick them up?

"I have travelled extensively, starting from my late teens, and many of the fabrics and furniture pieces come from places as far-flung as a busy town market in Ghana to Brixton's Saturday morning market. Ultimately, I am always on the lookout for something special. When I saw my antique iron bath tub, it reminded me of a large pint of Guinness. I found it in a Parisian flea market and had to get my floor reinforced to stop me falling through the floor boards."
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What are your favourite London boutiques?

"I really love Liberty — it's my favourite shop in the world. I think they pioneer style through their fashion and functional lifestyle vision."

Topshop carrying case.
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O'Connor wears a Bella Freud top, Whistles leather skirt, and is holding an antique top hat from East Dulwich Market.
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What would we be most surprised to find in your wardrobe?

"A pair of Snoopy pyjamas."

Antique top hat and Miu Miu heels.
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O'Connor shows off a Black 926 ring.
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What’s your favourite red lipstick? "Lady Danger by MAC. It's a fresh shade of tomato red which gives it a punky edge."

MAC Lady Danger lipstick.
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Who do you consider a style icon? "Style is such an instinctual thing...it's the wearer that makes it! I think Charlotte Rampling looks wonderful in clothes, though."
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What advice would you give to your younger self in terms of modelling?

"I would ask my younger self to be more patient. I would also remind her that becoming a self-sufficient and independent woman is the biggest achievement she will accomplish during her career."
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